Population Projections in Pinellas County

There has been some discussion about how PSTA came to the population projections used in the development of the Greenlight Pinellas Plan. Here is a summary of the methodology we used:

Greenlight Pinellas LogoFor the Greenlight Pinellas Plan, PSTA used population projections developed by the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Following Federal recommendations, the MPO developed projections for multiple land use and transportation scenarios, including the “Trend” scenario and a “Transit Investment and Land Use” scenario.

The Trend scenario assumes that no new major investments in transit are made and that growth reflects existing local land use policies. Because state projections don’t take into account these local polices, the MPO, in coordination with the Pinellas Planning Council (PPC) and local governments, develops independent population projections using an approved methodology. This method results in projecting an additional 64,000 people in 2040.

The Transit Investment and Land Use scenario assumes that the Greenlight Pinellas Plan is fully implemented prior to 2040. Based on the experiences of other places around the country, it’s reasonable to assume that population and employment growth will increase significantly due to the presence of a light rail transit system. Areas around and adjacent to transit stations have seen substantial investments in new development and have attracted new residents and jobs. This scenario results in projecting an increase of approximately 200,000 residents.

The Pinellas population and employment growth projections are based on the results others have experienced, as well as on the increased land use densities and transit oriented development (TOD) strategies adopted by the local governments in the light rail station areas. For this reason, the MPO determined that the Transit Investment and Land Use scenario, with its 200,000 additional residents, was a reasonable assumption and that’s the figure that PSTA used when developing the Greenlight Pinellas Plan.

To learn more about the plan, please visit www.GreenlightPinellas.com.

Source:  Pinellas Transportation Plan 2040 Socioeconomic Data Technical Memorandum – Forecast Scenarios, October 2013.

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1 Comment

Filed under Behind the Scenes, Greenlight Pinellas, Transit Data

One response to “Population Projections in Pinellas County

  1. JohnB

    PSTA projects 18,000 weekday rides on the light rail/streetcar (tracks are in our streets, right?). By their own definition, a ride is every time a passenger boards, so we can assume that this is 9,000 people going to and from two points on the route – in 2035! Ten Years AFTER completion.

    The capital cost is $2.5 BILLION or $280,000 per rider PLUS operating expenses. We know that other light rail/streetcars around the country require average taxpayer subsidies in the range of $15-$20 per ride. PSTA is projecting $50 MILLION per year op exp in 2035.

    The population projection is ALL speculation – “If we build it, they will come.” And if they don’t come and live in condos along the tracks? We are stuck with $130 MILLION/year in “transit surtax” every year, forever.

    We are stuck with the operating expenses of a streetcar that takes an hour to get from St. Pete to Clearwater. It is a money grab – everyone pays the sales tax. The money goes to the contractors who build the light rail.

    It is all borrowed money. The local sales tax will be used to issue bonds and borrow money. The federal finds ($1 BILLION) is by definition borrowed money. Today we are over $17 TRILLION in debt and PSTA is asking the feds to borrow another BILLION $ to pay for 1/2 of a streetcar line. All this is debt that must be repaid with interest over the next 30-40 years.

    Is that what YOU want for your children? Is that what “millennials” really want for their children.

    Remember, this is a one-time vote. Vote for Greenlight and you are voting for massive debt that will never, ever be repaid because by the time we (our children) get close, it will be time to repair and/or replace the whole thing and start over.

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