1st Step For Transit Authority

TAMPA -

Every journey begins with one step. That old Chinese proverb certainly rings true when it comes to getting a regional transportation plan for the traffic-choked Tampa Bay area.

Friday, the first steps were taken to organize the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. T-BARTA has a mandate to come up with a draft plan for new roads and mass transit by 2009 - but it has no money. The governor vetoed a million-dollar startup, and the authority has no taxing power.

Board members from the seven participating counties say they'll pursue purchasing bonds and entering into public-private partnerships to get transportation projects moving.

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