The short-list for Florida’s next transportation secretary is out, and the three nominees include current and former department employees along with a member of the Florida Transportation Commission, the board which selects the nominees.
The commission forwarded the three names to Gov. Rick Scott’s office last week.
* Richard M. Biter, former assistant secretary of Intermodal Systems Development, Florida Department of Transportation...
TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.
More than 150 community members gathered at a Florida Department of Transportation meeting to weigh in on the future of transportation in Tampa Bay.
The talking points were all the same as they have been in the past: Urban core resdidents called for transit, Tea Party members chafed at any mention of rail, and DOT officials held to the agency's commitment to build express toll lanes....
TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.
The name, that is. But its replacement — Tampa Bay Next — includes several of the same projects once proposed for TBX, such as the express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.
The Florida Department of Transportation unveiled the brand Tampa Bay Next on Monday to replace the controversial TBX, which has faced steady community backlash....
ST. PETERSBURG — Cuba's first ambassador to the United States in more than 50 years has seen the impact of renewed bilateral ties between the two countries continue to grow over the last two years
José Ramón Cabañas, the former head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., and one of three main Cuban negotiators to help re-establish ties, shared the changes he's observed with a crowd of about 250 people at St. Petersburg College's downtown campus Saturday. ...
Tampa Bay traffic is already a slog. Now imagine hundreds of thousands of people using those same interstates at the same time, all trying to escape in the same direction, while a hurricane churns toward land.
Nearly every scenario seems nightmarish: In Pinellas County, a Level D evacuation gives 585,000 people — half the county's population — 36 hours to crawl across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges. In Pasco County, a Level B evacuation means nearly 175,000 people would have 24 hours to flee east along just two roads, State Roads 52 and 54....
CLEARWATER — They gathered around tables and tried to imagine what successful regional transportation planning could look like.
Politicians, citizens, civil servants. Residents of multiple counties. Light rail advocates and opponents. The nearly 200 participants were a microcosm of a diverse population that could, one day, be represented by a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization that represents all of Tampa Bay — and not just each individual county....
ST. PETERSBURG — Dr. Frank Diamond Jr. had a way of putting his young patients at ease.
The pediatrician's easy manner reassured kids, whether they were patients at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg or at a hospital in Quito, Ecuador.
"It was eye opening to see him be able to help children from a totally different part of the world," said his son, state Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg. "To see him talk and joke with them and their parents in Spanish was really neat."...
TAMPA — An unexpected scene played out at the Florida Department of Transportation's local office on Thursday.
It started with a simple exercise in collaboration. It ended with a hug and literal mic drop.
For more than two years, Tampa has been a community divided. Tampa Bay Express, a $6 billion project to expand the region's interstates by adding up to 100 miles of toll lanes, was the line in the sand....
05/04/17 Mass Transit
Tampa Bay's regional transportation agency is set to get a new name — and a new focus.
The Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that will reshape the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. The Florida Senate passed its version last week, and the bill awaits Gov. Rick Scott's signature.
The legislation will do three things:
• Change the second "T" in TBARTA from Transportation to Transit. This highlights the agency's new mission: to bring a regionwide transit system to the area, whether its express buses, rail or some other mode of transit....
The Cross-Bay Ferry was an experiment for a region struggling with traffic, wedded to cars and separated by a big body of water.
If given the choice, would people ditch their cars and take a boat across the bay instead of sitting in traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge?
The answer: It depends on the day of the week.
The ferry saw most of its success on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a weekend entertainment option. Far fewer chose to use at as a commuter option, and weekday ticket sales reflected that....
Several dozen volunteers gathered Tuesday morning along Bullard Parkway Bridge in Temple Terrace for an experiment in safety.
Last year, 12 people died while riding their bikes in Hillsborough County. How many lives, the volunteers wanted to know, could they save with some cans of spray paint?
They shook their cans, the little ball inside rattling, and slowly covered a worn and cracked bike lane with neon green paint....
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....