People’s Budget Review: Most people unaware of Greenlight Pinellas details

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In a new survey by St. Petersburg civic activists at the People’s Budget Review, few people in Pinellas County are aware of the details of the proposed public transit expansion on the 2014 ballot.

The group will present the full survey results at a 9 a.m. press conference on Wednesday, March 26 at 3799 70 Ave. North in Pinellas Park.

The People’s Budget Review is an alliance of community advocates, local business owners, union members and residents working to ensure all residents have a voice in how local tax dollars are spent.

PBR polled nearly 1,600 voters countywide about the extent of their knowledge of the Greenlight Pinellas referendum, which calls for a one-cent sales tax to extend bus services and build a light rail corridor connecting Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

Greenlight Pinellas will be the focus of an intense campaign over the next 7 months — both for and against — to educate and activate residents leading up to the November ballot.  

In a statement released Tuesday, representatives pointed to the preliminary results showing a majority of voters are largely unfamiliar with the specifics of Greenlight Pinellas. As an example, more than half of those polled did not know many of the  basic details of the proposal, such as the planned 65 percent increase in bus service and 80 percent increased frequency in service on weekends.

“What is striking about these results is that many residents haven’t yet heard of the extensive improvements and additions to better bus service that Greenlight Pinellas achieves, yet they have heard about passenger rail,” said St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice.

“Greenlight Pinellas will improve and extend bus service by 65 percent to provide more choices for people to get to workplaces and to make our community a better place with a fair and well-planned transportation system,” Rice added.

PBR transit results_Page_01 overview

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.