Log in Subscribe

Local Government TBARTA Seeks Funds From Member Counties


BRADENTON -- Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority has asked for contributions from all of its member counties. With cuts in state funding, TBARTA is reaching out for help. All local governments are crying broke and although the amounts are small in comparison, it still takes from Peter to give to Paul.

The Florida Legislature created TBARTA in 2007 to coordinate transportation plans among a seven-county area to address expectations that traffic would double over the next couple of decades.

MPO Executive Director Michael Howe, reviewed Tampa Bay Area Transportation Authority's (TBARTA) request for additional funding from the MPO. He said both the MPO and TBARTA have been working good together and suggested to the members that if they wanted to participate, by contributing the requested $30,000 from the MPO (Manatee and Sarasota's amount in the almost $160,000 requested from the seven TBARTA counties), that they not become a permanent source of funding for TBARTA.


First, MPO members saw the TBARTA as being an imminent part of the long-term plan and accepted some responsibility. MPO chair, City of Palmetto Mayor, Shirley Grover Bryant, asked Howe, "Are the dollars available?" and Howe answered, saying, "they would have to come from somewhere." Then, Commissioner Joe McClash said, " The CCC (West Central MPO - Chairs Coordinating Committee) doesn't  understand the body that set the original plan (Legislature). We don't need TBARTA to go for a roadway." McClash added, "We need to get a bang for our buck."

Sarasota County Commissioner, Nora Patterson agreed, saying, "I go to meetings connected to TBARTA three times a month, and when I was Chair of the MPO, I dealt with the CCC. I would be hard put to tell you what the CCC has brought to the commission that contributed much." Patterson said, "If TBARTA disappeared, would that be a disaster, I would say no, not at all."

City of Venice Councilman, Jim Bennett, had a different take. As an analogy, he said that the future plans that the U.S. had for Indonesia had a 20-year payback, and that they did it in just three years. He added, "This is a bad year for transportation. This is designed to show support, and Tampa Bay is part of our interest."

City of Bradenton Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey, suggested tabling it until the next meeting. Motion to table until next meeting, June 25, which was approved unanimously. 


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.