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Florida high-speed rail will be partnership with private company to design-build-operate listen

08/31/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Beginning in just a few years, you’ll be able to take a bullet train from Tampa to Orlando in under an hour. But before then the high-speed rail line needs to be built. Half of the roughly $2.5 billion dollar project has been funded through the federal Recovery Act.

The Florida Department of Transportation is hosting meetings this week in the three cities where the bullet train will stop; Today in Tampa, tomorrow in Lakeland, and Thursday in Orlando.

For a preview of those meetings ...

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In Tampa, officials tout high-speed rail's jobs potential listen

08/31/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The U.S.’s first “real” high-speed rail line is quickly approaching Tampa. Construction of the line between Tampa and Orlando will be partly funded by federal stimulus funds. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and others say its construction and operation will create sustainable jobs. Today, small business owners in Tampa got a glimpse of how they might benefit from high speed rail.

In an election year that’s happening during a recession, the words “job creation” may sound like a broken re...

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U.S. Rep. Castor previews high-speed rail meetings in Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando listen

08/30/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tampa will be one of the first communities in the country to have a true high-speed rail line. Because of a federal stimulus grant, Florida will construct a line that starts in downtown Tampa and continues to Lakeland and Orlando.

This week there will be meetings on high-speed rail in those three cities beginning tomorrow in Tampa. As a preview, WMNF spoke with U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL).

The high-speed rail meetings in Tampa will b...

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Pinellas transportation task force gets citizen input listen

07/20/10 Doris Norrito
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Pinellas County residents were invited to give their opinion on the future of transit in Pinellas. A Transportation Task Force workshop was held at Bayside High School in Clearwater. The Task Force is made up of people from local government, construction, businesses and non-profits. Representatives listened to ideas for the future of mass transit. About sixty citizens attended.

"We're here tonight to hear what the public is thinking about mass transit and transportation in general. Everyt...

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HART to study rail link to Tampa International Airport listen

07/19/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Today the board of HART, Hillsborough County’s transit agency, agreed to study light rail from downtown Tampa to the Tampa International Airport. Mary Shavalier is HART’s chief of strategic planning and program development.

"Well at today's board meeting the HART board made a decision on a very small amendment to the study area that we're looking at, to try to determine how we could try to enhance transit between downtown Tampa and the Westshore business district. We have been previou...

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Tampa City Council supports short high-speed rail extension from downtown to airport listen

07/15/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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In January, President Barack Obama came to Tampa to announce that federal stimulus funds would be used to pay for half the cost of a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando. There are three stops planned for the Orlando area – including their airport, one in Lakeland, and one in downtown Tampa. But Tampa officials are concerned that the bullet train will not go to Tampa International Airport.

Today City Council unanimously supported a resolution put forward by Council member Mary...

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TBARTA Board talks rail, airport leg listen

06/25/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Today transit officials heard the latest on proposed rail lines in the Tampa Bay area. The question of an airport connection was front and center.

"We haven't gotten used to being among the best in a lot of things. But when it comes to transportation, Hillsborough County is last for commuters. Dead last."

After Tampa Bay Partnership president Stuart Rogel screened his organization’s new ad promoting a transit tax in Hillsborough, County Commission Chair and TBARTA Board member Ken ...

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James Howard Kunstler Interview listen

05/12/10 Kelly Benjamin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tomorrow, the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a referendum that proposes a one-cent sales tax for rail and other transit projects. It would be up for a vote this November.

Last Sunday, The St. Petersburg Times ran an op-ed penned by Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio calling on the county to invest in a comprehensive modern mass transit system that would create jobs, sh...

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TBARTA Talks transit-oriented development, rail on Bruce B. Downs listen

04/30/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Imagine going days without getting into your car – having a bus or rail line within steps of your door to get you to work, and being able to walk to nearby restaurants. Many cities already have this type of layout, something planners call transit-oriented development. Today the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Board heard from Bob Hunter, head of the Hillsborough City-County Planning Commission, on the concept.

Hunter said that the commission is trying to amend Hillsborough’s ...

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Hillsborough Commissioners still torn on transit tax ballot language listen

03/11/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners deadlocked today on a a vote that would have adopted ballot language for November’s penny transit tax referendum.

For the commissioners who want to see the one-cent tax on the ballot, the issue was what the referendum’s wording should be. They debated whether to indicate that 75% of the money the tax would generate would go to mass transit, while the remaining 25% would go to rail. Commissioners Rose Ferlita, Ken Hagan, and Jim Norman vote...

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