Tampa to Reveal New Transportation Plans

Tampa to Reveal New Transportation PlansThere’s an ambitious new transportation plan that was recently unveiled by the mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor. The goal of this plan is to move Tampa into the future. Residents found this to be welcome news as they’ve been complaining for a long time now how the region doesn’t have enough options to help people get around.

Why the Plan is Necessary

According to Castor, this plan is far overdue. She believes it’s necessary to help Tampa grow and prepare for its future. She also believes that transportation is the area’s most important issue the community is currently faced with. As such, one of her top priorities is expanding the streetcar line toward Tampa Heights then in the future, it’ll also extend toward Seminole Heights. She doesn’t plan for all these streetcars to run on wires or rails. Instead, she believes that some of them will run on tires. Nevertheless, they’ll all have a dedicated street lane. Once implemented, people in these communities will have additional transit options to help them get to Tampa. This will also help diminish the number of vehicles on the street, so the areas are more accessible, and tourists can have a fun, unique way to reach these areas’ businesses.

Other Important Points Included in the Plan

Besides the expansion of rail services, some of the other important items Castor addressed in this plan include:
More of the existing CSX railway tracks will be utilized to reach into east Tampa from other parts of the city, including downtown. This is being done because research shows that about two-thirds of people who work downtown live within a three-mile radius so they should have alternative means of transportation to work besides their vehicles.
The 20-mile green artery will be further developed to link the city’s various neighborhoods together. This is a strip of green space where people can use alternative forms of transportation like walking and riding their bikes.
HART bus service will be improved. There will be new pilot programs, expanded routes, and improved reliability offered. Riders believe that by making these changes so that buses are more available, more people will be willing to use them.
Castor also realizes that finding parking in the city of Tampa is difficult. As such, she wants to adopt technology to tell people where there’s parking available so they can reserve them instead of driving in endless circles.

Finding Money for These Improvements

Although Castor hasn’t said how much it’ll cost to improve transportation in this way, she did say she’s currently lobbying in Washington DC and Tallahassee for grants. She believes that this in conjunction with the $35 million per year the city is receiving from the 1% sales tax will bring in enough money.

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Picture Credit: sarangib