04/22/17 Mass Transit
The firm assembling a highly anticipated study has identified five potential routes for a future transit system in Tampa Bay.
This is the first big update in the regional premium transit feasibility plan, a cumbersome term for a process that will identify whether rail, express bus or other types of transit will best serve the region.
A team from Jacobs Engineering expects to narrow that list and recommend three specific projects — including the exact routes and the type of transit that will operate on them — by November, said Jacobs executive Scott Pringle....
Coming soon to the area around the University of South Florida: new Teslas to ferry people to and from bus stops04/19/17 Mass Transit
TAMPA — Starting Monday, people who live and work around the University of South Florida will be able to summon a sleek Tesla to take them to and from a bus stop.
If that doesn't seem futuristic enough, consider this: The electric vehicles are already equipped with self-driving hardware, and transit officials hope the fleet will soon be driverless.
The project is part of HyperLink — the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority's solution to getting people to and from bus stops for $3 a trip so they don't have to walk 45 minutes in the Florida heat or pay for an Uber. HyperLink started in Carrollwood, Brandon and the University Area six months ago, but Monday's unveiling of four Teslas operating around USF is a development HART officials hope will place the transit agency ahead of its peers nationwide....
TAMPA — Opponents of the state's controversial Tampa Bay Express plan to add nearly 100 miles of toll lanes to Tampa Bay's highways will host a forum Tuesday night to discuss alternatives, such as light rail and rebuilding Interstate 275 as a street-level boulevard.
The Heights Urban Core Chamber is organizing the event, with the focus on maintaining community values while addressing transportation needs, said president Kimberly Overman. Overman and others are also part of the Stop TBX movement. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 111 at 6918 N Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights....
ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards hopes to one day join Major League Soccer. But before he joins a new soccer league, he has filed suit against his old one.
Edwards is suing the North American Soccer League for fraud, claiming he never would have bought the Rowdies if he had known about a "criminal conspiracy" involving the league.
The lawsuit, filed in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court on Thursday, seeks to void any agreements with the NASL and asked for Edwards to be awarded costs and damages. The team left the NASL in 2016 and started playing in the United Soccer League this year....
The Florida Department of Transportation is taking two years to reevaluate its controversial plan, known as Tampa Bay Express, to add toll lanes to nearly 100 miles of interstates.
Director of Development Bill Jones made a 10 minute presentation to the Tampa City Council Thursday about what exactly the TBX “reset” means. He told the board for the Community Redevelopment Area that DOT will have a new plan for the project by the end of 2019....
TAMPA — The Florida Department of Transportation is taking two years to re-evaluate its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan to add express toll lanes to nearly 100 miles of bay-area interstates.
DOT director of development Bill Jones made a 10-minute presentation to the Tampa City Council on Thursday explaining exactly what the TBX "reset" means. He told the council that the state will have a new plan for the project ready by the end of 2019....
When Robert Vann awoke to the smell of smoke and a blaring fire alarm Tuesday, he said he had no idea what started the blaze that would kill his 5-year-old son.
His 4-year-old daughter, the father said, would later tell him she saw her brother Hassan Jerome Vann, 5, playing with a lighter in his bedroom.
"He was fascinated with the lighter," Robert Vann, 71, said Wednesday. "He was flicking it and watching the flame."...
The Cross-Bay Ferry is entering the final stretch of its 6-month pilot program, which is set to end April 30.
March was a record month for ticket sales, said spokesman Richard Mullins. The ferry generated more than $57,000 in ticket sales to return to the the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa, and Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
HMS Ferries started covering its management costs in late January, which meant money from ticket sales has since gone back to the four governments who invested in the pilot....
ST. PETERSBURG — Jalisa Young was watching TV in her living room around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday when she heard the screams.
She peeked outside and saw smoke billowing from her neighbor's house.
A woman ran out first. A 4-year-old girl trailed behind.
"She looked back to see where her brother was," Young recalled. "But he was inside."
"My baby," the woman wailed. "My baby is in the house."...
ST. PETERSBURG — A 32-year-old man faces a manslaughter charge after a Sunday night bar fight that cost a man his life, according to St. Petersburg police.
Vincent Hollingsworth, 62, was playing pool Sunday night at the Stinger Bar on 2222 49th St. S when he got into a fight with his opponent, police said, striking him several times in the face with a cue ball.
Two bouncers at the bar broke up the fight and separated the two men. But then police said Mario Stephens, 32, came up behind Hollingsworth and hit him over the head with a beer bottle....
TAMPA — The Florida Department of Transportation is hoping a trip to St. Louis can help revive its controversial plan to add toll lanes to nearly 100 miles of Tampa Bay interstates.
The local DOT office will take a group of about 20 politicians, activists and business members to Missouri in April to learn more about how transportation planners and community members there came together and compromised on a highway construction project....
Elected lawmakers requesting money for roads and transit projects in the state budget run the risk of crossing the Florida Department of Transportation.
If it comes as a surprise that control over much of the state's $10 billion annual transportation budget is in the hands of bureaucrats as opposed to lawmakers held accountable by voters, those more familiar with the process say that's just the way the system works....
Lawmakers can request state money for transportation, but Pinellas and Hillsborough legislators aren't asking03/24/17 Blog
Each year, legislators ask the state to pay for projects in their communities. Some of those requests make it into the budget, others don't. But this year, Hillsborough and Pinellas lawmakers aren't asking for nearly as much money for transportation projects as their counterparts in other parts of the state....
Tampa Bay's legislators aren't asking for state transportation money; a fractured approach doesn't help03/24/17 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Tampa Bay leaders aren't shy about proclaiming the need for more transportation dollars.
There's $1.2 billion of unfunded road projects in Pinellas County. That number climbs to more than $4 billion in Hillsborough.
Cash-starved transit agencies in both counties spend less per resident than counterparts almost anywhere else nationwide.
Local officials have considered everything from raising the sales tax to using BP oil spill settlement money to plug Tampa Bay's growing transportation gap. Yet as they've scrambled to fill the void, Tampa Bay's state lawmakers have taken a pass....
Members of the Florida Transportation Commission are expected to send a short-list of three candidates for Department of Transportation secretary to Governor Rick Scott by April 20.
Scott will pick an applicant from that list to replace former DOT Secretary Jim Boxold, who resigned from the department on Feb. 3 to work as a lobbyist for Capital City Consulting....