TAMPA, Fla. -- Helping move Tampa Bay down the road is the role of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. 

  • Transit planners looking at BRT to help regional gridlock
  • Bus Rapid Transit to connect cities along I-275
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Interim Executive Director, Michael Case, recently hosted a transportation summit in Tampa to share a vision of what regional transit could look like in Tampa Bay. 

"Starting with the forty-one mile, dedicated lane, Bus Rapid Transit project starting in St. Petersburg, traveling up the I-275 corridor with stops in downtown Tampa, the Westshore District, USF, and Wesley Chapel," Case said. 

Right now in Tampa Bay, about 20 percent of our population commutes to a county outside of the one they live in, in order to get to work, Case said. Over the course of the next 20 years, the number will go up by a million people. 

Since adding lanes won't help, Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, has support with area decision-makers. 

"The legwork that's happened over the past four months has brought us much closer to actually having a project that we can move forward with," Case said. 

And even though it's called Bus Rapid Transit, Case said it's not a bus, but more like a train-styled people mover with about 3-4 cars operation in a lane of its own with dedicated stations. Those stations would connect to local transit services, like PSTA, Hart, or Rideshare. 

If all goes as planned, commuting on the BRT may be a part of your daily routine in three to five years.