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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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Pinellas transit referendum language approved 6-1 after outpouring of support listen

12/11/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: psta, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, No Tax for Tracks, Pinellas County Commission

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Pinellas County Commissioners approved ballot language asking for a one penny sales tax to fund transit improvements that would include passenger rail. More than 50 pro-transit advocates spoke in favor of the referendum during a four hour public hearing Tuesday night.

A positive vote in 2014 would start the new funding on January 1, 2016 and run indefinitely unless it’s repealed. It would fund expanded bus service including increased frequency and bus rapid transit as well as local passeng...

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Rick Scott rode high-speed rail in Japan

11/13/13 Rob Lorei
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: high-speed rail, Rick Scott, Japan, Transportation, transit

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WMNF has confirmed that Governor Rick Scott rode three times a high-speed rail system on his recent trip to Japan. Two years ago Governor Scott turned down more than $2 billion in federal money to build a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando. The link was supposed to help reduce traffic congestion on the heavily used I-4 corridor.

Nancy Blum-Heintz, a spokesperson for Enterprise Florida, tells WMNF that the Japanese high-speed rail system called Shinkansen “was logistically the ...

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Bus ridership continues to grow in Pinellas and Hillsborough listen

11/11/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: transit, psta, HART, TBARTA, pinellas, Hillsborough, Bob Lasher, Philip Hale, Connect Tampa Bay, Greenlight Pinellas

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The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority posted an all time high ridership record last month and Pinellas wasn’t far behind. But Kevin Thurman with the pro-transit group Connect Tampa Bay said that trend isn’t anything new.

“We’ve been getting record ridership month after month after month from both PSTA and HART and one month of not building on the last October doesn’t create a trend, I guess is the best way to put it. The trend is clear that we have a significant amount of deman...

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Pinellas Commission proposes transit tax referendum language listen

10/29/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, transit, Pinellas County, rail, bus rapid transit, psta

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Pinellas County Commissioners agreed to give all of the revenue from a proposed penny sales tax to Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority if it’s approved by voters next year. During a discussion Tuesday about the ballot initiative, the transit agency suggested language that would include a description of services including passenger rail, bus rapid transit and improvements to existing bus routes. The move is being supported by all but one commissioner. During debate on the issue, Norm Roche que...

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Hillsborough County lags in transportation improvements listen

10/10/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Transportation, HART, transit, TBARTA, Hillsborough County, psta, Sunrail, Polk Transit

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Hillsborough County is lagging behind other districts within the Tampa Bay region when it comes to transit improvements.Transit officials from Central Florida joined local planners during a transportation summit Thursday at the Tampa Airport Marriott.

SunRail is coming to the Orlando area as soon as next Spring. Pinellas County is hoping a transit referendum next year could fund something similar there. Polk County will also ask voters to fund transit improvements next year. Hillsborough ...

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Proposed private toll road in Pasco County may catch criticism from environmental groups listen

08/23/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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A new private toll road proposal in Pasco County could spark debate among environmentalists. They’re worried the long stretch of highway could lead to natural environments giving way to new development.

A company called International Infrastructure Partners submitted a proposal to lease state owned land for the project. Kris Carson is a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation.

“What they would do is design, construct, operate and maintain a toll facility that woul...

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Hillsborough County officials told that transportation is not a main factor businesses consider when deciding where to relocate listen

08/15/13 Naveen Sultan
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Hillsborough County Commissioners want to better understand how transportation can increase economic growth.Elected officials met with local business executives yesterday at the County Center in downtown Tampa. It’s the second in a series of meetings to discuss the future of transportation and economic development.Tampa’s manufacturing executives told elected officials that their employees have not used public transportation to get to work. Ken Jurgensmeyer is the director of engineering...

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Transit woes in Hillsborough drive activists into action

08/09/13 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Today Last Call talks about transit on both sides of the bay. The debate in Hillsborough County has grown heated this week as transit activists are getting increasingly fed up with inaction by county commissioners to provide multi-modal transportation. Kevin Thurman, executive director for the group Connect Tampa Bay joins host Janelle Irwin to discuss the issue.

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Transit activists fed up with lagging Hillsborough County Commissioners pack meeting, but get silenced by technicality listen

08/07/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Transit activists crowded the back two rows of the Hillsborough County Commission meeting Wednesday morning. About a half dozen of them signed up to tell commissioners during public comment that they were fed up with the lack of action to get the ball rolling on transit improvements. But because of time constraints during the meeting, only one was able to speak, Tampa resident Jason Eames.

“What we’d like to see is – we’ve been talking for a long time about fixing transit in this...

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