Monday, August 16, 2010

A Tale of Two (Rail) Cities

Tampa and Orlando Get Ready for Rail
Last year, the federal government had a decision to make: which regions of the country would share in the $8 billion it had decided to put toward high-speed rail?

High-speed rail is coming to Florida, and local agencies
are making plans for it.
After reviewing plans and hearing arguments, a proposed line linking Tampa and Orlando was one of the final choices. Today, we here in Tampa Bay and our friends in Central Florida are working with the state agency developing the HSR system. And things are really moving along.

An article on the Huffington Post website (thanks to the Tampa Downtown Partnership for pointing us toward this piece) sketches the efforts of the two communities to integrate the high-speed system into local projects, and the different approaches they're taking.

How important is coordination with the high-speed line? For HART, it's very important.

As the author notes, Tampa and Hillsborough County have been keeping a close eye on the state's plans. The location of the new HSR station will be a stone's throw from HART's Marion Transit Center, a major transit hub that also figures prominently into the light rail line proposed as part of the agency's Rapid Transit Investment Plan. Ideally, passengers would be able to hop off the HSR line after the speedy and relaxing trip from Orlando and hop aboard a bus or train to hit a local destination. The transition should be convenient and as nearly seamless as possible. Much coordination still needs to be done, but rest assured the HSR project is certainly factoring into HART's plans for the future.

AA Study Findings Released at Board Meeting
HART's Board of Directors met this morning to get a first look at some of the findings from the Alternatives Analysis. For complete coverage of the results, check out these reports in the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times.

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