Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)

FL: HART TOD Committee Holds First Meeting

The newly created HART Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Committee met for the first time on March 22. Much of the focus of the initial meeting was on exploring ways to fully maximize the multiple benefits of the areas surrounding the new MetroRapid routes.

Launching June 10, HART MetroRapid North-South will operate North on Nebraska Avenue from downtown Tampa, then east along Fletcher Avenue to the vicinity of Telecom Park (west of I-75, at Hidden River Park-n-Ride). The MetroRapid North-South corridor is built with a planned future connection to our proposed MetroRapid East-West route at Nebraska Ave and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

• A suggestion was also made that the city of Tampa, HART, and Hillsborough County should consider the establishment of a special TOD Office
• MetroRapid is not merely a great system for transporting people, but is also a wonderfully invigorating vehicle for moving the economy of Tampa and the quality of life of its residents forward in a positive, progressive fashion
• A well-designed and managed transportation system benefits both individual home owners and the overall local economy. That's why the newly formed committee will strive to leverage public and private partnerships for the benefit of the entire community, as it looks for current areas that are growing and setting desirable trends

As Councilman Mike Suarez, who serves on the HART Board of Directors, explained, "We have created MetroRapid in order to not only get people from Hidden River Park-n-Ride to downtown. This committee is here to find every opportunity that there is to make MetroRapid a success."

A new study from the American Public Transportation Association and the National Association of Realtors reveals that residential property values near high-frequency public transportation perform more than 40 percent better, on average, compared to other areas. Proximity to public transportation is also a significant contributing factor in the creation of up to five times as many jobs per square mile.

The next HART Transit Oriented Development Committee meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 12, at the HART Ybor Office.