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Regional Tampa Bay Transportation Board Composition Consensus Achieved



Regional Tampa Bay Transportation

Pinellas and Pasco county leaders aligned with Hillsborough County regarding the formation of a new regional transportation planning board.

Hillsborough County’s proposal in April suggested the metropolitan planning organization include transit agencies as non-voting technical advisers. This would allow them to provide input without a vote, similar to the current role of Florida Department of Transportation District 7 Secretary David Gwynn.

During the May meeting, the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership Group reached a consensus on the structure of the new entity, aimed at expediting decisions on transportation projects across the region. The proposed outline includes:

  • One seat for Port Tampa Bay (staff person)
  • One for Tampa International Airport (staff person)
  • 23 remaining voting seats proportionally divided among the counties
  • Four non-voting technical advisers, including the three transit agencies and FDOT Should transit agency board members join the regional MPO, it would be incidental, not due to appointment by specific transit authorities.

A final plan for the regional MPO’s composition requires future approval.

While the business community emphasizes its importance, a regional MPO alone won’t resolve Tampa Bay’s challenge of securing local tax dollars for improved transit operations.

However, regional planning remains a crucial step forward. Progress is evident as the three counties collaborate on initiatives like applying for the Project Prioritization Pilot Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The dollars would help develop “a consistent and transparent data-driven process across the three counties to prioritize projects.”

Gwynn requested a follow-up to discuss the terms of the grant to ensure that its requirements wouldn’t conflict with state law.
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