Common Terms


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How is this plan different from all the ones that have come before it?

This plan is not starting from scratch. We are using the plans and study efforts that have come before, refreshing the data, and defining how to implement the best, most feasible options for transit in the Tampa Bay area. This Plan will also look at a host of new technologies not previously available, such as automated vehicles. It will leverage new federal policies and tools to select the most competitive projects. And it will result in an Implementation Plan that includes a schedule for moving forward with the most competitive projects.

What should we expect from this plan?

The team developing the plan will identify the three most competitive projects after a year of technical analysis and then will spend a year vetting those projects with the community.

What does “feasibility” mean as it relates to this plan?

In this project, feasibility relates to which transit corridors are most competitive for FTA funding and can be implemented by avoiding significant engineering hurdles.

What major decisions will be made? (What are the major milestones?)

There are two phases to the project. The first is a year of technical analysis to identify the most competitive projects. During the first year, the milestones will include identifying the most promising corridors for transit, then identifying what type of transit mode can best serve those corridors, and finally which projects to potentially implement first. The second year will involve vetting and refining plans for those projects to make sure the catalyst project selected is the best project for the region and supported by the community.

What is a “catalyst project”?

The Implementation Plan will include a package of projects that could make up key parts of the future transit network for our region. The catalyst project will be the first project that could be built and would be expected to stimulate future projects. This catalyst project may not serve all of the key areas of the region at first, but would be a project that can be built and would demonstrate the benefits of regional transit to the community so that future projects can be built.

How would this “catalyst project” be paid for?

The catalyst project will be the one that best meets Federal Transit Administration (FTA) criteria for possible federal funding. If successful, federal funds would be combined with state and local dollars to build the project. The Plan will identify project costs that may be shouldered by the state and local communities.

Who came up with the idea for the plan? How much does the plan cost to complete, and who is paying for it?

Several agencies and entities have realized the need for regional transit. After listening to input from the community related to the Tampa Bay Express Lanes project, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) continues to place a high priority on a truly multimodal transportation system in Tampa Bay. Therefore, the plan will cost $1.5 million, paid for by the FDOT and administered by HART. In addition, the Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area (TMA) Leadership Group, which consists of representatives from the Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties’ Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), has identified and discussed the need for regional transit for many years, listing it as one of their top priorities. A consortium of regional business leaders and members of the Tampa Bay Partnership have also recognized the importance of regional transit and transportation, also listing it as their top priority.

How is HART involved?

FDOT chose the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) to administer the plan. This means HART is managing the study and FDOT is providing regular oversight. Because this is a regional effort, the Pasco and Pinellas County transit agencies are also closely involved.

With HART acting as administrator, how are you ensuring that the work won’t be Tampa-centric, or bus-centric?

While HART is the administrator of this project, the transit agencies from both Pasco and Pinellas counties will be involved in providing direction at each step of the process. In fact, each of the three county transit agencies is equally represented on an advisory group for this project, known as the Transit Coalition. In addition, each of the three county Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) is also represented by its involvement in the TMA Leadership Group. The Plan will also seek input from regional business leaders as well as the public.

Who is running the research behind the plan?

The consultant team selected for this project is led by Jacobs Engineering Group. The team includes several firms that have a local presence and an in-depth knowledge of the region and the stakeholders involved.

Why is the study taking so long to complete?

Doing a thorough job and sorting through many options takes time. The first phase will take one year and will conclude once the technical analysis to determine the top-performing projects is complete. It is imperative that any publicly funded regional transit plan obtains public input at every step of this process in order to be successful. Therefore, the second year will be dedicated to vetting and building consensus around the plan.

Do you think the study will talk much about rail? What types of options will be considered?

All modes of transportation are being considered, including rail.

How do you define success for this initiative?

A successful plan will: 1) Result in a catalyst project that has public support and can be implemented. 2) Outline projects that can be implemented after the catalyst project. 3) Allow the region to effectively tackle the questions of who owns the project and how it is paid for.

How does this project relate to TBX or the streetcar project?

TBX and the Invision: Tampa Streetcar project are two separate projects that are taking place concurrently to this project. They are not a part of the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan. The teams responsible for each of the three projects are committed to regular coordination to ensure the projects complement one another and together form a comprehensive transportation solution for the region.


Click an Acronym Category


RAC: Regional Activity Center

ROI: Return on Investment

TOD: Transit Oriented Development

Project Specific

RBP: Regional Business Partners

RTFP: Regional Transit Feasibility Plan

Transit Modes

AGT: Automated Guideway Transit

AV: Automated Vehicle

BRT: Bus Rapid Transit

CPT: Cable Propelled Transit

CV: Connected Vehicles

LRT: Light Rail Transit


BOCC: Board of County Commissioners

FDOT: Florida Department of Transportation

FTA: Federal Transit Administration

HART: Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority

MPO: Metropolitan Planning Organization

PCPT: Pasco County Public Transportation

PIE: St. Petersberg/Clearwater International Airport

PSTA: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

TBARTA: Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority

TBRPC: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

THEA: Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority

TIA/TPA: Tampa International Airport

TMA: Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area

Common Terms

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A rubber-tired, self-propelled, manually-steered vehicle with fuel supply carried on board the vehicle. Types include advanced design, articulated, charter, circulator, double deck, express, feeder, intercity, medium-size, new look, sightseeing, small, standard-size, subscription, suburban, transit, and van.

Bus Rapid Transit

Enhanced limited-stop bus system that operates on roadways or dedicated lanes to operate at faster speeds than traditional bus service by utilizing a combination of advanced technologies.

Capital Costs

Costs of long-term assets of a public transit system such as property, buildings, vehicles, etc.

Circulator Bus

A bus serving an area confined to a specific locale, such as a downtown area or suburban neighborhood with connections to major traffic corridors.

Commuter Rail

Railroad local and regional passenger train operations between a central city, its suburbs and/or another central city. It may be either locomotive-hauled or self-propelled, and is characterized by multi-trip tickets, specific station-to-station fares, railroad employment practices and usually only one or two stations in the central business district.