On Thursday, March 12th, the Chamber’s Transportation Committee received an update from TBARTA’s new Executive Director, David Green. Only on the job since the 4th quarter of 2018, Green has focused his first few months on projects, staffing, and funding.
TBARTA is working to craft a Regional Transit Development Plan (RTDP) to inform the region’s transit future. The plan will take up to 2 years to develop and include extensive public involvement, which will begin in April.
In addition to the RTDP, TBARTA is spearheading the 41-mile Regional BRT project from Wesley Chapel to Downtown St. Pete. This project is on the fast track and should be completed by 2022.
TBARTA is also working with large employers to promote the use of van pools, car pools, telework, and staggered work schedules to decrease the number of cars on our roads during rush hour.
Lastly, Green spoke about the funding needs for TBARTA’s operations. While the organization receives funds from the participating counties, the majority of their funding must come from the state. This year’s budget request is for $1.5 million in recurring funds.
The Chamber fully supports TBARTA’s funding request and looks forward to advocating in favor of HB 2211, sponsored by Representative Jackie Toledo, during St. Pete Day in Tallahassee on March 20th.