Get on the bus Gus
The County of Hillsborough and the City of Tampa, along with lawyers, consultants and developers have been working together on a scheme to use county taxpayer money to improve property values around downtown Tampa. They call it Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
We should call it TAMPA Oriented Development.
Why expensive light-rail instead of more cost-effective bus transit?
The consultants and the lobby group Moving Hillsborough Forward determined that light-rail would have a bigger impact on Tampa property values than Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Plain Old Bus (POB) service. Plus, they found that riders would prefer to vote for a shiny new Choo-Choo than a stinky old bus.
So what was the plan to get riders from outside the corridors to the train stations? POB.
The County has given HART $40 million out of the $4 BILLION raised from the last (CIT) sales tax increase. HART has only spent $1.3 million of it while the rest rots in a bank, and we pay interest on the bonds.
If public transportation was so important to them, Ken Hagan and the Transportation Task Force, why was so little of that tax used? Waiting for light-rail?
Hagan’s Transportation Task Force was all about property-value-enhancing rail for Tampa.
It was never about helping people get from one place to another.
If transportation was the important goal, a better use of our $40 million would have been made, years ago.
Bogotá Columbia has one of the most sophisticated public transit systems in the world, using only BRT and POB. They make Tampa/Hillsborough look like a third-world country.
We need to get off this 20-year old Choo-Choo plan and get on the bus Gus.
<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen