Clarification of Proposed SB1660/HB 1283
Proposed Change Tampa Hillsborough Expressway to West Florida Expressway Authority
March 1, 2021 (Tampa, Fla.) – In 2014, the state of Florida passed legislation giving the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) the ability to offer services in counties contiguous to Hillsborough County, including Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk Counties.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Senator Danny Burgess and Florida House Member Mike Beltran submitted SB 1660/HB 1283, which would rename THEA as the West Florida Expressway Authority and expand the Authority’s ability to offer services beyond counties contiguous to Hillsborough County to include Citrus and Hernando Counties.
Under this legislation, the ability for the Authority to offer transportation services in expansion counties beyond Hillsborough County remains permission-based, meaning the Authority must first receive the permission of the expansion County Board of County Commissioners and the current Board Authority before expansion can occur.
If permission is granted for the Authority to offer services in an expansion County, and the Authority board approves, the Authority Board will expand to include representation from a Board of County Commission member from the expansion County. The Authority Board, currently seven (7) members, could expand to a maximum of thirteen (13) members.
“THEA has a successful history implementing innovative transportation solutions in Hillsborough County. Our legislators recognize our capabilities to serve as a collaborative partner with neighboring counties. Under this legislation, the West Florida Expressway Authority could help the counties located on the central west coast of Florida offer additional transportation services. With regionality at the forefront, we can help the other rapidly growing counties build roads, bridges, managed lanes, and other transit supporting facilities such as Transit Flex Lanes. With these legislative changes, the West Florida Expressway Authority has the ability to impact and shape local and regional mobility like never before,” said Joe Waggoner, Executive Director, and CEO, THEA.
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is a public agency of the state, created by the Florida Legislature, to provide local, user-financed transportation services that reinvest customer-based revenues back into the Tampa Bay community. THEA owns and operates the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, Brandon Parkway, Meridian Avenue, and the Selmon Greenway; designed and operates the world’s first reversible all-electronic toll road; and provides over 100,000 daily travelers with safe, reliable, and financially sustainable transportation solutions. For more information on how THEA is moving transportation forward, visit www.tampa-xway.com.