New cross-county transit options could be on the horizon for the Tampa Bay area

Image 1 of 5

As the Tampa Bay area continues to grow, the traffic only seems to get worse. And with limited cross-county transit options, many travelers find themselves spending much of their time stuck behind the wheel. 

"The toll way is pretty rough, there's always traffic. It would be really fantastic if there were something other than a car to get somewhere," said Joe Clatch, a New Port Richey resident. 

But with the Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority, or TBARTA for short, embarking on a new plan to ease travel woes, new transit options could be on the horizon. 

"TBARTA has been given a mission by the state to develop region-wide transit that connects our five county area. Those five counties are Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Manatee," said Chris Jadick, the Director of Communications with the Tampa Bay Regional Transit Authority. 

TBARTA is calling their new plan Envision 2030. They hope their vision will map out the future of cross-county travel for the Bay Area.

"We are looking out to what transit do we need for the next ten years, starting in the next decade that would start roughly a year and a half from now," said Jadick. "How does regional transit best serve our needs in the coming years up to 2030."

TBARTA spent the day at Tampa's Train Day, surveying the public on what they would hope to see in new transit options. They hope to focus their new plan on what the public has to say. 

"We want to know how they use transit, what they want in transit, what they want this region wide transit to be," stated Jadick. 

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor made the transportation crisis a focus during her campaign, and as the newest addition to the TBARTA board, the future of the new plan seems promising. 

"It's critical to have the leadership of our entire five county area involved and engaged," said Jadick. "The good news is, they are."

It's a vision that many Bay Area residents are excited to get behind.

"It would be huge. When I lived in Chicago, we had the Metra, and you could go from an hour northwest all the way down to the city or to the airport," said Clatch. "It would be amazing if you could do that here."

To find out more about TBARTA's plans and to let them know your hopes for regional transit, click here.