Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco MPO wants public's opinions on mass transit options

Pasco County Public Transportation could double its ridership in the next decade under an ambitious plan recommended by a consultant. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the plan by the end of the month before the County Commission makes any final decisions.

Times (2005)

Pasco County Public Transportation could double its ridership in the next decade under an ambitious plan recommended by a consultant. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the plan by the end of the month before the County Commission makes any final decisions.

DADE CITY — Pasco County could double its bus ridership in the next decade under an ambitious plan that would add Saturday service, more frequent pick-ups and drop-offs as well as later hours.

But it would take an estimated $14 million more than the county is currently spending on public transportation.

Bill Ball, a consultant hired to update the county's 10-year plan, which is required every five years to qualify for federal money, told members of Pasco's Metropolitan Planning Organization last week that the plan was a response to surveys of riders as well as other county residents.

The bus system had 500,000 riders a year in 2003. It reached 1 million by 2008.

Ball said the county could double that by 2023 if it was willing to invest the money. He also came up with an alternate plan that relies on current funding levels called "the cost-feasible plan."

"I like (the cost-feasible) plan," County Commissioner Jack Mariano said at last week's presentation, which comes as county officials consider increasing the property tax rate amid tight revenues.

Under the less expensive plan, park-and-ride lots and free Wi-Fi on buses would be offered. An express bus would take commuters from Wesley Chapel to the University of South Florida area, while another bus would connect riders to Pasco-Hernando Community College in Spring Hill. By 2018, Moon Lake would get local service.

"That's been in the plan for some time," Ball said of the Moon Lake routes, but so far there hasn't been enough money to make it happen.

The more expensive plan would move up Moon Lake service to 2015. Service along the State Road 54 corridor would be hourly as opposed to every two hours and include Saturday service. Weekday evening routes would also be extended by three hours starting in 2016.

The report also recommends that the bus system, called PCPT for Pasco County Public Transportation, be rebranded.

Commission Chairman Ted Schrader drew some inspiration from the name of Ball's presentation called "Access Pasco."

"That 'Access Pasco' is pretty catchy," he said.

The public will have until the end of the month to comment on the plan, which will be brought back to the MPO and then to the County Commission for a final vote.

Lisa Buie can be reached at buietimeswriter@gmail.com or (813) 909-4604.

>>How to get involved

What is included?

A draft of Pasco County's proposed mass transit plan is available at pascompo.net. Copies can also be obtained by calling the MPO office at (727) 847-8193. The MPO will schedule the plan for a vote at a public hearing at 10 a.m. Oct. 10 at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey.

Pasco MPO wants public's opinions on mass transit options 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 7:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 13 killed, dozens hurt when van plows into crowd in Barcelona

    World

    UPDATE: A regional government official in Spain says 13 people have been killed in the van attack at a historic shopping and tourist area of Barcelona.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  2. Malala Yousafzai, Nobel winner shot for promoting education, to study at Oxford

    World

    LONDON — Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls' rights to an education, has been accepted by the University of Oxford.

    A Tuesday, July. 18, 2017 file photo of Nobel Peace laureate, Malala Yousafzai, gesturing, during a visit to school in Maiduguri Nigeria. Malala Yousafzai has gained a place at the University of Oxford. The 20-year-old education activist tweeted her acceptance to the school, saying she was "so excited" to win a spot to study philosophy, politics and economics. [Associated Press]
  3. New Safety Harbor post office will be on McMullen-Booth Road

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — Although a move-in date is months away, representatives for the U.S. Postal Service recently signed the lease for the city's new post office.

    In June of next year a new post office will open at the site of a former Fifth Third Bank branch at 1703 N  McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor.
  4. Former owner of Sirata Beach Resort purchases two Tampa Bay shopping centers

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — After selling the Sirata Beach Resort and Conference in February, Nicklaus of Florida, Inc., has purchased two Tampa Bay shopping centers to diversify the firm's portfolio in the area. Colliers International, representing the sellers, announced the transaction this week.

    Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center, one of Tampa Bay's last family-owned beach hotels, was sold to a Texas-based company, Crescent Real Estate LLC for $108.19 million. [LARA CERRI | Times]
  5. Shania Twain arena tour includes Tampa stop this time

    Blogs

    Shania Twain is coming to Tampa as part of a major U.S. tour in support of her forthcoming (and long-awaited) new album Now.

    Shania Twain will play Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2018.