The Broward Commission will hold a public hearing on June 5 to finalize ballot language on the penny sales tax. Voters will have an opportunity to vote on penny sales tax increase in November. This will increase the sales tax from six cents to seven cents. The increase would not affect groceries and prescription medicine, but it would affect retail purchases and restaurant purchases.

If voters approve the sales tax increase, it will pay for 586 transportation-related projects. This would include a wide variety of road, traffic projects, signal technology, safety, greenways, overpass and intersection-related projects. Work will be done on bridges and the transit system. A major area of improvement will include more buses and more buses geared to serve neighborhoods. This will make it possible for people to use trains, and countywide buses and then get on community buses that will take them or pick them up closer to their homes.

“We want to have enhanced local bus service, improved frequency, additional routes, longer service spans and improved coach conditions,” said Gretchen Cassini, assistant Broward County administrator. “We will expand rapid transit and express service and we’re proposing to fully fund the community bus program.”

Another important goal is to expand the paratransit bus service. County leaders have seen a large increase in the number of people over age 60 in coming years and they will need buses that are equipped for people with disabilities. “People say they don’t take the bus now, but as they get older, they will need buses. We want to be prepared to have buses for them,” said Cassini. “We have support from the public for more public transportation.”