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Light rail in Tampa

This could have been Tampa. For much of the 1990s, political leaders in Hillsborough County flirted with the idea of building a local rail system. But while shifting political winds left those plans fallow, Charlotte pushed ahead. Today, the Queen City has a thriving transit system anchored by a busy light rail line and frequent bus service -- one that Tampa-area leaders often cite as a successful endeavor.

Next month, voters will finally decide the fate of mass transit in Hillsborough County. At stake is a 1-cent sales tax increase that would pay for rail, road work and expanded bus service.

[Maurice Rivenbark | Times]
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High speed rail
President Barack Obama speaks to the crowd at the Bob Martinez Sports Center at University of Tampa, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. The President also announced funding for a high-speed train between Tampa and Orlando.

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  • For decades, political and business leaders have flirted with the idea of bringing light rail to Hillsborough County. Now, voters will decide next month whether to embrace that idea with a sales tax increase. If approved, light rail stations would spring up first along one of two proposed initial routes, bringing a commuter rail option for workers in the Tampa area as well as other transit upgrades throughout the county.
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