Goals, Purposes, & Need
The goal of the Regional Rapid Transit is to provide all-day modern mobility that is quick, safe, reliable, frequent, and regional rapid service. The study team worked with the Citizens Advisory Committee and TBARTA Board to identify the purpose and need for the project.
The following objectives were identified:
- Provide mobility for residents & visitors that reduces the need for a personal vehicle
- Use advanced vehicle and fare technologies
- Provide environmental and health benefits
- Support local transit and provides seamless transfers
- Provide context sensitive community stations and minimize adverse impacts to neighborhoods
- Ensure a premium transit experience
- Reduce congestion
- Provide lower cost commuting options
- Provide access to jobs and affordable and attainable workforce housing
- Invest in first and last mile solutions
- Encourage private sector investment and economic development
This study will take approximately 2.5 years and will be completed over 5 milestones.
Summer 2019 – Fall/Winter 2019 Design Options. Develop options to carry forward into design. Options will be identified based on stakeholder, policy leader, and public input, development of a Strategic Funding Blueprint and partnerships; and coordination with each MPO.
Fall/Winter 2019 – Spring 2020 10% Design. Identify the Recommended Alternative to be advanced to environmental analysis based on frequency of service evaluations; service route evaluations, station location identification; and schematic lane configurations.
Spring 2020 – Fall/Winter 2020 NEPA. Begin environmental review; identify the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) to be advanced to 30% design based on environmental effects evaluation, safety and security, and station designs that seamlessly connect to local transit, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other multimodal options.
Fall/Winter 2020 – Spring 2021 NEPA/30% Design. Define how the LPA interacts with other modes and complete all associated 30% design submittals. Complete environmental documentation.
Spring 2021 – Summer 2021 FTA Application. Request a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision from FTA and submit the project for FTA Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program rating.
The study area for the project extends from Downtown St. Petersburg to Wesley Chapel, along the I-275 corridor.
How Did We Get Here?
The Regional Transit Feasibility Plan (RTFP) built upon decades of planning to identify the vision for transit throughout the region and define the projects that are most competitive for federal funding. An evaluation process using clearly defined criteria was used to identify the top transit corridors in the region. From this, a “catalyst project” was chosen. Development of Regional Rapid Transit can lead to future regional transit projects.
The purpose of the plan was to identify:
- Projects that have the greatest potential to be funded (compete for state and federal grants) and implemented
- Projects that are the most forward thinking and make the best use of today’s technology
- Projects that best serve our region today while supporting tomorrow’s growth
- A catalyst project that has public support and can be implemented
- Projects that can be implemented after the catalyst project
Materials from RTFP Final Report: