Connect Tampa Bay Launched


Florida’s urban areas badly need to address the problems created by growth and create transit solutions. One such organization, Connect Tampa Bay has launched today. We applaud the efforts of this and other similar organizations as we work towards building a prosperous modern 21st century Florida. We encourage all of our readers to visit Connect Tampa Bay’s website in the near future.

December 18, 2012
Kevin Thurman
New Grassroots Organization Formed to Educate and Advocate for Viable Transportation Options
Connect Tampa Bay, a new transportation education and advocacy organization, was launched this morning. Connect Tampa Bay ( will engage citizens across Tampa Bay who want to invest in more viable transportation options to improve economic development and quality of life.
“Connect Tampa Bay aims to bring people together to understand the challenges we face from the lack of transportation options and advocate for solutions from the bottom up.” said Brian Willis, President of Connect Tampa Bay and former member of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority’s Citizen Advisory Committee.
Willis is joined by Brandie Miklus and Brian Seel as the founding board members of Connect Tampa Bay. The non-profit organization launched this morning with a message sent out to fellow citizens encouraging them to lead the discussion about transportation that is getting more intense in Tampa Bay.
In the last month, government leaders in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have proposed transportation solutions that include improving roads, transit and creating new trails. In addition, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is leading a statewide effort to allow cities to place their own transportation referendums on the ballot.
“We need to find a way to build a modern transportation system. It is vital to rebuilding our economy and creating jobs for the future,” said Brandie Miklus, a board member of the new organization.
The founders are buoyed by recent polls conducted in Hillsborough County that show increasing support for investing in transportation — including a 14% shift in favor of a new 1% sales tax referendum. They also noted focus groups in both counties show that people all over want a better transportation system with more options.
“A modern transportation system gives people choices beyond a single mode of transportation.  We want to bring people together to make it a reality.” said board member Brian Seel.
You can learn more about Connect Tampa Bay and join their efforts today at
The Executive Director and board members are available for comment and interviews today, please call or email to schedule.

3 thoughts on “Connect Tampa Bay Launched”

  1. Florida is one of the most rail-deprived states in the nation. With a population approaching 19 million, and three very large metropolitan areas, we need to develope passenger rail transit in those metro areas and also intrastate passenger rail corridors to properly interconnect those metro areas.

  2. I agree. I went to the University of Utah where they have a vast network of mass transportation. In the three years that I went there, I never had a car and I was able to travel all the way from Provo in the south to Layton in the north. Now they have a rail system that goes all the way to Ogden. That is 81 miles!

    This was all build for the 2002 Winter Games. In fact, that is probably the biggest obstacle when it comes to bringing the Olympics or Orlando…there is crap mass transit.

    But in Utah, it isn’t the county or city paying for it, it is the whole state. The Utah Transit Authority is state run and is interested in transportation needs throughout the State of Utah. They don’t have it broken up into small little “authorities” like Florida. And remember, Utah is the reddest of red states.

    Thanks for giving me an idea for an article.

  3. Lewis in Lauderdale

    You guys should do a piece on the train running from Orlando to West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale to Miami.