Last June 27 HART was up to speak to the TBARTA board in order to outline its plans and role in developing Hillsborough County transit. Presumably all TBARTA counties have or are going to have the opportunity to make similar presentations about their existing intent on transit development. For now, HART's has been posted online for review at the TBARTA site. You can view it at their past meetings page or simply download the PDF here and now.
HART's position is that BRT is a natural step in a series of steps graduating to LRT.
HART does have a path which it insists leads to light rail. Its framework approach is outlined in three major areas. These are, providing premium service on key travel corriders, serving densley populated areas, and connecting major activity centers. Not too surprisingly, a major component of element number one, providing premium service on key travel corriders, is a not so subtle reference to the upcoming BRT implementations which will begin first as a North/South route along Nebraska Avenue.
Getting to the Good Stuff
After posturing BRT as a platform for later rail development (and it's important to point out that I for one don't disagree with the strategy), it then gets to the good stuff and shows off Hillsborough County's standing light rail plan, the Tampa Rail Project. This is the plan approved by HART October 29, 2001, and was later dormantized by HART when it didn't fund to keep the plan viable for federal funding considerations in 2003. It's effectively a starter line that connects the USF area (well, let's just say it, USF itself) to Tampa's Westshore District, with stops in between, including in Ybor City.
Remember this? HART hasn't forgotten.
Slides 16 through 20 detail the plan, and, present a strategy for re-igniting it. It boils down to assessing just how much it will cost to re-engage the federal process, and, updating all of the previous work. Nothing too deep while HART focuses on BRT for awhile, but very important.
Flugtag on the Teco Line
There's a strange event called Flugtag being held at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday. You can read the Tampa Tribune's Tampa Prepares for Flugtag for more details, but the gist as far as I'm concerned is that you can use the Teco Line Streetcar to park in far less congested Ybor, then chug on into Greco Plaza on the Teco Line. Fun and far less stressful, trust me!