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  1. Transportation

Hillsborough transit authority hopes to expand bus service, hours in 2016 budget

TAMPA — Hillsborough's transit authority expects to add services for the third consecutive year by expanding routes, night and weekend hours and adding a taxi-voucher system.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority presented its 2016 budget in the first of two public hearings Monday night. The tentative fiscal year 2016 budget of $84,659,815 is a 0.7 percent increase over this year's budget.

The public hearing also addressed the millage rate of 0.5000 for an ad valorem property tax. The tax, expected to bring in about $35 million, is the largest single source of HART's operative revenue. No public comments were made. The HART board voted for both the budget and the millage rate. A second, final public hearing on both is set for Sept. 28.

The HART board also reviewed its long-range transportation development plan during the board meeting that followed.

The plan is being developed in tandem with the Go Hillsborough initiative, allowing HART to evaluate what it would do with additional revenue if voters approve a new transportation sales tax in 2016. Plans include additional bus service, a ferry serving south county and MacDill Air Force Base and a flexible van service.