Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 95

Sarasota News Leader February 1, 2013 Page 43 governments would have to modify their com- Patterson focused on the potential operating prehensive plans. costs of the line. Further, while she agreed on the advantages of using the U.S. 41 corridor, In his recent conversations about the BRT with City of Sarasota staff members, Paul she noted the "right of way on 41 is extremenoted, they had indicated more interest in ly limited," posing problems for adding a bus the U.S. 41 corridor, as it would encompass lane and other infrastructure. a number of parks as well as the Van Wezel Regarding the U.S. 301 corridor, Patterson Performing Arts Hall. added, "[there is] quite a residential populaBy using the U.S. 41 corridor, Paul also point- tion that I am sure would love to see real traned out, the county would have more opportu- sit there." nities for private partnerships to help cover its expenses. For example, he said, staff could Moreover, she noted, that corridor has "tons work with the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, the of property that would be very appropriate for Van Wezel and Publix to pay for BRT stops redevelopment." branded with their names. "The question today is what do we really want The FTA program to which the county already our community to look like in the future," had applied would provide up to $75 million Commissioner Charles Hines said. "I think in grant funds, Paul said. That Small Starts [U.S.] 41's a better way to look at it from a program calls for total expenses not to exceed planning aspect," he added. $250 million. When Commissioner Christine Robinson Commissioner Joe Barbetta said he supported asked about more detailed cost estimates for the shift to a U.S. 41 corridor, pointing out that the project, Paul said he would have those a BRT line from the Sarasota-Bradenton Inter- ready by the Feb. 5 joint meeting with the City national Airport and New College to SouthCommission. gate Mall would have the potential to draw sufficient ridership to make it practical. "For me, that's critical," Robinson said. He also noted that the City of Sarasota already is at work on a draft North Trail Overlay District plan that would satisfy the type of landuse goals for the northern part of the line that Paul had referenced. Hines concurred with Robinson. Paul earlier told the board that by using existing infrastructure for a BRT system, the cost would range from $1 million to $5 million per mile, depending on how much private assisAdditionally, Barbetta said the BRT would be attractive to students attending New College tance the county could get through sponsorand the Ringling College of Art and Design. ships such as those he had mentioned. "Right now, the students don't come down- If the County Commission chooses not to protown," he pointed out. "They stay on campus; ceed with a BRT project, Paul said, the board they can't get downtown." members still would need to address how they Paul concurred that student demand for use can use transit dollars most efficiently. "It's a bigger philosophical discussion," he added. % of the line would be strong.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 02/01/2013