PSTA’s Brad Miller: express buses should have dedicated lanes

electric bus eLooper EV

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The head of Pinellas County’s transportation agency says it would be ideal if express buses had dedicated lanes they didn’t have to share with other traffic. WMNF interviewed Brad Miller, the CEO of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority — or PSTA. He’s in Washington, D.C. lobbying for support for local and regional transportation needs.

“PSTA — we agree completely that public transit works best when it doesn’t have to sit with other cars in the traffic congestion, which we all know is getting worse and worse in the Tampa Bay area. So we want to make sure we do provide a congestion-free lane or option.

What’s being proposed is to create that in many parts of the highway. To create a lane so that the buses, when the traffic builds up, can pass that traffic and stay in the dedicated lane.

“In other areas we’re going to be using the new express (toll) lanes that the Florida DOT is building (under Tampa Bay Next).  Those are designed not to have congestion. So the transit will be competitive and actually be better for folks than sitting in their own car, twiddling away as the time goes by.”

PSTA electric bus demo

Electric bus demonstration at PSTA. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (26 January 2016).

We talked about other transportation issues as well, including electric buses, construction of a new span of the Howard Frankland Bridge, bicycle and pedestrian trails and bike- and scooter-shares.

Miller also pointed out that investments in transportation infrastructure pay for themselves in increased jobs and economic growth.

Listen to the full show here.

Looking ahead

At 11:06 a.m. Wednesday, we’ll hear from people without homes in Tampa who have had their belongings taken by police and have had to deal with benches being removed from city parks.

Looking ahead to Thursday morning at 11:06, we’ll get more details about bills in Tallahassee with our Legislative Session update from our guest Susan Smith.