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TBARTA considers sales tax for transit listen

09/26/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The bay area’s transit board met today in Tampa. One topic the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) covered was long-term funding for regional transportation projects.

Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, chair of TBARTA’s funding and finance committee, suggested two ways to fund TBARTA long-term: One is through part of a surcharge on rental cars that now goes to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); another is through an increase in sales tax. Hibbard said T...

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Tampa streetcar manager ousted listen

08/07/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern had harsh words today regarding the firing of Tampa’s Streetcar Manager by Hillsborough County’s transit system agency, HART.

Tim Borchers was hired to manage the streetcar line in 2002. His firing was said to be intended to save money and improve service.

Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena also expressed reservations about the firing.

The streetcar has been derided by some as a boondoggle, but HART Executive Director David Armijo says currently 36...

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Forum held on TBARTA master plan listen

08/06/08 Mark Anderson
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last night, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) held an open forum in Tampa to solicit citizen’s input on development of a rapid transit master plan to be completed by the end of 2008.

TBARTA was created as a state agency in July 2007. It’s charter is to plan, construct and operate rapid transit in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties. TBARTA aims to improve mobility and expand multimodal transportation throughout the regio...

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Gandy Boulevard transportation projects under fire listen

07/29/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Gandy Boulevard is undergoing major renovation in South Tampa. This morning at the Jan Platt Library, Mayor Pam Iorio and other city and transportation officials listened to concerns of residents about those projects.

Citizens had three major concerns about future Gandy construction: the possibility of tolls, a 30-foot median, and an elevated portion of the road.

Joseph Waggoner, the new executive director of the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA), asked people to join a n...

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Hart unveils Town 'N Country transfer station listen

07/29/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Although oil prices have been tumbling in recent weeks, $4 a gallon gas prices may have done what seemed impossible in the Tampa Bay Area – led more people to take the bus.

Ridership on Pinellas County buses is up 9 percent this year, and up 7 percent in Hillsborough County. In fact, business on Hart's express service is up 29 percent over last year.

On Tuesday, local officials and community members in the Town 'N Country area in Northwest Hillsborough County celebrated the grand ope...

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Economic Development Conference held in Tampa listen

05/19/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Florida Economic Development Conference is taking place in Tampa this week. The focus of this gathering of business leaders is “Driving Transformation: Innovations fueling economic development.”

The conference, sponsored by the Florida Economic Development Council, featured a lunchtime panel Monday with current and former Florida lawmakers discussing the legislative session that ended this month. There was optimism about the state’s economy from Sen. Mike Fasano, despite the fac...

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Pinellas commissioner discusses light rail listen

05/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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As leadership in the Tampa Bay Area seems to be getting closer to putting together a package to bring light rail to the region, the community is looking at other cities for guidance.

Last week Richard Simonetta, chief executive officer of Valley Metro Rail, the transit authority in Pheonix, presented an overview to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA).

Pinellas County Commission Chairman Ronnie Duncan serves as vice chair of TBARTA. He told WMNF this week that he tr...

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Tampa begins National Bike Month listen

05/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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May is National Bike Month, and to observe the occasion, more than three dozen cyclists rode into downtown Tampa on Friday.

With gasoline rising toward $4 a gallon, the incentive to ride a bike has never been greater. Just outside of Mayor Pam Iorio’s office, National Bike Month was noted, with dozens of cyclists being a part of the festivities.

One of those cyclists was Bob Glaser, chair of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. He referred to a local group responsible for the event, T...

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CSX deal still up in the air listen

04/30/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

A vote in the state House yesterday gave CSX $436 million for the right of way for a transportation project and grants the company lawsuit liability protection.

The Legislature’s bill is a little less expensive than the $650-million plan that the Florida Department of Transportation had previously negotiated. The deal is a controversial one – not only for its still enormous price tag in a terrible budget year, but also because of what critics call a "back deal" arrangement.

Doug Ca...

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Pheonix CEO of mass transit visits Tampa listen

04/24/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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As the Tampa Bay area ramps up efforts to bring mass transit to the region, the Tampa City Council today hosted the CEO of Valley Metro Rail in Pheonix to discuss how that transit agency built a rail network.

Richard Simonetta provided a Power Point presentation to the Council, reviewing the chronology of referendums that were proposed back as far as 1989. It wasn’t until November 2004 that the area finally had a regional tax that kicked the project off. The first 20 miles of light rail ...

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