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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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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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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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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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Dump the Pump pushes for transit over cars on both sides of Tampa Bay listen

06/20/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Thursday is national Dump the Pump day meant to draw attention to ways local governments can get people out of their cars and into multi-modal transit. Transportation agencies on both sides of Tampa Bay were getting the message out. At the Town N’ Country Senior Service Center, Lisa Bacot, the executive director for the Florida Public Transportation Association, touted the benefits of riding the bus to retirees.

“As you age, a lot of people plan for retirement from work, but they donâ...

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Dismal traffic in Tampa Bay has solutions in sight

06/14/13 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Dedicated bus lanes may be a way to ease traffic congestion in the Tampa Bay area. The lanes would also be available to individual drivers who choose to pay a toll in order to avoid stop and go traffic.

The exact model being studied by the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority hasn’t been done anywhere else in the country. But so far it looks like a viable way to speed up commutes along busy corridors.The Expressway Authority received a federal grant to conduct a concept study. Depend...

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Hillsborough's Public Transportation Commission responds to criticism by spending $90,000 on lobbying listen

06/12/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Responding to criticism that it should just go away, the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission will spend as much as $90,000 on a lobbyist to stay afloat. The board’s chair, Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist, said people need to learn more about the agency before condemning it.

“This agency, this entity, is under attack. It’s under attack by the media. It’s under attack by legislators. It’s under attack by the community. It’s under attack by people w...

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