The county will hold outreach sessions for its Transit Development Plan on May 9.

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Sarasota County has scheduled two outreach sessions to collect input on its Transit Development Plan (TDP). The county is required to produce a plan every five years to qualify for transit funding from the state of Florida.

"The TDP identifies transit improvements designed to address the mobility needs of all of our residents for the next 10 years," says Sarasota County Area Transit interim director Rob Lewis. "It includes a review of background demographic data and analysis of the county's transit productivity trends over the last five years."

The plan also compares operating statistics to other peer transit agencies and identifies outside influences on transit ridership, such as Uber and Lyft. It contains a 10 year implementation plan for transit improvements along with capital, operating costs and revenues.

The Sarasota County Commission must approve the plan, which will then be submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation for its review. The draft plan is expected to come before the commission in August. Additional public meetings will be scheduled before final adoption.

Both outreach sessions will be held Thursday, May 9, and are open to the public. The first session will take place from 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at the Downtown Sarasota Transfer Center, 1565 First St., Sarasota. The second will be held from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at the Venice Train Station, 303 East Venice Ave., Venice. The public may stop by any time during those hours.

To learn more about the county's Transit Development Plan, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at (941) 861-5000, or visit scgov.net.

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