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The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, or TBARTA, is a regional transportation agency of the U.S. state of Florida which was created on July 1, 2007. The purpose of the agency is "to plan, develop, finance, construct, own, purchase, operate, maintain, relocate, equip, repair, and manage multimodal systems in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties."[1] The agency coordinates its efforts with the Florida Department of Transportation to improve transportation in the Tampa Bay Area.

Regional Transportation Master Plan

TBARTA adopted its first Regional Transportation Master Plan in 2009. The inaugural master plan identified the vision for the regional transit network. An update was completed in 2011 that introduced a regional freight and a regional roadway network to the plan.

The 2013 Master Plan Update was a minor update to refine all three networks, and incorporate the progress made locally and regionally towards implementing the regional vision.

The 2015 Master Plan Update was developed by TBARTA’s Board and Committees in collaboration with the West Central Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Chairs Coordinating Committee (CCC) — representing each of the region’s MPOs and TPO. The 2015 Update ensures consistency with the MPOs’ Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) and updates the CCC’s Regional LRTP.

For 2015, TBARTA and the CCC eliminated duplication of efforts for the Master Plan and Regional LRTP Updates by making them one and the same.

During its 2017 legislative session, the Florida Legislature installed TBARTA as Tampa Bay’s regional transit facilitating arm. In March, 2018, Gov. Rick Scott authorized $1 million allowing the authority to develop a business strategy to implement regional transit.[2]

On June 22, 2018, Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte announced his plans to resign, due to his decision to run for Hillsborough County Commissioner.[3]

In September 2018, David Green, former CEO of the Greater Richmond Transit Company, was named as the new executive director, replacing Ray Chairmonte.[4]

Transit

As of 2007, TBARTA does not operate any transit system, but the agency is discussing developing various modes of premium transit service, including express bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, and commuter rail.[5][6]

In 2017, The Florida Legislature renamed the organization to The Tampa Bay Area Regional TRANSIT Authority.

In November 2018, TBARTA's board approved the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan, with a focus on establishing a 41-mile, bus-rapid transit option connecting Wesley Chapel to St. Petersburg via Interstate 275. The project is designed to serve as a catalyst for other transit options designed to reduce congestion on roads.[7]

As of 2019, TBARTA managed a range of commuter services in the Tampa Bay region, designed to help commuters save money, reduce traffic congestion, and help the environment, These services include Vanpool, Carpool, BikeBuddy, a regional school commuter program, and an emergency ride home program.

Corridor studies

After the Regional Transportation Master Plan was adopted in 2009, several high-priority corridor studies were initiated by TBARTA, including:[8]

  • St. Petersburg to Clearwater through Greater Gateway Area (Pinellas Alternatives Analysis)
  • Howard Frankland Bridge PD&E Study and Regional Transit Corridor Evaluation
  • SR 54/SR 56 Express Bus/Managed Lanes Project Concept Development Study
  • USF to Wesley Chapel Transit Corridor Evaluation
  • I-75 Regional Bus Sarasota/Bradenton to Downtown Tampa Conceptual Analysis Study
  • Westshore Area to Crystal River/Inverness Transit Corridor Evaluation
  • I-75 Regional Bus Wesley Chapel to Downtown Tampa Conceptual Analysis Study
  • Short-Term Regional Premium Transportation Enhancements Study
  • Extension of Premium Services from Sarasota to Bradenton and North Port Regional Transit Corridor Evaluation

Priority projects

In cooperation with its regional partners, TBARTA identified eight Regional Priority Projects for 2015, based on factors such as connectivity, regionalism, ability to implement, mobility, and support, among others. These projects are:[9]<

TBARTA adopted its first Regional Transportation Master Plan in 2009. The inaugural master plan identified the vision for the regional transit network. An update was completed in 2011 that introduced a regional freight and a regional roadway network to the plan.

The 2013 Master Plan Update was a minor update to refine all three networks, and incorporate the progress made locally and regionally towards implementing the regional vision.

The 2015 Master Plan Update was developed by TBARTA’s Board and Committees in collaboration with the West Central Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Chairs Coordinating Committee (CCC) — representing each of the region’s MPOs and TPO. The 2015 Update ensures consistency with the MPOs’ Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) and updates the CCC’s Regional LRTP.

For 2015, TBARTA and the CCC eliminated duplication of efforts for the Master Plan and Regional LRTP Updates by making them one and the same.

During its 2017 legislative session, the Florida Legislature installed TBARTA as Tampa Bay’s regional transit facilitating arm. In March, 2018, Gov. Rick Scott authorized $1 million allowing the authority to develop a business strategy to implement regional transit.[2]

On June 22, 2018, Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte announced his plans to resign, due to his decision to run for Hillsborough County Commissioner.[3]

In September 2018, David Green, former CEO of the Greater Richmond Transit Company, was named as the new executive director, replacing Ray Chairmonte.[4]

Transit