As Florida experiences significant demographic changes, new transit services need to be developed on neighborhood, community and regional levels. At the regional level especially, transit requires speed. A regionally integrated transit system requires the coordination of transit services with land development.
It’s a new day for transit in Florida. State government’s support for commuter rail and the private sector’s possible investment in high-speed rail are game-changers for the state. In addition, each of Florida’s five largest metropolitan regions is examining the opportunities and challenges ahead for boosting transit service. Commuter rail, bus rapid transit, light rail, high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, expanded bus service, and walkable communities are hot topics across the state. To make the most of Florida’s momentum for expanding regionally integrated transit systems, the public and private sectors need to work together, forming a partnership that will shape Florida’s metropolitan regions and the state’s economy for decades to come.
Florida’s five largest metropolitan regions drive Florida’s economy. They are home to a significant majority of the state’s population and the state’s jobs, and they are expected to absorb at least 80 percent of the 5 million additional people projected to live in the state by 2030. The future of the state of Florida depends on how well these metropolitan regions provide for and support their growing populations. New initiatives strengthening the transportation connections between and within Florida’s five largest metropolitan regions will help determine the state’s future.
Regionally integrated transit systems coordinated with compact development and metropolitan intensification will benefit not only Florida’s economy, but also the state’s environment and quality of life. For a state long associated with tourism and attracting in-migrants, qualify of life is one of Florida’s most significant economic assets.
Connecting Florida: Transit + Florida’s Economy provides compelling information on how we as communities plan to move forward with better mobility, sustainable neighborhoods, and better economic health through implementation of our transportation plans. In 2008, ULI-Central Florida, ULI-North Florida, ULI-Southeast Florida and Caribbean, ULI-Southwest Florida, and ULI-Tampa Bay, formed a partnership with the ULI/Curtis Regional Infrastructure Project to analyze the links between transportation and land use in our state.