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Tri Rail

George Gainer, Jeff Brandes reverse positions on Tri-Rail, push bill to let controversial contract stand

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Tri-Rail’s controversial, one-source, half-billion, operations contract could go forward under an amended bill pushed Thursday by the Gov. Rick Scott administration and state Sens. George Gainer and Jeff Brandes. Just a few weeks ago, both Gainer and Brandes were hostile critics of the contract and Tri-Rail. Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, sponsored an amendment Thursday that strips away language that he and Scott had pushed for earlier that would have forced Tri-Rail to rebid the $511 million, 10-year contract. Tri-Rail’s operating…

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Tri-Rail’s half-billion dollar, single-proposal deal raises questions

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On Friday, the South Florida Regional Transit Authority will consider awarding a deal to run the state’s largest public commuter railroad, Tri-Rail — worth up to $511 million — after tossing all competing bids, including some asking far less money. The SFRTA’s board of trustees is being asked Friday to award Tri-Rail’s operations and maintenance contract, which could be good for as long as 10 years with extensions, to the only qualified proposer left, Herzog Transit Services Inc., of Texas, after the…

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Critics of Tampa Bay Express project now targeting Chamber of Commerce

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A Tampa grassroots organization still smarting over the decision by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Organization to approve a controversial toll lanes project in Tampa is now directing its ire at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Sunshine Citizens is a nascent group formed to oppose what is known as the Tampa Bay Express project, a multibillion-dollar plan from the Florida Department of Transportation that would add tolled express lanes on I-275 from the Gateway area of St. Petersburg to Bearss Avenue in north…

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Tampa town hall focuses on negative impacts of proposed I-275 toll lanes

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A coalition of Tampa activists who hosted a two-hour town hall meeting in Seminole Heights on Tuesday night appeared to have two main goals that they wanted to impart on the hundreds who crowded into the American Legion Post No. 111. The first goal was to convince them that the proposal by the Florida Department of Transportation for a new tolled highway would be a disaster for residents in Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights on a number of fronts. The second goal was…

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