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Transportation talks in Hillsborough not appeasing pro-transit activists listen

06/18/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Transportation, transit, Hillsborough County, The Sierra Club, buses, Sandra Murman, Phil Compton

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Groups who want more transit options in Hillsborough County like improved bus routes and rail say there’s too much emphasis on roads. They’re pushing back against a plan that will be presented next week.

“We’re concerned that the policy leadership group spent 6 separate meetings talking about road projects, 5 separate occasions about governance, but now plans to talk about transit just one time before approving a plan for review and we’re afraid such a plan will be D.O.A.”

That’s Phil ...

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Dueling Pinellas groups argue transit sales tax in the rain listen

05/28/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, transit, buses, bus rapid transit, Transportation, Pinellas County, No Tax for Tracks

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The duel between pro-transit and anti-rail groups in Pinellas County is heating up ahead of November’s referendum. At issue, whether or not to hike sales tax by a penny to fund transit improvements including a cross-county passenger rail line. In demonstrations at the intersection of Bryan Dairy and Belcher Road Tuesday evening Groups were evenly split at about a dozen apiece. Shannon Evans carried a Greenlight Pinellas sign while holding her nine-month old son.

“It’s the only way to get ...

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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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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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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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Dedicated bus lanes combined with tolls could ease Tampa congestion listen

06/14/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News 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. Bob Frey is the agency’s planning director.

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HART opens MetroRapid express bus route along Nebraska Avenue to USF Tampa listen

05/28/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The Hillsborough County Regional Transit Authority, or HART, kicked off its first day of Express Bus service Tuesday along the Nebraska Avenue corridor. MetroRapid uses GPS technology for traffic signal priority and limited bus stops to get riders to their destination as much as 15% faster – and uses brand new buses.

“I like it. It smells like a brand new car.”

That’s frequent bus rider Jeff Stevens.

“It’s cleaner, it’s a lot nicer looking, it’s a little bit more [...

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Regional transit in Tampa Bay is getting an updated vision listen

04/26/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The board coordinating transit agencies from all over the Tampa Bay area is updating its master plan this year. The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority discussed the changes during its meeting Friday. Even though the board considers the update minor, it includes opportunities for increased regional connectivity.

Much of the focus will be on making it easier to get between Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Bob Clifford is TBARTA’s executive dire...

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Hillsborough County Commissioners will accelerate transit talks listen

03/20/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously agreed to start planning how to improve transit during a meeting today in downtown. Despite more than a dozen speakers who were in favor of multi-modal transit, Commissioner Victor Crist said his vote doesn't necessarily mean he will support rail.

“I’m going to be judging them solely on the ROI – the return on investment. I’m going to be looking at whether or not it remained an objective process. I’m going to be scrutinizing it v...

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Mobile app for bus riders coming soon to Hillsborough listen

02/08/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority is trying to make it easier for bus riders to figure out how to get from point A to point B. HART will launch a web-based bus information system for riders this summer. The program is called OneBusAway and was created with the help of USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research. It will be available on smart phones, through the HART website and through telephone operators. HART’s Information Technology Services coordinator, Shannon Ha...

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