Survey shows increased support for transit projects on campus

A recent survey shows funding support that could put an on-campus transit project one step closer to completion.

A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) survey shows 67 percent of people would support a 1 percent sales tax increase to help add more buses and routes on USF’s campus through the Alternative Analysis study. The project will be on the ballot for county vote in November 2010.

The HART survey also reports 79 percent of individuals agreed the county needs to expand transit. The study includes multiple transit projects.

Another alternative in the study would include a bus with its own lane, which would trigger green lights at traffic intersections, said Kathy Karalekas, the public information officer at HART.

HART conducted a different survey in 2006 to get an overall public opinion on offering more transits. The new survey shows the public’s opinion has “dramatically” improved, Karalekas said.

“People recall seeing (more) positive news stories than before and they’re looking forward to more transit,” she said.

HART and USF administrators will meet throughout this academic year to discuss improvements to the campus transit system, Karalekas said.

“It’s a really great program if you live a couple miles from campus, and if you’re having problems trying to park,” she said.

HART’S 2010 fiscal year budget includes $56.5 million in federal funds to support its transit system.

However, this money will not go toward the project plans for HART. It’s entirely separate, Karalekas said.

“According to the numbers on that survey, it looks like we have some support.” Karalekas said. “If we were able to increase the funding then we can definitely increase services around campus as well.”