Two years after Hillsborough County voters rejected a 1-cent sales tax proposal on light rail, there appears to be new energy emerging in favor of expansion of transit options in the Tampa Bay area, including light rail.
Members of a new group called Connect Tampa Bay say their goal is to advocate for transportation options in both Pinellas and Hillsborough County, and not just settle for the status quo.
Last week Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said that if light rail is going to come back on the ballot in Hillsborough County anytime soon, it has to be driven by the grass roots. And that's where Connect Tampa Bay steps in.
"We're solution-agnostic," says Tampa political consultant Kevin Thurman, one of the founding board members of the group, emphasizing that they're not pushing any one particular form of transporation. "However, we can get to the point where we can have more options for people in Tampa Bay," he says, adding that those options include bus, trains, bicycling, and potentially even water taxis.