Did you know that, today, about 88,000 people in Hillsborough County cannot drive because of age, disability, or because they can’t afford to? That’s about four times the population of the City of Temple Terrace.
The MPO is committed to a multi-modal system, with transportation solutions for everyone. To be effective and affordable, the transportation system must contain a balance of roads, public transit, and other solutions. No single piece will solve the entire puzzle.
Neighborhoods and businesses continue to grow around major roads and highways. So widening these major roads has impact, and is becoming more expensive, as rising property values drive up the cost of the land. This is particularly true in central areas, where dense development makes public transit a reasonable choice. The cost of adding lanes for a few more cars on a highway at rush hour may be much higher than the cost of adding a bus that carries as many people, or (in the future) adding another railcar to a light rail track.
A critical question for our future is whether the bus network and possible future fixed-guideway rapid-transit systems will meet the needs of our growing population, and go when and where people want to go. The MPO works closely with HART and local governments’ comprehensive plans to study long-term needs for public transit services. Future growth areas and needs for public transit routes are shown in the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
Shifting even a small percent of rush hour trips to transit, carpool or vanpool could make a big difference. Why? When a freeway is 90% full, it can still operate — it’s the last few percent that cause gridlock. Telecommuting and flexible work-hour programs can also help reduce rush hour trips. For more information on commute options for you or your business, please contact TBARTA at 800/998-RIDE (7433).
When Basic Transportation is Not Basic Anymore
Established by the MPO in 1990, the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board (TDCB) guides and coordinates local transportation services with the goal of improving quality of life for the elderly, those who have physical or mental disabilities, children at risk, and the economically disadvantaged. The Ride Guide: Your Guide to Getting a Ride in Hillsborough County contains information about available services. Alternative formats or hard copies of the Ride Guide are available upon request by contacting Joshua Barber at 813/273-3774 x313 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are the Transportation Disadvantaged (TD)?
Those persons who are unable to transport themselves or are unable to purchase transportation due to physical or mental disability, income, status, age, or who are children at risk. Therefore, the transportation disadvantaged are dependent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, education, shopping, and other life sustaining activities.
What is the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC)?
The Community Transportation Coordinator is the entity that ensures that transportation services funded through federal, state and local sources are coordinated with each other in Hillsborough County. Since 1990, the Board of County Commissioners has been designated as the CTC, operating the Sunshine Line and a partially brokered system utilizing a combination of service providers.
How do I get a ride on the Sunshine Line?
To qualify for services or for more information, the Sunshine Line can be contacted directly at 813/272-7272.