TBARTA Survey Finds Telework Here to Stay In Tampa Bay
Director of Communications
Phone: (813) 639-7743
TAMPA, Fla. (April 22, 2021) – Findings from TBARTA’s Transit & Telework Survey conclude both employers and employees found telework more productive than expected during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many business leaders indicate they will change their policies to accommodate more telework after the health crisis is over.
Both employers and employees were asked to describe their telework experience over the past year. 53% of business leaders said the experience was positive, with employees more productive than expected, as opposed to 6% who said employees were less productive. Employees expressed similar sentiment, with 58% positive and 5% negative.
As a result, many Tampa Bay employers say they expect to have more liberal telework policies after the pandemic is over. 60% say they will offer more telework than they did pre-pandemic, with 7% offering less. 11% say they will revert to their same telework policy as before the health crisis, with 21% saying their future telework plans are unclear.
“The COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered our work routines and transportation habits, and we’re just beginning to understand how that will impact the years ahead,” said David Green, TBARTA’s Executive Director. “The Transit & Telework Survey was undertaken as a first-step to measure potential changes to the way Tampa Bay moves and works, as well as the role TBARTA can play in developing regional transit to better connect people and places.”
The 35-question survey was distributed across TBARTA’s five-county region during the first three months of the year, with 549 responses. Most of the respondents, 58%, live in Hillsborough County, with 22% in Pinellas, 9% in Pasco, 4% in Manatee and 2% in Hernando. Complete survey results are posted on TBARTA’s website, at www.TBARTA.com/survey.
The survey also asked questions on how commuters will use mass transit and alternative transportation, such as vanpools, biking, and walking, after the pandemic. Results on both of those items were mixed. 60% say they plan to use mass transit just as before, with 29% unsure. The responses were similar on the future use of alternative transportation, with 60% saying they will use it just the same, and 27% not yet determined.
Responses were more decisive when respondents were asked about the need for more regional transit and the role TBARTA should play in that development. When asked if the Tampa Bay region would benefit from increased regional transit, regardless of the mode of transportation, 82% agreed or agreed strongly. By comparison, only 8% disagreed or disagreed strongly. These results are not surprising, as 65% rated Tampa Bay’s public transit systems as below or well below average.
Support for TBARTA was also favorable. When asked “How important is it for Florida to provide dedicated budget support to TBARTA in its work to expand regional transit across Tampa Bay?”, 74% said funding of TBARTA was either extremely important or very important.
“TBARTA does not operate independently, we are a partner to county and city governments, metropolitan planning organizations, transit agencies and FDOT,” Green said. “Our mission is to help local leaders address their needs and develop new regional transit solutions to help solve local problems. Regional transit plays a key role in economic prosperity across the country, and there is a great opportunity for the same in Tampa Bay.”
For more information on the TBARTA Transit & Telework Survey, contact Chris Jadick, TBARTA Communications Director, at 813-639-7743, or Chris.Jadick@tbarta.com
The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) works to advance regional transportation needs in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Our purpose is to plan, develop, fund, implement, and operate a world-class regional transit system in Tampa Bay. For more information, visit www.TBARTA.com.