Mike Suarez elected HART chairman
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority's board on Monday elected Tampa City Council member Mike Suarez its new chairman, replacing former county commissioner Fran Davin.
Suarez said one of HART's biggest challenges in the coming year stems from the federal government's inability to renew transportation funding that is scheduled to run out in 2015. HART's budget for 2014 is based on $64.5 million in operating revenues, of which $29.7 million comes from property taxes, $16.2 million comes from fares and passes and $10.7 million comes from federal funds.
"We're kind of in a no-man's land" when it comes to the uncertainty and congressional inaction surrounding the future of federal transportation funding, Suarez said. The agency is talking to its lobbyists, he said, because without the federal funds, "we're going to have some serious problems."
Steven Polzin, the transit research program director at the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research, was re-elected vice chairman. Temple Terrace City Council member Eddie Vance was elected secretary.