Friday, January 11, 2013

PSTA postpones meeting with HART board

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

PSTAs Brad Miller
  • PSTA's Brad Miller
Following this week's decision by the board of the Hillsborough County Regional Transit Authority (HART) to end formal discussions about merging with the Pinellas County Transit Authority (PSTA), the next meeting between the two agencies — originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14 — has been postponed.

The two agencies set a new, tentative date to meet on Monday, Jan. 28.

PSTA Executive Director Brad Miller said that after a HART subcommittee rescinded HART's vote on Dec. 10 to go along with a second study of a merger (called a "desk audit"), he intended to gather the board to decide how to move forward, but couldn't find a time as the holidays approached.

PSTA's board members will meet this Monday at their headquarters in St. Petersburg.

In a letter sent by Miller to HART's CEO Phillip Hale, Miller wrote "As I have polled my board members this week I have not heard any desire to reconsider the PSTA's adopted December 10, 2012 position or adopt HART's new position instead. But I am glad we are going to have a chance for the PSTA Board to discuss this issue and then have our joint meeting."

Miller said he was taken aback when the HART subcommittee rescinded its vote for a second study regarding a possible merger.

"They had voted with the PSTA board on the 10th, so that did surprise me that they had rescinded that. I don't know how often HART does that," he said.

Although HART and PSTA collaborate on some issues, Miller believes that there could be more benefits from working together, but only if there is some sort of formal agreement.

"It needs to be carefully thought out, and we need time time for further studies to make sure it's a good formal agreement that both sides agree to and may benefit them. But a more formalized relationship between PSTA and HART would benefit transit services on both sides of the bay," he said.

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