Growth. Our region is growing rapidly. The eight counties of Tampa Bay are expected to add more than 1.3 million new residents in the next 15 years, a population increase of over 34%. (Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), MPO Transit Study: How will we grow? Transit and Land Use) This dramatic growth will place additional stress on an already failing road system. In order for residents, visitors, and goods to move efficiently and effectively throughout our community in the future, we need to find a way to ease this pressure. Investing in a seamless regional transit system will provide a reliable alternative to congested roadways, helping us accommodate this future growth.
Economic competitiveness. As businesses large and small look across the country for places to move or grow, they are placing an increasing amount of emphasis on infrastructure - transportation in particular. Public transportation allows employers to reach a broader base of potential employees and provides safe and reliable access to jobs. Innovative young professionals who go on to create jobs and start new businesses are flocking to transit-friendly communities. Tampa Bay is losing out on all of these opportunities by continuing to focus on roads alone to address our transportation needs.
Lack of alternatives. In the most highly populated areas of our region, widening roads is no longer a feasible option to address our transportation needs. In these dense areas, large numbers of expensive properties must be purchased (and in many cases demolished) to make room for additional lanes. Not only is this incredibly expensive, but the community impacts can be devastating. More importantly, widening roads does little to address congestion while negatively affecting our quality of life. Adding lane after lane hasn't reduced congestion, and at some point you have to ask, where does it stop? 12 lanes? 16? Investing in transit is at times a cheaper alternative, one that directly addresses our mobility needs without compromising the character of our communities.
- Job creation
- Economic development and private investment
- Job access
- Lower household expenses
- Mobility: Connecting the places we live, work, and play
- Livable, walkable communities
- Improved quality of life
- Health and safety
- Air quality
- Smart growth
Learn more about transit initiatives throughout the Tampa Bay Region:
A regional Master Plan: TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority) is charged with developing and implementing a Regional Transportation Master Plan for the seven-county West Central Florida region. Click here to see the plan, learn more, and find out how you can add your voice.