Tampa Rides Funding Rails Toward Transit Goals

Tampa got some major financial infusions recently to fund transit projects for both infrastructure and high-speed rail.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation granted the city of Tampa $1.2 million for transit improvements. A total of $640,000 will go toward designing the rail station in downtown Tampa, which will serve as the western terminus of the high-speed rail route. More than $563,000 will go toward improving the Nebraska transit corridor and promoting economic opportunities for mixed-income neighborhoods and sustainable construction for new building projects in that area.

In addition, the federal government awarded Tampa with an additional $800 million to augment the $1.2 million it received in January. The additional monies will go directly toward construction of the high-speed rail route along the I-4 corridor connecting Tampa and Orlando.

"This will connect all of us," says David Singer, campaign manager for Moving Hillsborough Forward (MHF), a coalition of residents, business owners and community leaders who stand behind improving transit throughout Hillsborough County. "Being connected means we are in a position to create tens of thousands of jobs, attract billions in private investment, and create an economic regional powerhouse to ensure economic prosperity for generations to come."

Singer has been working with MHF to improve countrywide transportation through a one-cent tax referendum, which goes to a vote on Nov. 2, 2010.

"Now, more than ever, the announcement regarding high-speed rail gives local voters even more of an incentive to approve the countywide transportation system," says Singer. "People are ready to get back to work, and those prospects are now brighter than ever. By voting for countywide transportation, we can ensure that we have local transportation options here in Hillsborough County that will connect our community and our region.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: David Singer, Moving Hillsborough Forward
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