Bus lane on Howard Frankland could be coming during GOP Convention

7:57 PM, May 18, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - With as many as 400 buses trying to get into downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention, area transportation planners are considering reserving one lane on the Howard Frankland Bridge, and possibly even Gandy, for buses only during certain hours of the event.

Ronnie Duncan, Chair of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, tells 10 News nothing has been determined, but he says the idea of bus only lanes is a real possibility. He says they are trying to balance public safety while trying to keep traffic flowing.

The convention, scheduled to begin Aug. 27 is expected to bring an estimated 50,000 people to the Bay area.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn tells 10 News he could even see this as the beginning of a new transportation plan.

"The idea of a dedicated lane for the buses makes sense for this event but it also makes sense in the long term as we look at bus rapid transit or we look at HOV (High-occupancy vehicle) lanes, that's a possibility that we may implement down the road for everyday traffic," Buckhorn says.

Officials have revealed they're considering closing part or all of the Selmon Crosstown Expressway during some hours of the convention.

Buckhorn and Duncan say a final decision on what road restrictions may be instituted during the convention are still weeks away.

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