With three different public transit funding plans up for consideration, officials in Tampa, Florida, are trying to decide which is the best and when is the best time to start the work on the city's long-sought transit system.
"The county's transportation task force will issue a major report on mass transit early next year, including funding strategies. After that, it will come down to working out the plan's details and launching an education campaign."
"Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio wants to wait until the regional authority, backed by the state Department of Transportation, can develop a master transportation plan by July 2009."
"After that, it will take a year to educate the public. She wants to model the effort after successful referendums in Dallas, Denver and Charlotte, N.C."
"'The advantage of being the last major metropolitan area without a transit system is that we can look around and learn from others,' she said. 'In every referendum that succeeded, there was a thorough, detailed plan. In every jurisdiction where it failed, there wasn't a detailed plan. Voters aren't stupid. They want answers to specific questions.'"