Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First Request Gov DeSantis Veto TBARTA Funding

 Tampa, Fl 

From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Tampa Bay Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First sent a request to Gov DeSantis requesting the Governor veto the annual $1.5 million TBARTA funding.

Here is the request they sent Gov DeSantis:

 Tampa Bay Transportation Leaders Call for Gov DeSantis to Veto TBARTA Funding

WHEREAS, TBARTA was created in 2007 by the Legislature at the request of Special Interests seeking a Regional Rail System that was subsequently rejected by voters both in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties,

WHEREAS, TBARTA's purpose is to "Plan, develop, fund, implement, and operate a regional transit system in the Tampa Bay region" but in 14 years of existence has little to no accomplishments other than create impractical and costly Master Plans inadequate for our region,

WHEREAS, the 2021 TBARTA Appropriation Project Request is for a recurring annual subsidy of $1.5M of which 0% will be spent on passenger transit service, 85% is for staff salaries, less than 1/10th of 1% will be spent on transportation planning, and the remaining funds will be spent on Rent/Phones/Travel/Meetings/Legal/State and Federal Lobbyists, etc,

WHEREAS, the TBARTA Executive Director will earn $275,000 which is more than the Governor of Florida,

WHEREAS, TBARTA board members have failed to prioritize attendance at monthly TBARTA business meetings as evidenced by recent lack of quorum for six months in a row,

WHEREAS, TBARTA's mission is duplicative and overlaps existing planning, transit and transportation authorities including PSTA, HART, FDOT, Forward Pinellas, Hillsborough MPO, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, MPOs from surrounding counties, etc.,

WHEREAS, the only transit service operated by TBARTA is a vanpool that could easily be returned back to HART where the service was initiated or to the private sector,

WHEREAS, Transit ridership was already on a multi-year decline since 2014, and was further devastated by COVID-19 and may never return to pre-pandemic levels,

WHEREAS, costly Premium Transit projects advanced by TBARTA prioritize affluent "choice" riders at the expense of "transit dependent" riders and taxpayers who would never use it,

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has increased work-at-home and decimated prior commute patterns that funnel employees to a central business district,

WHEREAS, Technology and Innovation continues to offer private-sector alternatives to traditional Transit,

Therefore we request Governor Ron DeSantis veto the entire $1.5M TBARTA “Life Support” appropriation from the 2022 state budget.


Tampa Bay Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First

Barb Haselden, St. Petersburg, FL

Sharon Calvert, Tierre Verde, FL 

Karen Jaroch, Tampa, FL

Tom Gaitens, Apollo Beach, FL

Jim Davison, New Tampa, FL

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 7:00 AM 

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay


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