HART bus service will improve for most riders, but some Hillsborough areas will lose routes altogether06/19/17 Mass Transit
RUSKIN — The first public meeting seeking input on Hillsborough County's proposed new bus system made one thing clear: while most riders will see improved service, some pockets of the county will be dropped entirely.
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority officials explained during a workshop Monday at Hillsborough Community College's Ruskin campus that those who live by popular routes can expect more frequent service following more direct paths....
06/16/17 Mass Transit
TAMPA — Hillsborough's transit authority is seeking feedback from bus riders as it looks at redesigning its system this fall and cutting nearly 20 percent of its routes.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will hold the first of 18 public meetings on the new routes at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hillsborough Community College Southshore Campus. The month-long outreach process will culminate at a July 26 public hearing. ...
06/16/17 Public Safety
American culture is fascinated with spies, and Florida has links to some of the most intricate espionage cases the country has seen. Here are a few high-profile cases from recent years.
It took 25 years for authorities to capture George Trofimoff. Decades of providing highly classified documents to the Soviet Union finally caught up with him when he was arrested at Tampa hotel in 2000. ...
TAMPA — Hillsborough County leaders voted Tuesday to move forward with a plan to add 90 miles of toll lanes to Tampa Bay's interstates despite continued opposition from the people whose neighborhoods would be impacted the most by the project.
The Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization — a 16-person board which approves transportation projects — listened to more than 3½- hours of public comment on its Transportation Improvement Program, which lists the county's priorities for the next five years....
CLEARWATER — A sea horse called Funyun was released into the wild Monday after tourists found her washed up in the sands of Indian Rocks Beach.
But first, there was Cheeto.
Last month, a mom and daughter spied a seagull with a small, orange item in its mouth. When the bird dropped its unappetizing catch, the pair realized it was a sea horse....
TAMPA — Transportation leaders will meet with Hillsborough elected officials today to vote on their priorities for the next five years, which right now include spending money on the controversial Tampa Bay Next plan.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization — the group that approves transportation projects for the county — will host a public hearing to adopt its five-year plan tonight at 6 p.m. at Hillsborough County Center. The Transportation Improvement Plan is updated and approved annually....
TAMPA — The top Florida Department of Transportation official overseeing the Tampa Bay region will step down next month.
District 7 Secretary Paul Steinman sent an email Friday morning to his staff saying that he was resigning so that he could move to Raleigh, N.C., and be closer to his son. His last day will be July 14.
"As many of you know, family is my number one priority," Steinman wrote. "This move allows more frequent opportunities for us to spend time together doing the simple things like prepping (for) race day and someday down the road coaching my grandkids in the fundamentals of ice hockey."...
TAMPA — The business community has been touting a regional planning group as part of the solution to Tampa Bay's transportation woes.
But not everyone is on board — including one of Hillsborough's most trusted voices on transportation.
Beth Alden, the executive director of Hillsborough's Metropolitan Planning Organization, has some serious hangups about merging the area's individual county MPOs — each has a federally-mandated authority that plans local transportation projects — into one regional group....
TAMPA — Political leaders from Tampa Bay's three biggest cities trumpeted transportation again as the region's most critical issue during a panel discussion Tuesday.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called transportation the area's Achilles' heel and singled out rail as a much-needed option.
Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said it's an embarrassment Tampa Bay hasn't moved yet on a transit plan....
TAMPA — Hillsborough County is getting a whole new bus network — one that is poised to cut nearly 20 percent of its current routes.
Pending public hearings and board review, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will roll out 34 routes in October, down from the existing 41. Some of the routes will be new, some will stay the same and others will be truncated, altered or combined. ...
Gov. Rick Scott named Florida Department of Transportation Chief of Staff Michael Dew as the agency's next secretary, four months after former Jim Boxold resigned the post to work as a lobbyist for Capital City Consulting.
Monday's announcement came two weeks after the Florida Transportation Commission nominated three candidates to the governor on May 17.
In addition to Dew, the commission recommended Richard Biter, former DOT assistant secretary of Intermodal Systems Developemnt, and FTC member Ronald Howse....
The short-list for Florida’s next transportation secretary is out, and the three nominees include current and former department employees along with a member of the Florida Transportation Commission, the board which selects the nominees.
The commission forwarded the three names to Gov. Rick Scott’s office last week.
* Richard M. Biter, former assistant secretary of Intermodal Systems Development, Florida Department of Transportation...
TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.
More than 150 community members gathered at a Florida Department of Transportation meeting to weigh in on the future of transportation in Tampa Bay.
The talking points were all the same as they have been in the past: Urban core resdidents called for transit, Tea Party members chafed at any mention of rail, and DOT officials held to the agency's commitment to build express toll lanes....
TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.
The name, that is. But its replacement — Tampa Bay Next — includes several of the same projects once proposed for TBX, such as the express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.
The Florida Department of Transportation unveiled the brand Tampa Bay Next on Monday to replace the controversial TBX, which has faced steady community backlash....
ST. PETERSBURG — Cuba's first ambassador to the United States in more than 50 years has seen the impact of renewed bilateral ties between the two countries continue to grow over the last two years
José Ramón Cabañas, the former head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., and one of three main Cuban negotiators to help re-establish ties, shared the changes he's observed with a crowd of about 250 people at St. Petersburg College's downtown campus Saturday. ...