HART Seeks Public Input to Update Long-Range Transit Development Plan

By Tamas Mondovics

In an effort to give residents a chance to share their thoughts on the County’s current and long-range future transportation plan, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) hosted the first of 12 open-house style community meetings last month at the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, 330 Pauls Dr. in Brandon.

Fully armed with information boards and interactive maps, the informative and convenient one-stop opportunity event allowed HART staff to answer questions as well as get public input as it updates its Transit Development Plan (TDP) a 10-year business plan that serves the mobility needs of residents, employees and visitors.

SouthShore area residents will have another chance to attend one of these meetings scheduled for Thursday, August 27 from 4 -7 p.m., at the SouthShore Regional Service Center, 410 30th St. S.E. in Ruskin.

“HART is looking ahead to make sure it can provide the right mix of services and connections to get people where they need to go as our communities grow,” said HART spokesperson Sandra Morrison. “With the county’s population expected to grow to at least 1.8 million over the next 25 years, the TDP update is a critical planning effort.”

By means of the TDP update, HART is seeking public input as well as reaction on two scenarios: an Action Plan, which lists the HART projects based on status quo or current funding, and a HART component of the Go Hillsborough plan, based on an additional $30 million per year, which would come from the currently proposed half-cent, tax rate increase.

HART officials emphasized that the agency is looking ahead to make sure it can provide the right mix of services and connections to get people where they need to go as our communities grow.

“Over the next three months, we will reach out to transit riders, community leaders, and transit advocates across the county to get their input on how HART should develop the Transit Development Plan for the future,” said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. “Public feedback is critical to maintaining an efficient system and HART invites everyone to attend an upcoming open house or via social media to share their feedback.”

Residents can also submit TDP comments by email to greenk@goHART.org or by calling 563-8707.

For more information, please visit www.goHART.org.