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Cross-Bay Ferry revenues health enough that money is flowing back to taxpayers

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although some transit supporters have downplayed its relevance, the Cross-Bay Ferry has some positive news to share. Officials with the ferry announced Thursday that for more than a month, revenues from ticket sales and concessions have surpassed the initial $150,000 fee guaranteed to Seattle-based HMS Ferries, with all that profit flowing back into the four local governments that put up a total of $1.4 million in seed money to fund the public-private partnership. The Cross-Bay Ferry began operations in November and is…

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Joe Henderson: Hillsborough Commission wusses out with transportation vote

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Six Hillsborough County Commissioners took the wuss way out Wednesday on a major vote about the future of transportation here. I would say I’m shocked, but mama and my Sunday school teachers always told me never to lie. The commission has done little over the decades to show commitment to thinking and planning for anything except the next election. So, chalk up the 6-1 vote to spend $812 million in the next 10 years on another transportation (must not laugh,…

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Tampa Bay Tea Party transit critics get their say at forum

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Whatever adjective(s) you may wish to use to describe Sharon Calvert, Tom Rask and Barb Haselden, “effective” has to be one of them. The three Tea Party-aligned citizen activists have led the opposition to the two major public transit initiatives that have gone down to defeat over the past seven years, and contributed strongly to a third never making it to the ballot in Hillsborough County in 2016 (they also proudly add the failed referendums in Polk County in 2010 and…

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Janet Long lashes out at transit critics

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Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long was not happy. Last Monday, the board of the Hillsborough County Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) inserted revised language into a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PSTA to ensure that the agreement did not mean that the two transit agencies would be merging or preparing for a sales tax referendum pending because of it. That rankled some board members, who said that the agreement is simply to officially collaborate on more issues going forward. Upon…

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Hillsborough MPO head wants to slow down talk of new regional transportation authority

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Beth Alden is looking to have a serious discussion about regional transportation in the Tampa Bay area. In early 2017, the consensus among the political and business establishment is that the Tampa Bay region must come together as one cohesive regional entity to maximize its leverage before anything can be done about transportation. However, Alden, the head of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Organization (MPO), wants to put on the brakes. “Let’s not do this half-assed,” she asserted in an interview earlier this…

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PSTA, HART take steps to formal working partnership

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The two agencies responsible for bus service in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties already collaborate, but in the future, they plan to have a tighter working partnership. On Wednesday, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s legislative committee got its first look at a proposed agreement that could result in the merger of some departments. The general goal is to streamline services to save money and provide better service for transit riders, PSTA CEO Brad Miller said. The agreement sets out areas in…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.20.16 – Our driverless future?

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Among the 2017 priorities that the Hillsborough County Regional Transit Authority’s government liaison, Cesar Hernandez told board members on Monday, one would be to continue to push for anything that can push autonomous vehicle technology forward in the new year. In case you’re not familiar with the whole driverless car concept, you should know that the Sunshine State, led by St. Petersburg Republican state Senator Jeff Brandes enthusiasm and advocacy, is in the vanguard of states when it comes to this new form of transportation. Earlier this year, the…

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