Peter M. Rogoff has served as Federal Transit Administrator since May of 2009. Previously, he served for 22 years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, including 14 years as the Democratic Staff Director of its Transportation Subcommittee. Rogoff was in Tampa this past Monday, where he gave the keynote address at the official groundbreaking event for the newest extension of the Trolley Rail car in downtown Tampa.
Before the festivities began, CL spoke with Rogoff for a few moments. Here is our question and answer exchange:
CL: We saw some comments you made last year regarding BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) service, and how you believe in some cases it can be superior for a local region as compared to a light rail system. There's been a ot more talk about BRT since the transit tax in Hillsborough County that would have funded the beginning of a light rail system lost last November. Your thoughts?
PR: Each community needs to decide what's the right mix for their unique circumstances, what their transportation needs are, and what their budget will allow. What I said in that speech is that more communities sometimes want to launch a rail service, but may not have the money necessarily to invest in it, and adequately maintain it. Bus rapid transit is a very capable and affordable option. Really, communities need to define their needs and choose their own mix, and the Obama administration is willing to partner with them when they come forward and decide what mix works for them.
CL: They're actually was a question of BRT and light rail here with our transit agency, HART, right up until the measure went on the ballot last fall. One reason that rail was favored was because it presented more Transit Oriented Development (TOD) potential. You can't really get that with BRT as you can with rail, right?