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Tampa Bus Project In Jeopardy, Waiting for Funds From Trump’s Federal Transit Administration

The St. Petersburg Bus Rapid Transit is waiting for funding promised by Congress but yet to be paid out by the Federal Transit Administration.
October 2, 2018, 2pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority
Federal funds for a BRT project in St. Petersburg, Florida are stuck in Washington, D.C.
Ben Ostrowsky

A downtown St. Petersburg Bus Rapid Transit project may be in trouble if it doesn't get the money the federal government promised it soon. The plan was praised for being practical and cost effective, part of why it succeeded where other projects in the area failed. "The project aimed at connecting downtown to the beaches has avoided anti-transit sentiment while securing money and support from local and state sources," Caitlin Johnston reports for Tampa Bay Times. Now, because the Trump administration has been slow to distribute the money Congress appropriated, the project is on less sure footing.

Even with local and state funds, the service will not be able to begin operation without federal dollars.

Despite earning a medium-high grade from the Federal Transit Authority (a mark well above the scores of past Tampa transit projects), the work remains unfunded. "That concerns supporters of the Central Avenue bus project, which would add dedicated lanes for buses to about seven miles of First Avenue N and S to link the Pinellas beaches to downtown St. Petersburg," writes Johnston.

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Published on Friday, September 21, 2018 in Tampa Bay Times
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