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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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Rally against CSX rail deal in Lakeland listen

04/21/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Lakeland business and labor leaders rallied today against plans for a deal between CSX and the state of Florida for a commuter rail line in the Orlando area.

About 170 people held signs and chanted in downtown Lakeland’s Munn Park, next to the rail line shared by CSX and Amtrak. Julie Townsend, executive director of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, said that the cost to Florida’s taxpayers of the CSX deal had “gotten out of control.”

Townsend thanked Sen. Paula Dockery and Re...

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Commissioner: MPO director needed to go listen

04/18/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe has been creating waves in recent weeks. Earlier this month, he declared in the pages of the Tampa Tribune that the County’s Transportation agency executive director, Lucie Ayres, needed to go.

A week ago, Ayres took the hint, leaving her $130,000 job at the county’s Metropolitian Planning Organization. Yesterday, Sharpe came by the WMNF studios to talk about the future of mass transit in the region.

But first we asked about cynicism th...

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Tampal endorses Legislative funding proposal for TBARTA listen

04/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council today passed a motion supporting a compromise bill in the Florida Legislature that would divert funding from the state’s transportation department into three regional transit authorities in the state, including TBARTA, the agency for the Tampa Bay Area.

Darrell Smith, Mayor Pam Iorio’s chief of staff, spoke about a bill in the Florida House sponsored by Bradenton Republican Bill Galvano. Smith said the rental tax surcharge would apply to each of the counties wit...

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