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Passenger ferry proposal moves forward in Hillsborough listen

02/05/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Ed Turanchik, Ferry, passenger ferry, MacDill Air Force Base, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Commission, transit, Tampa, St. Petersburg

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Hillsborough County moved ahead today with a high-speed passenger ferry partnership. The County commission approved an interim public-private partnership agreement with HMS Ferries and South Swell Development Group to study a ferry linking the south part of the county, perhaps near Apollo Beach, with MacDill Air Force Base. Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik is the public face of the project.

"We've already said this, no other transportation option can do so much for so little so fas...

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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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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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