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Voters could see new Hillsborough transit tax proposal in 2016 listen

07/29/14 Lisa Kauffman
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Policy Leadership Group, transit, Mike Merrill, Hillsborough County, Tampa, Transportation, rail

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A transit policy group wants Hillsborough County residents to be able to vote again on a tax for transportation improvements as soon as 2016.

Tuesday the Policy Leadership Group announced its proposal to connect USF, downtown Tampa, Westshore and Brandon. It wants to aid commuters with bus rapid transit and circulator systems, widening and repaving roads, improving intersections and eventually implementing a rail system. County Administrator Mike Merrill is part of the team that spent ove...

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Both sides of Pinellas County transit referendum say the other is spreading misinformation listen

04/10/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Ken Welch, psta, Greenlight Pinellas, transit, bus, rail, Pinellas County, Barbara Haselden

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Both sides of a controversial transit referendum in Pinellas County think the other is spreading misinformation. During a debate at Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Thursday, PSTA board member Ken Welch accused the group No Tax for Tracks of blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Welch was interrupted by longtime opponent David McKalip.

"There are so many misinformation items being put out there. Look, I'm used to this because I was chairman during the fluoride debate, Dr. McAlister. I'm use...

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Anti-rail activist rallies against Pinellas transit plan

03/14/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: transit, Greenlight Pinellas, rail, Barbara Haseldon, No Tax for Tracks

The Greenlight Pinellas Plan as its called would fund things like increased bus service, bus rapid transit and 24 miles of light rail connecting downtown St. Pete, the Carillon business district in mid-county and Clearwater. The one penny tax hike would raise Pinellas’ sales tax from 7% to 8% and would grow PSTA’s revenue from about $30 million to $130 million. The campaign pushing the referendum calls this a tax swap because the sales tax would replace the portion of property taxes currently...

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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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At USF Charlie Crist bashes Rick Scott over 2011 high-speed rail rejection listen

02/27/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, transit, rail, high-speed rail, Howard Frankland Bridge, USF, Tampa

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Former Governor Charlie Crist made a campaign stop at USF in Tampa Thursday in an effort to win back the governor’s mansion. Crist spoke to students urging them to vote in the university’s student body election.

Afterward he briefly spoke to reporters about plans for the aging Howard Frankland Bridge over Tampa Bay and how it should be used to further mass transit initiatives in the region. Crist said it would have been a great way to connect to high speed rail that was rejected by curren...

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Conservative transportation group calls for resignation of TBARTA chair listen

02/11/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Ronnie Duncan, Sharon Calvert, Greenlight Pinellas, Yes for Greenlight, transit, rail, Pinellas County, TBARTA, Citizens Orgnaized for Sound Transportation

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A conservative transportation group is calling for the resignation of the chair of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. Ronnie Duncan has assumed a leadership roll in the political action group Yes for Greenlight behind a campaign pushing a one penny sales tax transit referendum in Pinellas County. Sharon Calvert with Citizens Organized for Sound Transportation wrote a letter to Duncan yesterday and copied all other members of the board as well as Governor Rick Scott who re-a...

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New campaign asks for yes vote on Pinellas transit referendum listen

02/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Greenlight Pinellas, transit, Pinellas County, psta, Brad Miller, rail

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The campaign for a Pinellas County transit referendum officially launched Friday. The Yes for Greenlight initiative is gathering support for a one penny sales tax increase that would fund massive transit improvements including light rail and bus rapid transit.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is looking forward to a November ballot question asking voters to approve the increased sales tax to replace property taxes that currently fund the agency. Brad...

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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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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 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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