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Hillsborough County Schools one step closer to 100 new buses listen

05/14/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough County Schools, buses, Transportation, April Griffin, Stacy White, Cindy Stuart

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Hillsborough County School Board members will vote on a proposal to buy 100 new school buses at their next meeting in June. During a workshop Wednesday, Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said most of the more than $10 million cost will come from funding already set aside in this year’s budget for buses.

“That funding is still available and we have identified in our next five year plan which begins in July – we’ve identified the cost there. So, we have the money to purchase 100 buses.”

$7 m...

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Hillsborough County schools need 349 buses listen

05/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough County Schools, Transportation, school buses, April Griffin

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Hillsborough County Public Schools have a shortage of dependable buses – 349 to be exact. During a nearly two hour workshop Wednesday, school board members and the Superintendent shook their heads at the scathing report from school bus consultant Tom Platt.

“Since 2006 you have bought a grand total of 32 buses. This is the outcome. This is the result of what you see and what you see is a very aging fleet with an average age of 12 years. This is a problem and it’s having a dramatic impact ...

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Mayor Buckhorn announces plan to keep police chief one more year during State of the City address listen

03/25/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Bob Buckhorn, Jane Castor, Tampa, North Boulevard Homes, transit, Transportation, economic development, Rays

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during his State of the City address Tuesday that police Chief Jane Castor will stay on for at least one more year after retiring in May. That means she’ll stay in “the drop” which some consider double dipping - collecting a paycheck and pension. Buckhorn said he wants to keep Chief Castor on board because crime has dropped 69% in the city.

“You know what that means? That means there’s over 150,000 less victims. That’s us. The men and women of the Tampa ...

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Public transportation use up in Tampa Bay and the nation listen

03/13/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: psta, HART, APTA, transit, Transportation, bus rapid transit, BRT, rail, Greenlight Pinellas

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Transit agencies on both sides of Tampa Bay posted record ridership for the month of February. Bus rides in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have continued to increase, mirroring a national trend of growing public transportation use. Bob Lasher, spokesperson for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, says many routes are running at capacity.

“Not just at rush hour, but during the middle portion of the day, we’re running buses that are having – we’re putting extra buses out because we ...

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Transit corridor near I-4 and I-75 may be in line for some upgrades listen

02/03/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: transit, Transportation, buses, rail, Hillsborough County, HART

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A group of elected officials from across Hillsborough County is looking at ways to patch some of the region’s traffic woes. During a monthly meeting earlier this month, members of the Transportation for Economic Development Policy Leadership Group were given a list of 52 proposed projects around the area where I-4 and I-75 meet. Mike Williams is director of the county’s engineering and environmental division.

“They need access to the spine system to move goods and people as well. So, if ...

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For Pinellas and Hillsborough transit officials want collaboration, not consolidation listen

01/24/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: HART, psta, TBARTA, transit, Transportation

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A transit merger between agencies in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties may not be the best way to save money. An independent study was approved by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority during a meeting Friday that shows collaboration between the two groups could cut costs without the risk of consolidating.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit hired the audit firm KPMG to start weighing the pros and cons of consolidating the two grou...

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Bike share coming soon to Tampa listen

01/21/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: bikes, transit, Transportation, Bob Buckhorn, Social Bicycles, Coast Bike Share

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Soon Tampa residents and visitors will be able to cruise around town on bikes even if they don’t own one. Mayor Bob Buckhorn unveiled the new Coast Bike Share program that will rent 300 bikes at 30 locations this spring.

The bike hubs will be spread throughout downtown, Ybor City and Hyde Park. During a press conference at Curtis Hixon Downtown Waterfront Park Tuesday morning, Buckhorn said the project, which is privately funded, is three years in the making.

“I mean, from the parks to...

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Hillsborough buses to convert to compressed natural gas listen

12/23/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: HART, compressed natural gas, Transportation, transit, Philip Hale

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The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority says it will become the first public transportation group in Florida to convert from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas. HART is installing a fueling station at an existing operations facility near Ybor.

Philip Hale, CEO of HART, expects the first compressed natural gas-fueled vehicles to hit the roads this spring with 28 new vans on order for the roll out. From there, the transit agency will replace retiring vehicles with ones that use C...

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More Pinellas buses to be equipped with wireless Internet by next summer listen

12/18/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: psta, HART, transit, Wi-Fi, Transportation, buses

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Ten buses in Pinellas County are now equipped with Wi-Fi. And Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller says the agency plans to add wireless access to all of its 188-bus fleet.

“We’re hoping the Spring that they should be starting right after the first of the year installing the rest of them. Hopefully by this summer we’ll have all of them done.”

The announcement came Wednesday during a virtual ribbon cutting celebration led by St. Pete City Council and PSTA board member Wen...

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Transit survey shows many Hillsborough residents OK with funding rail listen

12/12/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Hillsborough County, transit, Transportation, rail, Kevin Beckner, Mark Sharpe

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Officials throughout Hillsborough County are joining forces to get the ball rolling on transit improvements. During a policy leadership group meeting Wednesday, several studies were looked at that showed many of the Tampa Bay area’s roads and highways are at or above capacity and it’s only going to get worse as populations boom. Steve Polzin, with the Center for Urban Transportation Research prompted the conversation about how to best address the problem for residents throughout the region. ...

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