TPA named first bike-friendly Airport in the United States
Tampa International Airport on Wednesday was named the first bicycle-friendly Airport in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists – a designation that recognizes TPA’s support of cycling in the Tampa Bay region.
TPA’s efforts include the construction of a new bike and pedestrian path that will later connect into a regional trail network, as well as new covered bike parking and repair stations.
“We are tremendously honored to be named the first bike-friendly airport in the country,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “We’re big believers in transportation options that offer an alternative to cars and improve connectivity, reduce transportation costs and promote wellness and sustainability. Cycling can achieve all of those goals – and that’s why it is so important to support it for the 10,000 people who work at the airport as well as travelers.”
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who also serves on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board, agreed.
“Make no mistake — the Tampa International Airport is the absolute best airport in the country and this designation by the League of American Bicyclists just further proves that,” said Castor. “Providing transit options to and from the airport not only for their passengers but for their world class staff is paramount for an airport of this caliber.”
The Airport received the bronze Bicycle Friendly Business award from the League – an honor given to organizations contributing to building a more bike-friendly America through engineering and education.
Tampa International Airport is doing just that, and more is planned.
The Airport is in the midst of building a bicycle and pedestrian trail that will loop around the Airport’s new SkyCenter development and Cell Phone Waiting Lot, eventually connecting Tampa Airport into a wider regional trail network.
The Airport’s new office building, SkyCenter One, will also have indoor bicycle commuter facilities and amenities that support employees who want to bike to work. TPA is in the process of installing eight new bike racks and a bike repair fix-it station at the Rental Car Center/Transit curb, and people who use TPA’s North Employee Parking Lot near Hillsborough Avenue will also have improved and covered bike parking, and a bike repair station.
The fix-it repair stations were funded by the Westshore Alliance through a Florida Department of Transportation grant.
The Airport also supports cycling in a variety of other ways, including building bikes in support of the Tampa-based non-profit, onbikes, providing bicycle-safety and bike path development updates at lunch-and-learn sessions for airport employees, and branding its own bike lights.
The emphasis on cycling ties into TPA’s growing emphasis on sustainability.
Tampa International Airport, and its three General Aviation airports, are the only airports in Florida and the southeastern United States with an Airport Carbon Accreditation certification from the Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program. TPA, in part, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 10.7 percent per passenger, according to the latest data. In addition, TPA offers nearly two dozen electric vehicle charging stations, recently added solar panels in partnership with Tampa Electric, operates a fleet of natural gas vehicles and uses reclaimed water for all irrigation and cooling towers.