Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Breaking down the Go Hillsborough transportation plans



Hillsborough County released its long-awaited transportation plan Monday night -- or should we say plans?

The 153-page document, which can be found here, maps out three different approaches the county can take: one which focuses mostly on roads and resurfacing, another which includes substantial transit projects such as light rail and bus rapid transit (BRT), and a third that is a balance of the two.

It then outlines six different funding sources that can be mixed and matched to pay for whichever plan local leaders decide to pay.

The document is a bit dense and includes a ton of background, but here are some of the important highlights:

The first plan aims to maintain what Hillsborough already has. This one requires $47 million a year to resurface roads and maintain bridges, the current bus fleet and the downtown streetcar.

The second plan will pay for some transportation upgrades. $117 million a year would tackle the preservation needs listed above while also chipping away at projects aimed at safety, congestion, economic and environmental issues.

The third plan would transform Hillsborough's transportation system: It would take $300 million a year, but it would also pay for sizable road projects and bring online transit solutions that don't currently exist, such as a light rail and bus rapid transit (BRT).

The report also provides in-depth explanations about what limitations each funding source has. For example, money generated from a gas tax cannot be spent on transit or bike and pedestrian facilities, whereas money from mobility fees can only be spent in the unincorporated county.

The three plans will get their first public airing at a Thursday meeting by the Hillsborough Policy Leadership Group, a gathering of elected county and city officials guiding the effort to build a transportation plan that may go to voters in 2016.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 12:34pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours