Courtney Campbell Multiuse Trail Bridge connecting Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties

July 17, 2023

Elizabeth Watkins, AICP | [email protected] | 813-582-7382

Last updated
July 20, 2023

We want to hear from you! The Hillsborough TPO, Forward Pinellas, and Pasco MPO are considering the costs and benefits of merging into a regional Tampa Bay Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Public input is an important factor in the decision to merge the MPOs. The three MPOs have launched a short survey for you to weigh in on what is important to your local community, your county, and the entire Tampa Bay region. The survey is open through Sunday, August 20, 2023. Please take and share this important survey at: 

For about 30 years, there have been discussions about forming a multi-county MPO to serve the Tampa-St. Petersburg urbanized area that spans Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties. Advocates say a single regional transportation planning body will be better able to harness the collective strength of the region’s leaders to garner more federal and state funding and advance significant transportation projects. Critics point to diverse local communities with very different character of transportation needs. Concerned citizens across our region’s urban, suburban, and rural communities may have less of a voice and funding priorities may favor major highways over local needs.   

This past spring, the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring the three MPOs to submit a study by December 31, 2023, on the benefits, costs, and process of merging. This study is a find-the-way to fulfill the requirements set by the Legislature. Concurrently, the three MPOs are considering signing a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets forth a framework and necessary steps for completing a merger by July 2027.  The Hillsborough TPO, Forward Pinellas, and Pasco MPO will each individually consider executing the MOU that lays out the framework to balance leveraging regional power while still serving the best interests and vision for local communities. Your voice matters in this process, so please take and share the regional Tampa Bay MPO survey today! 

Additional information about the proposed merger is on the Sun Coast Transportation Planning Alliance website.   

For more information, contact Beth Alden, AICP, Hillsborough TPO Executive Director ([email protected]), Carl Mikyska, Pasco MPO Executive Director ([email protected]), or Whit Blanton, FAICP, Forward Pinellas Executive Director ([email protected]).