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.
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.
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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