How Do Other Areas Address

Regional Transportation?

time lapse nightime picture of traffic in Atlanta

To better understand how similar regions have addressed their transit needs, TBARTA commissioned an analysis of peer regional transit agencies. This analysis provides insights on how these peer regions have successfully defined and structured agency roles in transit policy development, planning, operations, and funding, as well as collaborate with local transit providers. These findings are being used to formulate organizational, policy, and operational recommendations for TBARTA as part of Envision 2030.

Approximately 20 peer regional transportation organizations were identified across the U.S. based on six factors:

  • Regional Coordination: Exemplified by integrated planning, common technology, and unified branding
  • Policy and Governance: Including clear responsibilities and impartial processes
  • Funding: Sustainable, diverse, and potentially independent sources of revenue
  • System Planning: Including regional standards, service equity and public engagement
  • Operations: Integrated systems and customer perception of a seamless transit experience
  • Florida Context:  At least one peer agency was selected from Florida to gauge success with state rules and regulations

Click Here for the Complete Envision 2030 Peer Analysis

The Envision 2030 Peer Analysis contains much information on how metropolitan areas similar to Tampa Bay have developed regional transit. Areas studied are Atlanta, St. Paul/Minneapolis, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, and South Florida.

Based on a qualitative process and review of TBARTA's 2018-19 Agency Action Plan, the initial list of 20 was narrowed to six entities that best matched the needs of the Tampa Bay region:

Atlanta (ATL):  The ATL was created by State legislation in 2018 in response to a desire to plan more effectively for the region’s future transportation needs. Like the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), the ATL covers a 13‐county area in the Atlanta region and comprises a 16‐member board of metro Atlanta elected and appointed officials

St. Paul and Minneapolis (Metropolitan Council):  Established 50 years ago, the Metropolitan Council is the Minneapolis–St. Paul region’s federally designated MPO and primary transit operator (via Metro Transit). Its service area includes 7 counties and 90 cities and covers more than 900 square miles.

Seattle (Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority):  Sound Transit serves King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, generally covering the greater metropolitan region of Seattle, Washington. It is independent of other local transit agencies operating in the three counties and focuses on regional commuter rail, light rail, and express bus connections as well as regional branding and fare collection.

San Diego (SANDAG):  The federally‐designated MPO for the region. It does not provide transit service, but serves as the forum for regional decision‐making and provides funding administration and planning for public transit in the San Diego region. Its TransNet program oversees the use of sales tax dollars dedicated to transit.

Phoenix (RPTA):  Since 1993, Valley Metro has been the identity of the regional transit system in Phoenix and Maricopa County, Arizona. In addition to bus and rail operations, it is responsible for transit system planning, transit planning studies, service planning, fleet planning, grant applications, GIS administration, and more. regional commuter rail, light rail, and express bus connections as well as regional branding and fare collection.

South Florida (SFRTA): Operates Tri‐Rail commuter rail service in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami‐Dade counties and contracts with a private operator to provide shuttle services to certain Tri‐Rail stations. Palm Tran, Broward County Transit, and Miami‐Dade Transit all connect with Tri‐Rail at rail stations within their service areas. SFRTA prepares a 10‐year Transit Development Plan and coordinates with the Palm Tran, Broward County Transit, and Miami‐Dade Transit and the Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami‐Dade MPOs.