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Will Ken Hagan save ridesharing in Hillsborough?

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They say the past is prologue. If that’s true, past votes and actions by Hillsborough County’s Public Transportation Commission can give us a glimpse at how the showdown over ridesharing may unfold. And it looks like it could all be in the hands of one board member: Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan. Oct. 13 is the date of the public hearing that could determine the future of ridesharing in Hillsborough County. That’s when the PTC is expected to vote to…

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Hillsborough PTC approves new rules — Future uncertain for Uber and Lyft

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The Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission Wednesday voted 5-2 on proposed new rules that still include requiring Level II background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers — a mandate representatives from those companies have said would compel them to leave the market. Though theoretically the new rules would allow new ridesharing companies to enter the market, the proprietor of one such company said after the meeting he would not enter the market operating under different rules than Uber and Lyft. The new rules…

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.2.16 – Tampa City Council approves $251 million to improve stormwater system

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They did it last night. After nearly four hours of discussion, the Tampa City Council voted 4-2 to support the biggest infusion of taxpayer dollars ever to attempt to improve the city’s stormwater infrastructure, which for decades has been a major problem in the city. Mike Suarez, Lisa Montelione, Harry Cohen and swing vote Guido Maniscalco opted to support Mayor Bob Buckhorn‘s proposal, nearly a year after they rejected a similar one. Councilmembers Charlie Miranda and Frank Reddick dissented, while Yolie Capin was not at the meeting. The improvements will be paid for through…

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Mitch Perry Report for 8.4.16 — Patrick Murphy shuts down the debate

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Well, so much for the free flow of ideas inside the Florida Democratic Party. Patrick Murphy announced yesterday he would not engage in any debates with Alan Grayson or Pam Keith in advance of the Aug. 30 Senate primary election, citing allegations of domestic abuse charged by Grayson’s ex-wife last week. “Over the last week, I have heard from many people, including survivors of domestic abuse, that Alan Grayson’s continued presence in this race is an insult to the countless Floridians whose lives have been…

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Sandy Murman doesn’t want Hillsborough PTC to raise penalties on ridesharing drivers

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman said Wednesday she doesn’t want the Public Transportation Commission to raise the penalties on ridesharing drivers from $700 to $900. “I think their fines are high enough,” she told her colleagues on the Board of County Commission at the end of their regular meeting. “If the fines are being raised to control a certain business that’s trying to operate in our community, I think that’s probably not the right way to do it.” On Tuesday, the PTC’s…

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PSTA offers more free rides for students

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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is now offering free rides to all Pinellas Technical College students and staff members. Any PTC student or staff member will now be permitted to ride PSTA buses for free by showing their school ID. According to PSTA, roughly 3,000 PTC students attend classes in St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Sarah Crofoot is one of them. After a truck she was riding in got sideswiped by a speeding car, Crofoot had to be airlifted to the…

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Victor Crist fires back at Uber

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After delivering what the Tampa Bay Times‘ Caitlin Johnston described as a “rant” at Wednesday’s Hillsborough Board of County Commission, Victor Crist isn’t finished getting the last word in when it comes to the county’s battle with Uber — the more recalcitrant of the two ridesharing companies that have been operating out of compliance with the Public Transportation Commission (PTC) for the past 18 months. “To date, the problem has been that Uber has refused to meet with the PTC…

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