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Economy / Business

Bay Area's First Bus Rapid Transit Line Comes Closer to Running

We may not have light rail - but the Bay Area's first Rapid Bus Transit line took several steps closer to becoming reality today. Commuters in Tampa could see the line up and running by next spring.

It's called MetroRapid, and when construction is finished early next year, riders will be able to go between downtown Tampa and the USF area faster and with fewer stops. Buses will be able to get green lights at traffic signals and board every 15 minutes. Mary Shevalier is a planner with Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit, or HART.

"It'll extend the green time to allow buses to get through the intersection, which is important for travel time," she says.

HART's board of approved several contracts that will construct the bus shelters, on-site ticket vending machines and machinery to allow buses to cruise through traffic signals. Shevalier says the ride should be the same price as HART's local lines. Another MetroRapid line is in the works, to connect the area around Tampa International Airport to Temple Terrace.