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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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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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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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Bus ridership continues to grow in Pinellas and Hillsborough listen

11/11/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

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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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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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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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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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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