2023 TIP ‘countywide tour’ plus new funds for bus shelters

TPO staff and Plant City staff posing in front of Plant City seal2023 TIP countywide tour, new amendment up for consideration

February 7 marked the last stop for a series of meetings embarked upon by the TPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) planning team known as the TIP countywide tour. The process this year comes as the TPO Board also considers an amendment to the plan to fund the upgrading and replacement of HART bus shelters.

Why did we go on tour?

The whole process of developing a TIP priority list begins with something the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) calls its Five-Year Work Program. Each year, after learning how much federal and state funding our area has to work with, FDOT uses this plan to assign funds to TPO priorities and other projects they see as important.

FDOT unveiled the 2022 draft Work Program in December 2022, and now the annual cycle begins again, ultimately leading to the draft Work Program which will be unveiled in late 2023. First steps included priority list planning meetings with the staff and leaders of Hillsborough County, Plant City, Tampa, Temple Terrace, and HART. Each submitted transportation projects for consideration to be added to the list.

What is a TIP amendment, and why did HART request one?

A TIP amendment is a change to the TIP that adds or deletes a project, changes project cost to reflect a significant increase, or changes a design concept or scope. The TPO Board usually receives requests to consider TIP amendments throughout the year. HART’s recently completed Bus Stop Inventory Assessment identifies needs to standardize bus stops throughout the system, address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) deficiencies at bus stops,  and replace shelters in disrepair. HART’s TIP amendment request, if approved, will add $5 million dollars for these projects.

Where do we go from here?

Now that the TIP countywide tour is complete, the TIP planning team will begin assembling the TIP Priority List from agency submissions, evaluating all submissions using specific performance criteria. The final steps involve public review and consideration of approval by the TPO Board at a public hearing. As for HART’s TIP amendment request, that will go to the TPO Board for consideration on March 8.

Let us know what you think!

There are a lot of resources to help you learn more about transportation priority projects in your area. Visit TinyURL.com/seetheTIP to view the TIP document, HART’s proposed amendment, priority lists, and a nifty mapping tool that can show you the location of each project.

When the TPO considers the HART amendment request at its March 8 board meeting at 10 am, members of the public can comment on the amendment in person or via phone. For details, visit the calendar page for the meeting at tinyurl.com/TPOMarch2023. The TPO is also accepting advance comments through March 7 via email to tpo@plancom.org; mail to Hillsborough TPO, Attn: Cheryl Wilkening, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 18th Floor, Tampa 33602; voicemail at 813-272-5940 (press 9); or social media by posting on the TPO Facebook event page.

To review the amendment, visit TinyURL.com/seetheTIP. For inquiries, contact Connor MacDonald at macdonaldc@plancom.org or 813-946-5334.

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