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Pam Bondi announces website to spread awareness of human trafficking in Florida

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Since beginning her tenure as Attorney General six years ago, Pam Bondi has made the combating of human trafficking in the state one of her signature issues. Appearing at Tampa International Airport on Friday morning, Bondi announced the partnership with the airport to encourage travelers to spot human trafficking and report suspicious activity. They can do so by going to a new website, YouCanStopHT.com. “Thousands of people walk through our airport every single day,” Bondi said. “Partnering with the airport gives us a unique opportunity to spread…

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Upon second thought, City of St. Pete defers vote to regulate Uber and Lyft

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Just as how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day, officials at St. Petersburg’s City Hall are deferring taking any regulatory action against ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. City Councilmember Darden Rice told Janelle Irwin of the Tampa Bay Business Journal that all parties involved “are ever closer to an agreement to present to Council that is fair to the taxi companies and does not encumber rideshare companies with burdensome regulations and fees.” After Uber objected to a proposal to tax…

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Uber tips for safe New Year’s Eve

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Planning on being a responsible little partyer this New Year’s Eve? Uber has some tips for making sure your safe ride home goes as smoothly as possible. First of all, New Year’s Eve is probably the busiest night of the year for taxi companies and Uber. The busiest times, Uber estimates, are earlier in the evening as people are catching rides to their destination between about 8 and 10 p.m. Traffic really picks up between 12:30 and about 3 a.m.…

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As 2016 closes, Hillsborough’s transportation problems still mostly unsolved

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Another year of our lives is about to become history, and that means another year where little tangible was accomplished in terms of addressing the transportation needs of the citizenry in Hillsborough County. But a whole lot of people did get angry with each other over the process, anyway. At this time a year ago, the biggest concern was: What would come out of the Hillsborough County Sheriff Department’s investigation into Go Hillsborough, the two-years-in-the-making transportation plan that called for a 30-year,…

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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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Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission likely doomed after local delegation approves bill to kill it

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The troubled Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission received a terminal diagnosis Friday after members of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation voted unanimously for a local bill that would eliminate the agency on December 31, 2017. After that, the County Commission would pick up its regulatory duties. “The public has lost complete faith in the ability of this agency to regulate credibly, equitably and efficiently,” said bill sponsor James Grant said before the entire delegation vote in support of his bill. The proposal was similar…

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Lyft says its presence in Tampa has led to nearly $12 million in new spending in local economy

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With Lyft (along with Uber) now street legal in Tampa after more than two-and-half-years of wrangling with the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission, the San Francisco-based ridesharing company is making some bold claims about its impact on the local economy. In a report based on surveys conducted with Lyft drivers and passengers in Tampa released Monday, the company says that more than $11.9 million in new spending was generated in the local economy in 2016 because of its presence. When asked its motivation for requesting a Lyft…

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