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Transportation : In The News

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Former Clearwater mayor pushes for Greenlight Pinellas

More transportation options. Tax fairness. Improving travel. Density. Economic development. Vision.

Those are the top 6 reasons former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard outlines in a strong case for passage of the Greenlight Pinellas initiative on November's ballot.

Read the complete commentary.

TIA, Tampa Port target global exports

Increasing exports from the Tampa Bay region is a top priority for growth at both Tampa International Airport and the Tampa Port. Both entities are planning for expansions that will bolster the local economy and create jobs. 

CEOs Joe Lopano and Paul Anderson as seen as key thought leaders in Florida's future trade potential.

Read the complete story

Measuring costs of transit in Pinellas County

Pinellas County voters will weigh the costs and value of more transit options before voting on the November ballot initiative Greenlight Pinellas.

Thought provoking questions surround expectations that while an individual's taxes may increase $3 to $5 a month for more buses and the start of light rail, drivers may save even more in gasoline, insurance and wear and tear on their cars by using alternative transportation.

Read the complete story.

Tampa prepares to launch bike share program

The much-anticipated bike sharing program in downtown Tampa is about to take off. 

Expect a sea of blue bikes to take to the streets with the arrival of cooler weather.

Read the complete story.

Audi Tests Driverless Car In Tampa

Audi is testing driverless cars in the Tampa Bay area, taking to the Selmon Expressway for two days in an effort to re-create potential situations that a car's sensors could face.

Automotive engineers are high on test driving in Florida because it is one of only four states that allow driverless cars on public roads and streets.

Read the complete story.

Times Reimagines Port Facilities For Tampa Bay

A future filled with mega ships and sediment in Tampa Bay's main shipping channels prompted the Tampa Bay Times to seek reader input in reimagining solutions for inevitable accessiblity problems for the region's cruise ship and cargo industries.

Ideas proposed include building a tunnel to replace the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, floating a dry dock to offload passengers and cargo onto smaller ships, building an island where transfers could occur and designing a new megaport on coastal property shared by the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee.

Read the complete story.

Vote Yay Or Nay On Greenlight Pinellas?

Pinellas voters should weigh their experiences and vision for the future, then trust their gut when it comes to voting for or against the Greenlight Pinellas ballot initiative in November, says Tampa Bay Times Columnist John Romano.

The largely suburban community has the population density required for a successful transit system but voters must decide whether a tax increase is a worthy investment in the future.

Read the complete story.

Proposed Ferry For MacDill Air Force Base Attracts Major Federal Grant

Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Akerman Attorney Ed Turanchik announced a $4.8 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a proposed water ferry linking MacDill Air Force Base to south Hillsborough County, where many MacDill workers live.

The ferry would ease automobile traffic on area roads while providing a quicker commute for thousands of base employees who travel onto the base each day.

Read the complete story.

Brooksville Jet Manufacturer Inks Deal To Make Flying Saucers

Look! Up in the sky! It's a flying saucer made in Brooksville. No joke. For real. Just ask Corporate Jet Solutions and Dyenamic Aviation, a Brooksville company that is teaming up with a California company to develop and manufacture commuter jets that look like flying saucers.

Known as the Geobat FS-7, the cylindrical aircraft is expected to draw extra attention at global air shows in coming months.

Read the complete story.

New State Law Makes Florida Roads Safer For Biking, Walking

Friends of Aaron Cohen, a Miami bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run accident in 2012, are leaving a living legacy in his memory with passage of a new state law that increases penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident causing injuries or deaths.

The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act is designed to make Florida's roads safer for all.

Read the complete story.

Business, Community Leaders Coalesce Behind Better Transit Options For Tampa Bay

A top concern for business and corporate leaders in the Tampa Bay region emanates from how much time employees spend on the road commuting to and from work as well as delivering goods and services.

Leaders are callling for more transit and transportation options even if it means raising taxes.

Read the complete story.

Uber Joins Lyft In Ride Sharing In Tampa Bay

If ride-sharing is a measure of a cool city, Tampa just got a whole lot cooler with the arrival of Uber, a ride-sharing service popular in many of America's hippest urban areas.

Uber and Lyft, another ride-sharing service new to town, compete for passengers with more traditional means of transporation offered by local cab companies.

Read the complete story.

Need A Ride? Lyft Arrives In Tampa Bay

Lyft, a new ride-sharing service arrives in Tampa Bay but not without controversy sparked by rules governing cabs and taxis.

The service, which operates in cool cities across the nation, is already advertising for drivers and offering rides around the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Leaders Say Transit Is A Top Priority

Elected officials in Hillsborough County and its three cities -- Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City -- are strategizing about the best way to educate and engage local residents on future transit options for improved mobility and better transportation.

Public input will likely be sought through hearings, surveys and media campaigns.

Read the complete story.

Fletcher Avenue Upgrades Aim To Improve Walkability

Fletcher Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Tampa, is about to undergo upgrades designed to make it safer for walkers and bicyclists.

Hillsborough County is spending $4.4 million to add better lighting, crosswalks and safety islands between Nebraska Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard through North Tampa near the University of South Florida.

Read the complete story.

MacDill Air Force Base Looks To Expand Fleet

MacDill Air Force Base and Tampa Bay may become the greatest beneficiaries of the 2015 proposed U.S. Defense Department budget that shifts fighter jets and personnel here from others places that will be consolidated or cutback.

Dozens of planes and pilots and others who work around the air fleet could fly south to Florida if current plans are adopted, a big windfall for the local economy.

Read the complete story.

Tampa International Airport Grows For The Future

International airports in Tampa and Orlando received big boosts in state funding for expansions and improvements.

The Tampa Airport is expecting $194 million in additional state revenue; the Orlando Airport will get about $215 million.

Read the complete story.

Fly Tampa To Seattle Direct Starting In June

Add Seattle and the Pacific Northwest to your list of nonstop travel destinations from Tampa International Airport. Following months of talk about Seattle being a priority for direct flights, TIA CEO Joe Lopano worked a deal with Alaskan Airlines to start connecting the cities in June.

Introductory fares are expected to start at $149 one-way.

Read the complete story.

ULI Envisions Better Use Of St. Pete's Waterfront

An Urban Land Institute team of planners, developers and urban officials from other places recommends St. Petersburg make better use of its waterfront, especially on the south end of downtown around USFSP.

The rcommendations include improving connectivity with additional bike paths, boats slips and other transportation options as well as encouraging more public use of open spaces.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Invests $125K In Ferry Study

It's looking like the potential for a ferry crossing from South Hillsborough to MacDill Air Force Base is on full throttle with the County Commission's decision to pay for a feasbility study as the next step toward launch.

The ferry proposal would shorten time spent communting for military personnel and others living in the Apollo Beach, Ruskin and South Brandon neighborhoods while lessening automobile traffic congestion on U.S. 301, Interstate 4 and other connector roads to and from downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Driverless Cars To Test Roads In Tampa

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is authorizing test drives of driverless car on the LeeRoy Selmon Expressway, which can be closed to other traffic while the tests proceed.

The Authority and researchers are looking forward to the opportunity to eventually move the cars into normal traffic. The technology involved is expected to make commuting and traveling safer for everyone.

Read the complete story.

Transit Plans Take Shape For Tampa Bay

Plans are coming together across Tampa Bay to improve the traffic situation by offering more options for people trying to get around and between Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Pinellas voters will get a chance to consider additional funding for transit in November 2014. Hillsborough, or at least Tampa, voters may get a similar opportunity for choice in 2015 or 2016.

Read stories for Hillsborough and the Tampa Bay region.

Tampa's Bike Share Program Moves Forward

The City of Tampa's bike sharing program is coasting toward a spring launch with Florida's warm weather expected to be a factor in its anticipated year-round success.

The blue two-wheelrs will be available at 30 spots around town. The cost to rent a ride starts at $5 an hour.

Read the complete story.

Greenlight Pinellas Campaign Kicks Into High Gear

Pinellas County is spending about $400,000 to educate the public about Greenlight Pinellas, the effort to pass a transit referendum in November 2014.

The education effort targets community and business leaders as well as frequent voters likely to go to the polls.

Read the complete story.

Road Construction Ahead: Get Ready To Change Lanes

No matter where you need to go around the Tampa Bay region in the next 2-4 years, chances are good that you'll travel through or around road construction.

Major interstate construction projects crisscross the heart of Tampa adding lanes and reconfiguring exit/entrance ramps; smaller projects will affect travel from Spring Hill to Sarasota.

Read the complete story.

Bike Path Plan Under Tampa Expressway Nears Approval

A planned bike path parallel to the LeeRoy Selman Expressway through downtown Tampa is on track to begin construction in May or June 2014.

The idea is to open up the space under the Crosstown to bicycles and pedestrians as green space for alternative transportation.

Read the complete story.

New Version Of Tampa AirFest Set For March

After a year off due to federal budget cuts, the hugely popular MacDill Airfest will return in March 2014 as the new and improved "MacDill Air Force Base Presents Tampa Bay AirFest.''

The 2014 version will include the Air Force Thunderbirds and other aerial demonstrations superior to those seen anywhere else around the globe, base officials promise.

Read the complete story.


New Flights Connecting Tampa, Panama City

New flights are already being added to Copa Airlines travel between Tampa and Panama City, Panama, just as the first flights are getting off the ground.

Demand is far exceeding expectations as the new connection to Latin and South American countries gets underway. The new service means Florida business leaders no longer need to get to Orlando or Miami to fly south.

Read the complete story.

TIA $1B Expansion Gets Underway

Austin Commercial, a Texas building contractor, will soon start work on a $1 billion expansion of Tampa International Airport.

The project is expected to create 8,000 construction-related jobs and be completed by 2017.

Read the complete story.

New Cruise Ship Sets Sail From Tampa Port

Another cruise ship, Brilliance of the Seas, now departs from the Tampa Port for Mexico and the West Caribbean, including the Grand Caymans and Cozumel.

Brilliance is the ninth Royal Caribbean ship to call Tampa home. The 90,090-ton ship left port with 2,100 passengers.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Plans Huge Fueling Station

The Port of Tampa expands its capacity to supply the Tampa Bay region's gasoliine, diesel, aviation fuel and oil with a $56 million investment in a new petroleum terminal.

Half the money for the project is coming from the state of Florida to keep vehicles on track, on the road and in the air.

Read the complete story.

Tesla Center Near Tampa Sells Electric Supercars

All electric Tesla sedans can now be purchased in Tampa thanks to a new consultation service center in Brandon just off of U.S. 301 between Adamo Drive and Broadway.

Consumer Reporter Richard Mullins of The Tampa Tribune took a Model S sedan on a test drive.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Must Build Consensus On Future Of Transportation

Unless and until the Tampa Bay region can start building consensus on key issues, it will always lag behind when it comes to major projects requiring state and federal funding.

That conclusion came out of business and community leaders gathered to talk about finding the best way to improve transportation and tranist in the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Airport Plans To Add New Shops, Restaurants

A major renovation of airport shops, other retail spaces and restaurants is in the works for Tampa International Airport. The airport plans to upgrade and expand choices for shoppers and passengers to enhance the experience at the airport.

The plan is to build upon the old and create new for a major overhaul to be complete by 2017.

Read the complete story.


Florida Now Bans Texting While Driving

No more texting while driving on Florida streets, roads and highways. A new law goes into effect today (Oct. 1) banning the practice that too often leads to accidents caused by distracted drivers.

A new awareness campaign will include signage, media announcements and T-shirts conveying the ban.

Read the complete story.

Pepin Distributing Makes Room For Craft Beers

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That seems to be the motto of Pepin Distributing's smart new tactic to build additional warehouse space in order to accommodate the growing taste for local and craft beers.

Tampa's biggest beer distributor is investing in its own future by taking on new products rather than fighting the trend.

Read the complete story.

New HART App Informs Hillsborough Bus Riders

Bus riders in Hillsborough County can now download and access a smart phone app that tells them progress and time of arrival for buses along selected routes.

The app is designed to help alleviate frustration for those who have to wait long periods or don't know whether a bus has already made a pickup at the stop.

Read the complete story.

HART's MetroRapid Attracts Bus Riders In Tampa

A speedier bus route connecting downtown Tampa with neighborhoods around the University of South Florida and northeast Tampa has doubled its ridership since launching in May.

The new MetroRapid line saves time with fewer stops and technology that gives it green lights headed north and south through the city.

Read the complete story.

Getting From Here To There In Tampa Bay

As commuters lament time spent on the road and businesses add up the costs in time and fuel for transporting goods and employees, the Tampa Bay region is again focusing on transportation solutions.

Additional buses and specially designated lanes for highway traffic are under consideration along with the potential for additional mass transit of some sort.

Read the complete story.

Copa Airlines Adds Tampa To Panama City Route

The addition of Copa Airlines to travelers' options for flying back and forth between Tampa International Aiport and Central America is a welcome sign of increased global trade for Florida.

The new connection brings four flights a week between Panama City and Tampa in the first-ever route to a major Latin American hub.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Enters Auto Import Business

The Tampa Port Authority signals its ready to expand into the auto import business by signing a deal with Amports to ship cars from Mexico to the U.S. via Florida.

Importing autos through Tampa would bring more jobs and shipping to downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Reels In Big Companies, Lots Of Jobs

Jobs, higher wages and more opportunities are coming to Tampa in 2014 and beyond with recent announcements surrounding big companies moving to or expanding services in Florida.

Is it any wonder the economic development leaders are feeling pretty pumped?

Read the complete Robert Trigaux column.

Reason Says Florida Bridges Safer Than Most

Based on expenditures on road improvements and bridge replacements, Florida may be among the safest states for travel, according to a recent study by the Reason Foundation.

Florida trails only California and Texas for spending on highways while its bridges are deemed among the safest (and youngest).

Read the complete story.

New Ferry Service Connects St. Pete, Pass-A-Grille

A new ferry service connecting downtown St. Petersburg with the Pass-a-Grille beach area offers a scenic route under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The ferry is designed primarily for leisure travelers and tourists, but also may appeal to may also commuters looking for an alternative to conjestion on east-west streets and roads traversing south Pinellas County.

Read the complete story.

Amazon Says It's Bringing 1,000 Jobs To Tampa Bay

Amazon, the online retail giant that ships products worldwide to consumers' doorsteps, is in talks with Florida and Hillsborough County officials about opening an operations center near Tampa.

If Amazon goes forward with plans to employ local workers in south Hillsborough County just off Interstate 75, Florida residents would be required to pay sales taxes for online purchases.

Read the complete story.


Competition Calls For Elimination Of Public Transportation Panel

Part of the discussion at Emerge Tampa's recent town hall meeting focused on why Hillsborough is the only county in Florida that prohibits competition among transportation providers.

The issue came up when Vinny Tafuro told about restrictions placed on competing cab services during the GOP convention in Tampa in 2012. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and others say the regulations are outdated and need to change.

Read the complete story.

New Ferry Service Idea To Connect Tampa, Apollo Beach

The latest proposal to provide ferry service connecting MacDill Air Force Base to the Apollo Beach, Riverview and Brandon communities of south and east Hillsborough comes from an Indiana company represented by former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, now a lawyer with Akerman.

If successful, such a ferry could take hundreds of automobiles off local roads each day as military and non-military workers commute into South Tampa to work.

Read the complete story.

Planning Begins To Replace Howard Frankland Bridge

Planners with the Florida Department of Transportation are studying how best to build a new span for the Howard Frankland Bridge connecting Hillsborough (Tampa) and Pinellas (Clearwater-St. Petersburg).

The plan is to seek public input as well as ideas from engineers and transportation experts, including the option for mass transit and pedestrian-bicycle traffic.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Asks Residents To Invision Future Nebraska Avenue

Never mind what Nebraska Avenue looks like today. Rethink it for the future. How can the City of Tampa meld old with new to create new spaces and a new sense of place.

That is the challenge as the Envision Tampa process focuses on Nebraska Avenue north of downtown.

Read the complete story.


Parking, Bicycle Lanes Add Safety To Ashley Drive

Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa will soon gain parking spaces and bicycle lanes under a redesign aimed at making the street more pedestrian and two-wheel friendly.

The changes are part of Mayor Bob Buckhorn's priorities in attracting investments and people into downtown.

Read the complete story.

Making Tampa Bay Safer For Riding Bicycles

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is making bicycle and pedestiran safety in Tampa a higher priority for his adminsitration by calling attention to designing streets that accommodate multimodal transportation options.

Part of that effort included a recent visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportaton Ray LaHood.

Read the complete story.

Florida DOT Picks Westshore For Transit Hub

The Florida Department of Transportation cited the amount of traffic that already converges in the Westshore business district in Tampa for identifying four sites where a future transportation hub could be built.

The idea is to pick a convenient place where mass transit vehicles -- primarily buses and possibly trains traveling on light rail -- can load and off-load passengers in the future.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Mayor Rallies Support For Economic Recovery

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivered a rousing speech touting the new economy, expanded mass transit and neighborhood improvements in his annual State of the City address.

Buckhorn chose to deliver his message to a standing room only crowd inside the historic but vacant Kress building in downtown Tampa to encourage urban reuse and rebuild of unused and underused properties.

Read the complete story.

Planning For Improved Highway Safety, Tampa Bay

The Metropolitan Planning Organization examines the most crash-prone intersections and worst traffic congestion in the Tampa Bay region to plot strategy on making roads and highways safer.

A study makes recommendations like adding turn lanes and intentionally slowing traffic.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Launches Bike Sharing Program

Picking a bicycle off a rack in downtown Tampa, riding it to your destination and leaving it for the next rider will soon be possible under a new bicycle sharing program.

The city has contracted with two companies to provide bikes in downtown.

Read the complete story.

Demand For Rail In Tampa Up, Let's Plan For Future

Brookings Institution researchers cite increased rail ridership from Tampa to Miami and New York as evidence that a national plan for improving rail service between major cities is warranted.

The report found a ridership increase in Tampa of 368 percent over 15 years.

Read the complete story.

New Men At Helm Of Economic Development In Tampa Bay

It's taken about two years to get new men settled at the helms of some of the Tampa Bay region's top economic engines. The question now for some observers is whether they will stay.

The new guys in charge include Joe Lopano at Tampa International Airport, Rick Homans at the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development and Paul Anderson at the Tampa Port. A search has reopened for a new person to lead Tampa Bay & Co. after the abrupt departure of the last guy.

Read the complete story.


HART Plans New Smaller Buses, Quicker Trips

HART will launch a new MetroRapid bus service with smaller buses making quicker trips as part of its efforts to use advanced technology and more efficient transit while saving money on conventional buses.

The new service plans to launch in June and eventually will have 59 stations.

Read the complete story.

Florida Trucking Shifts To Natural Gas, Tampa

The natural gas boom echoes in Florida with private companies and public providers converting trucks and other vehicles to natural gas because it's cheaper, more fuel efficient and burns cleaner than traditional fuels.

High gas prices and limited supplies help drive the shift to natural gas.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Grows Container Traffic, Shipping

New business -- including the increase shipment of aircraft parts -- will position the Port of Tampa as the gateway to South and Central America from the U.S. and Florida. At least that is the goal.

The growing Port is gaining recognition as a destination for containers as well as cargo.

Read the complete story.

Top Cargo Shipper Heads To Tampa Port

Mediterranean Shipping Co. of Switzerland, one of the world's largest shipping companies, joins Zim Integrated Shipping Services of Israel in working a deal with the Tampa Port Authority to ship goods into and out of Tampa. 

The deal could significantly boost the amount of cargo that comes and goes through Tampa.

Read the complete story.

I-4/Expressway Connector Progresses Slowly, Tampa

Commuters along the Crosstown Expressway east of Tampa watch the mishmash of connecting lanes and bridges change slowly, much like the unfolding of the road engineering feat completed south of Tampa International Airport.

The multitier connector linking Interstate 4 to downtown and the Tampa Port is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013, nearly six months behind the original schedule.

Read the complete story.

Sierra Club: Pinellas Transit Plan Tops In Nation

The Sierra Club lauds Pinellas County for one of the best transportation plans in the nation.

The plan calls for the expansion of the county's bus system and new light rail with 16 stations connecting Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

Read the complete story.

Editorial: Time For Transit Merger, Tampa Bay

Hillsborough and Pinellas taxpayers and transit users stand to gain by combining public transportation systems in both west central Florida counties.

The Tampa Times editorializes for a merger.

Read the complete editorial.

New Express Buses Between TIA, Downtown Tampa?

Why not create an express bus service connecting Tampa International Airport with downtown Tampa?

That's the question posed by TIA Executive Director Joe Lopano to HART's board recently.

Read the complete story.


TIA Looks To Expand, Add Global Airside

Another airside and additional space would be built out at Tampa International Airport to meet growing demand, particularly as international flights are added, under the new master plan.

TIA, or TPA to travelers, is already considerd one of the most accessible, most convenient in the world.

Read the complete story.

3 Companies Bid On Bike-Sharing Program In Tampa

Three companies that operate bike-sharing programs in cities around the nation are bidding on a chance to provide a similar service in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been exploring the addition to transportation.

Read the complete story.

New Economic Development Leaders At Helm In Tampa Bay

Recent departures and new hires at the top of leading economic development, airport and port facilities in Tampa and Hillsborough County could mean a new direction and new energy when it comes to job creation and economic gains.

The Tampa Bay region is poised to seize the day with just a few more good hires.

Read the complete story.

A Bigger Tent: Tampa Chamber Leaders Look Beyond Borders

A big picture approach with broad ramifcations for the Tampa Bay region and the new economy shape the visionary scope of new volunteer leadership at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Greg Celestan, an entrepreneur with military experience, who grew his own startup into a major employer takes over as chairman in the 2013.

Read the complete story.

Prepare To Stop: Southbound I-275 Under Construction

The Florida Department of Transporation will be widening and redoing the southbound lanes of I-275 through Tampa for the next two years.

Commuters now enjoy the wider roads made possible by a similar long-term slowdown while FDOT fixed the northbound lanes from 2007 till 2010.

Read the complete story.

Shaping What's Next For Cruise Biz In Tampa Bay

The future of the cruiseship industry in Florida is at stake as officials in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties look for solutions to where to dock megaships that are too big to pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into Tampa Bay and the Tampa Port.

The alternative: Compete only for smaller ships that hold fewer passengers.

Read the complete story.


Next Gen FAA System Eyes TIA Flights

A new high-tech system could make flights into and out of Tampa International Aiport more efficient and thus reducing time spent in the air for passengers and crews.

The NextGen system called "Metroplex Initiative'' is part of the FAA's efforts to improve safety and efficiency in multiairport markets.

Read the complete story.

Kayak Sharing? Why Not For Tampa Commuters?

Ken Cowart, best known for championing the reopening of the old Gandy Bridge and the winner of Awesome Tampa Bay's grant for "Bomb the Medians,'' a flower seeding project, has another creative idea for making the Tampa Bay region more attractive.

How about sharing kayaks? Just as many cities, including St. Petersburg and Tampa, are considering bicycling sharing programs to provide free or reduced price transportation for the fit and fun, Cowart suggests leaving a few kayaks along Tampa Bay waters for commuters to use as needed.

Read the complete story.

Big Options Await New Port Of Tampa Director

A search for a new director at the Port of Tampa offers a special opportunity to choose an innovative leader who can build the import-export business through Tampa and the rest of the Central Florida region.

The Port of Tampa represents key water access and connections for goods shipped to and from Florida and the rest of the U.S. via rail, truck and even air.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Readies For Republican Invasion

Tampa's downtown workers will scatter to neighborhoods near and far as thousands of visitors arrive for the Republican National Convention before, during and after the last week of August.

Charlotte N.C. is preparing for a similar switcheroo as the Democrats arrive the first week in September.

Read the complete story.

Construction Boom May Follow Bust, Florida Jobs

The construction industry in Florida is showing signs of revival following a long dry spell through the recession.

Jobs building houses, retail and office spaces, industrial warehouses, roads and bridges are looking more and more likely going into 2013.

Read the complete story.

Getting Around Downtown Tampa: Pedal Buses, Anyone?

Humana plans to provide mini buses pedaled by the passengers as part of the ambiance surrounding the RNC when Republicans and their families arrive in Tampa in August.

The pedal-powered vehicles can be a great way to get a little exercise while chatting with friends and pedaling around downtown.

Read the complete story.

CNBC: Challenges In Florida's Business Climate

Florida's ranking in an annual CNBC survey dropped primarily based on difficulties for businesses to obtain capital, fluctuating education standards and increasing transportation needs.

The survey follows changes implemented by unpopular Gov. Rick Scott, including the Florida governor's rejection of federal money for high-speed rail.

Read the complete story.

I-4, Crosstown Connector Rises East Of Tampa

Construction on the I-4 Crosstown connector, which is designed to alleviate truck traffic from downtown and Ybor City while making it easier for the big rigs to get into and out of town, is progressing despite some weather-related delays.

The $400 million, 12-lane elevated highway project should be complete in fall 2013.

Read the complete story.

More Flights, More International At Tampa Airport

Edelweiss Air's new nonstop flights from Tampa to Zurich mark the beginning of Tampa International's growing efforts to add international and nonstop flights to the rest of the globe.

Far behind Miami and Orlando for years in offering such flights, airport executive director Joe Lopano is largely credited with changing the emphasis and outlook for what's to come.

Read the complete story.

Urban Charrette Helps Design Tampa's Future

The urban design project Urban Charrette in Tampa is helping shape what's next for Tampa by engaging community members in conversation and actions, including the city's InVision Tampa process.

The group aims to create strategic partnerships among design specialists -- architects, urban planners, builders, etc. -- to create a more sustainable community that nurtures more livable spaces.

Read the complete story.

Bike Sharing Slowly Re-Emerges In St. Pete, Tampa

Bike sharing programs are sweeping the nation's cities as commuters and downtown dwellers look for alternative transportation.

The Tampa Bay region is no different as two young men try to convince public office holders and private investors that bicycles are worth the investment.

Read the complete story.

Compelling Reasons To Save The Gandy Bridge, Tampa-St. Pete

Alan Snel, director of Southwest Florida Bicyle United Dealers, makes the case for saving the old span of the Gandy Bridge for pedestrians, bicylclists, skateboarders and other non-motorized users.

Before the bridge closed in 2008, some 600,000 people crossed it on foot or propelled by personal energy keeping healthy while enjoying the Tampa Bay's terrific outdoors.

Read the complete commentary.

Tampa Port Eyes Pinellas For New Seaport

Tampa Port authorities are considering options for building a new seaport west of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to accommodate new and anticipated megaships that are too big to pass beneath the bridge and can't navigate the turns required to get into the existing port.

Doing so could rapidly escalate the number of cruiseship passengers attracted to Tampa Bay as well as open doors for new freight shipping.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Train Station Sees More Passengers Aboard Amtrak

Train passenger traffic through Tampa is increasing faster than the national average, according to recent stats released by Amtrak.

The increase may be attributable to higher gas prices, automobile traffic congestion on Florida roads and a preference for mass transit by young professionals who frequent cities in the Northeast.

Read the complete story.

Tourism In Tampa Bay Soars, Snowbirds Flock To Florida

For the second year in a row, tourism is up in Tampa Bay as measured by overnight visitors.

The Republican National Convention in August is expected to attract another 50,000, including 15,000 reporters and broadcasters.

Read the complete story.

Connect People And Better Transit Will Follow, Tampa

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn urges residents to help shape the city's next 25 years by actively participating in the city's InVision process.

Tampa Bay Times Columnist Ernest Hooper suggests the best path to follow is on that successfully connects people to the places where they live, work and play.

Read the complete column.

RNC Watch: 300 Buses To Shuttle Delegates In Tampa Bay

Delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa in August will avoid the discomfort of snarled traffic moving into and out of downtown by riding 300 air-conditioned buses on routes designed to get them quickly between hotels and RNC activities.

The routes may even include bus-only designated lanes on Interstates 4 and 275.

Read the complete story.


President Obama Stops In Tampa To Tout Global Trade

President Obama stopped in Tampa to address a friendly crowd at Port Tampa on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

He talked about increasing trade with Latin American countries while putting all Americans back to work.

Read the complete story.

Honda Ships New CRVs South Through Port Tampa

Global trade through the Port of Tampa shifts up a gear with new shipments of Honda CRVs to the Caribbean islands.

The Port continues to grow as both a destination and debarkation point.

Read the complete story.

Bike-Friendly St. Pete Wins National Accolades

St. Petersburg, FL made a recent Top 10 list of best U.S. cities (with populations over 100,000) for cycling.

The Huffington Post cited the city's new bike share program, myShare, and the Pinellas Trail as well as government efforts to re-stripe city streets and add bike lanes to make riding bicycles safer.

Read the complete story.

Florida To Cuba Ferry Efforts Stall Till After November Election

Five separate groups trying to create a ferry system between Cuba and Florida apparently decide to put off their efforts until after the November election.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Gears Up For RNC Visit In August

Major interchanges and routes to hotels and other venues from Tampa International Airport are moving up the priority list for completion before the horde expected to surround the Republican National Convention arrives in August.

Among the improvements: road upgrades, new sidewalks, trees, flowers and signage.

Watch the complete story.

JetBlue Launches New Tampa To DCA Flight

JetBlue is adding flights nationwide, including a new nonstop from Tampa to Reagan National next to downtown Washington D.C.

The airliner starts with a few $79 one-way fares in June.

Read the complete story.

Kudos For Pinellas Light Rail Plan, Sales Tax

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board applauds the introduction of a new light rail plan that would connect downtown Clearwater with downtown St. Petersburg initially.

The system could eventually connect to Hillsborough County and Tampa, as well as northern Pinellas, Pasco and inland.

Read the complete editorial.


Tampa Begins To Turn Zack Street Into Arts Corridor

Zack Street in downtown Tampa will soon become a pedestrian friendly arts space designed to encourage connectivity between downtown offices, shops and cafes with the Tampa Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park and museums along the Hillsborough River.

The work should be completed in July, a month before the Republican National Convention arrives in town.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough: Repave Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard, $1.3M

Hillsborough County commissioners agreed to dig deep into reserve funds to pay $1.3 million to repave Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa before all eyes focus on Tampa during the Republican National Convention in August 2012.

County Administrator Mike Merrill promised that the expenditure wouldn't affect planned road improvements elsewhere.

Read the complete story.

Taking The Train: Tampa To NYC, Alternative Travel

Joe Sharkey, a feature writer at The New York Times, takes the Amtrak train from Tampa to New York as a rare treat to travel across country without the stresses of being on the road or in the air.

Ride along as he documents the beauty and the bumps along the way.

Read the complete story.

City Of Tampa Picks LA Firm To Create Master Plan

Los Angeles-based accounting firm AECOM was recently hired by Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn to create a 20-year blueprint for urban development in the neighborhoods of downtown Tampa, Tampa Heights, Ybor City, the Channel District and North Hyde Park.

Funding for the project is through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant totaling $1.18 million, a $125,000 match from the city and $125,000 from in-kind support, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Read the complete story.

TIA's Master Plan Includes Bus, Train Hub

A study to update the master plan of Tampa International Airport launches in November.

Airport officials hope to include an "intra-modal and multi-modal center" near the economy parking garage for bus, rail and trams linking to the main airport terminal. Plans will also include space for new firms that refurbish aircraft parts, according to The Tampa Tribune.

Read the complete story.

Urban Land Institute Maps Tampa's Future

The Urban Land Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, recently toured Tampa to brainstorm ideas on what steps the city can take to revitalize its urban core.

For starters, finish the Hillsborough Riverwalk and allow food trucks to dot the riverfront. Improve transit and consider fare-free zones to attract riders. The panel also suggested banning new private parking lots, increasing street parking and converting existing lots into parks.

How to pay for it? One potential option could be federal community development block grants, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Read the complete story.

Fastest-Growing U.S. Companies? 68 In Tampa Bay

Inc. Magazine's 2011 ranking of the fastest-growing companies in the nation recognized 68 Tampa Bay area companies for impressive 3-year revenue growth.

Among those companies are St. Petersburg's Crystal Clear Technologies at #5, Clearwater's AutoLoop at #71, Brooksville-based manufacturer AME International at #637 and Largo-based Atomic Tattoos at #3,051.

Crystal Clear Technologies ranking makes it the fastest-growing company in Government Services, woman-owned businesses and in the Tampa Bay region overall.

Check out the full list of companies on Inc. Magazine's 500/5000 list.

Read the complete story.

Lakeland's Saddle Creek To Add 80 Natural Gas-Fueled Trucks

National logistics firm Saddle Creek recently announced they will add 40 natural gas-run Freightliner trucks this year, and an additional 40 trucks by early 2012.

The Lakeland-based firm also plans to invest $2 million for a natural gas fueling station at its headquarters -- the first for-hire fleet in the state to do so, according to The Lakeland Ledger.

Compressed natural gas is odorless and contains up to 90 percent fewer emissions than conventional fuels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Read the complete story.

TIA Adds Edelweiss, Newest Euro Route In 15 Years

Tampa International Airport recently landed its first new European route in 15 years.

Starting May 25, Edelweiss Air will fly nonstop twice a week from Tampa to Zurich, cutting back to one weekly flight during the winter, according to USA Today.

Read the complete story.

Planetizen Makes A Case For Electric Vehicles, Sarasota

In early 2011, President Obama declared a goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Compact, low-speed Neighborhood Electric Vehicles could be part of the equation, according to a Planetizen article by Lisa Nisenson of Nisenson Consulting in Sarasota.

NEVs have the potential to reduce urban sprawl by influencing developers to make neighborhoods more functional while reducing the road footprint. NEVs also introduce new types of transit and augment transit that already exists.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Plugs Into D.O.E. Electric Car Charging Study

Tampa is one of 13 metropolitan cities selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in a nationwide study on the use of electric car charging stations.

Charging stations will be installed at four area libraries, a downtown parking garage and the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission headquarters, according to The Tampa Tribune.

The D.O.E. plans to add more than 100 charging stations throughout the Tampa Bay area starting this year.

Read the complete story.

MoMA's 'Foreclosed' Series Features Temple Terrace

A Museum of Modern Art program will highlight the plight of foreclosures in Temple Terrace and four metropolitan areas in the U.S.

"Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream" is the second program in MoMA's "Issues in Contemporary Architecture" series.

The 14-month program will give a team of five architects the opportunity to study five "megaregions" in hope of finding new paradigms of architecture, and regional and transportation planning, according to organizer Barry Bergdoll.

Read the complete story.

Living Green Expo: St. Pete Teen's Bioreactor No. 1

Evie Sobczack, a ninth-grader at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, earned first place honors at this year's Tampa Bay Living Green Expo.

Sobczack built bioreactors to enhance the growth of spirogyra algae. Using lipid oil extracted from the algae, she created a biodiesel fuel that not only runs hotter and longer, but is also better for cars and the environment.

She will represent the Southeast region of the U.S. at the International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, Environment) Project Olympiad in Houston this May.

Read the complete story.    

Direct Air Sees Lakeland As "Gateway To Florida"

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport will soon be hosting flights from Myrtle Beach-based airline Direct Air.

Flights from Central Illinois, upper New York, Washington D.C. and South Carolina to Lakeland will begin on June 23.

Representatives from Direct Air hope the flights will prime Lakeland to become Florida's next tourism hub, according a recent article in The Lakeland Ledger.

Read the complete story.

SRQ's Quest For International Flights Continues

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport hopes it will be able to give a boost to the local economy with added international flights in 2012.

Flights from Germany's Condor Airlines and the Dutch airline Arkefly are currently being pursued, according to SRQ Magazine.

Read the complete story.

Transit Planners Unveil Light Rail Route For Tampa

Hillsborough County transit planners have submitted a new proposal for a revised light rail line in Tampa.

The 12.4-mile line, currently estimated at $825 million, would connect Downtown Tampa to Tampa International Airport.

Federal and state sources, private partnerships and leases are among the funding options for the proposed rail.

Read the complete story.

Polk County Plots Potential Stop For High-Speed Rail

The Tampa-Orlando rail could be making a stop in Polk County at a yet-to-be determined location.

Currently planned stops include downtown Tampa, Walt Disney World, the Orange County Convention Center and Orlando International Airport, according to The Lakeland Ledger.

A fifth stop at either the University of South Florida Polytechnic, Kathleen Road and the Polk Parkway have been proposed.

Read the complete story.

Florida State Senate Rallies Around Country's First High-Speed Rail

Members of the Florida Senate are hoping private companies will step up to cover the $280 million construction bill for Florida's high-speed rail project.

Gov. Rick Scott has recently stated his reluctance to put state money toward the high-speed rail project.

Having the first high-speed rail system in the country should provide ample incentive for companies, according to comments made by state representatives in The St. Petersburg Times.

More than 20,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project.

Read the complete story.


Florida's First All-Electric Car Dealer Picks St. Pete

Suncoast Electric Vehicles is preparing to open Florida's first electric-only car dealership.

Among the electric vehicles is the Wheego Whip LiFe, which is highway certified and reaches a 100-mile range per charge.

Automakers Think and Coda may possibly be sold at the dealership, according to a recent article in USA Today.

Read the complete story.

Siemens Demonstration Unveils Proposal For High-Speed Rail

German engineering giant Siemens recently unveiled its plans for the Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail.

A demonstration at the Museum of Science and Industry introduced the style of train and construction proposal for the project.

Siemens will enlist Skanska, FCC Construction and Veolia Transportation to build the tracks if it is chosen to construct the high-speed rail project.

Read the complete story.


Tampa Trib, St. Pete Times Endorse Penny Transportation Tax

On Nov. 2 Hillsborough County residents will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed one-cent sales-tax increase to fund transportation enhancements.

The Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times editorialized in favor of the tax increase in their Oct. 3 editions.

A tax increase would result in a light-rail project connecting the University of South Florida to downtown Tampa, and west from downtown to West Shore and Tampa International Airport.

The increase would also fund bus expansions including 134 miles of new local routes and 315 miles of new express service connecting the areas of Brandon and New Tampa with the University of South Florida and Plant City.

Read the complete St. Petersburg Times editorial.

Read the complete Tampa Tribune editorial.


Tampa Chamber Tours New Light Rail System In Phoenix

Members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce toured the new light rail system in Phoenix to better understand the potential impact of a proposed similar new system in Tampa, ABC Action News reporter Brendan McLaughlin reports.

Ridership in Phoenix far surpasses initial expectations as the light rail system becomes increasingly popular transportation for university students and downtown workers. Some 40,000 people per day ride the Phoenix trains.

In Tampa, the first legs of a proposed light rail system would connect the downtown business district with the University of South Florida and neighborhoods in North Tampa as well as to Tampa International Airport (TIA).

Watch the entire story.


Pinellas Explores Possibility Of Expanding Jolley Trolley

The nonprofit Jolley Trolley offers a unique transportation service for Clearwater Beach visitors for a fee of $1.75 per ride.

Now the trolley's directors are interested in expanding service to include downtown Clearwater, Dunedin, Honeymoon Island and tourist hot spots like the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

An annual operation fee of $150,000 is needed to make the service expansion a reality, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Read the complete story.

Foreign Nations Compete For Tampa-Orlando High-Speed Rail Contract

Six foreign companies are currently competing for the chance to lend their expertise to the construction and maintenance of the country's first high-speed rail line.

China, Japan, South Korea, France, Germany and Spain have sent representatives to Florida to make their pitch for a construction contract on the Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail.

The project will generate 5,000 jobs in construction, maintenance and operations, according to Florida Rail Enterprise Executive Director Kevin Thibault.

The Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail is slated to begin running by 2015.

Read the complete story.


St. Pete-Clearwater International Gains Midwest Service From Frontier

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) has gained a new airline.

Starting Nov. 18, Frontier Airlines will move its seasonal service between Milwaukee and Tampa International Airport to PIE.

Frontier will also begin offering nonstop flights from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International to Omaha running Jan. 16 through April 17. Service between Denver and Tampa will remain at Tampa International Airport.

Read the complete story.


Manatee, Sarasota Counties Team Up To Attract Tourists

Manatee and Sarasota counties are teaming up to look for new ways to draw more crowds to the region.

Tourism bureaus will combine marketing efforts in the weeks leading up to the Ringling International Arts Festival presented by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art from Oct. 13-17.

Another important step in attracting new visitors will be German airline Condor's decision to expand its service to a Tampa Bay area airport.

Should Condor select the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport the region could experience an estimated annual economic impact of $35 million.

Read the full story.

Polk County Eager To Be Key Player In Larger Super Region

As the economy recovers, Polk County officials are looking to develop the area into a super region.

Officials have examined transportation and logistical infrastructure, including the development of the University of South Florida Polytechnic's technical school and research facility alongside Interstate 4, an intermodal transportation hub located at the campus and the university's use of building business incubators in Lakeland and Winter Haven.

The county has also set aside $35 million in federal funding to widen U.S 98 to six lanes with a bicycle path, according to the News Chief.

Read the complete story.


Tampa-Orlando Rail: Just One Of 10 High-Speed Corridors In Nation

High-speed rail is on its way to several cities in the U.S., including Tampa and Orlando.

The Philadelphia Inquirer lists 10 corridors selected for high-speed rail development ranging from a 220-m.p.h. train between Los Angeles and San Francisco to upgrading existing service in Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.

Tampa's corridor would have an initial cost of $3.2 billion with an expansion to Miami bringing the total to $11.5 billion.

Read the complete story.


Hillsborough Aviation Authority Throws Support Behind TIA Light Rail

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority unanimously decided to support a light rail transit link to Tampa International Airport.

Light rail has been a possibility for the Tampa airport since the late '90s, according to The Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Unlike high-speed rail, light rail is more localized, offers less passenger capacity and travels at slower speeds.

Board members, including Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, also expressed support for the 1 percent sales tax increase that will appear on Hillsborough County ballots this fall.

Read the complete story.


Moving Hillsborough Forward Raises $1 M To Push New Sales Tax

Moving Hillsborough Forward, a Hillsborough County-based organization of residents, businesses and civic groups, raised $1 million toward their effort to spread the word on the need for an expansion of transportation opportunities in the area.

The goal of the organization is to invest in educating the public on the proposed sales tax increase that will appear on November 2 ballots and to advocate in favor of the initiative.

Members of the organization include, among others, members of the Greater Tampa and St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerces, Tampa Bay Builders Association and the Sierra Club.

Click here for the story.


Tampa Officials Ponder Impact Of Development Near Rail Stations

Tampa officials are speaking out about the possibility of growth surrounding high-speed rail stations in the area.

One Tampa station in particular -- located next to a bus transfer on Morgan Street -- will become an 8.34-acre transportation center with the possibility of a light rail connection, according to The Tampa Tribune.

Some potential developments include housing, office, hotel and retail projects. Tampa's Perry Harvey park on North Orange Avenue will be revamped and a plan to bring pedestrians to the Tampa Riverwalk is underway.

High-speed rail is expected to begin running in 2015 with light rail in 2018 following approval from a 1-cent sales tax referendum appearing on ballots this fall.

Read the complete story.

Florida's Workforce Ranked #1 In Country For 2010

America's Top States for Business Rankings, an annual CNBC study, ranks each state's ability to attract businesses based on 10 categories. The 2010 study ranks Florida's workforce at #1 -- moving up from 3 in 2009.

Overall, the state ranked #28 for its rankings of the cost of doing business, workforce, quality of life, economy, transportation and infrastructure, technology and innovation, education, business friendliness, access to capital, cost of living.

For a list of each state's rankings and individual scores visit CNBC's website.

Read the complete story.

Florida Poised To Join Emerging Super Regions

Florida is on the verge of becoming one of the country's next "super regions," and the creation of the high-speed rail project could be the catalyst.

St. Petersburg Times staff writer Robert Trigaux recently sat down with University of Pennsylvania professor and researcher Jonathan Barnett to discuss the future of Tampa as a "super region."

Other emerging super regions across the country include Birmingham to Atlanta to Charlotte to Richmond and San Francisco to San Diego. Professor Barnett believes Florida's super region will resemble an "H"--Tallahassee, Tampa, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville-- with Interstate-4 connecting each coast.

Read the complete story.

Competitive Grant Could Extend High-Speed Rail To TIA

Tampa City Council Member Mary Mulhern is pursuing a competitive federal grant aimed at developing high-speed corridors. The grant will likely be applied toward the expansion of the high-speed-rail project to include a stop at Tampa International Airport.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 6.

If future funding is available, the rail could be expanded to Miami by 2018, according to The Tampa Tribune.

Read the complete story.

Largo Study Opens Discussion For Possibility Of Mass Transit

A recent survey conducted in Largo indicated that, while residents want alternative transportation options, they feel unsafe walking and riding bicycles.

The St. Petersburg Times highlights the results of this study as an indication that mass transit could have a positive impact for Pinellas County.

The survey is one of many conducted by the city to gauge transportation decisions for the future.

Read the complete editorial.


Tampa's Future Rail Stop Positioned By Historic Cemetery

Hillsborough County's only planned high speed rail stop, off Morgran and Scott streets, will position the station next to Oaklawn Cemetery.

The cemetery, founded in 1850, is home to Civil War veterans, pirates and 13 former mayors.

An American Institute of Architects branch in Tampa is spearheading an effort to preserve the cemetery throughout the construction process, designate it a historic landmark and integrate into the design of the rail's station.

Read the complete story.


Feds Release $66.6 M To Tampa, Orlando For High-Speed Rail

The federal government recently released the first portions of funding for revitalizing the country's transportation system, according to the official blog of the the U.S Secretary of Transportation.

Florida received the largest amount of funding -- $66.6 million to support preliminary engineering of the Tampa-Orlando High Speed Rail.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Mayor Writes Guest Column On Mass Transit

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio authored a special guest column for the St. Petersburg Times sharing her thoughts on the importance of mass transit.

The column mentions the cities with similar sizes of urban populations that have either approved a state tax referendum or have already built a light rail including Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Read the complete column.

One Bay Tackles How To Best Improve Tampa Bay Economy, Add Jobs

The St. Petersburg Times reports on a proposal that stresses the need for long-term planning to reduce sprawl while effectively attracting an additional 3.2 million people and 1.5 million jobs to the Tampa Bay region by 2050.

The group behind the proposal is One Bay, a combination of organizations that includes the Tampa Bay Partnership, a regional economic development organization; the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA).

Read the complete story.

Florida's High Speed Rail Proposal Draws Questions, Criticisms

The $1.25 billion high-speed rail project from Tampa to Orlando was recently examined by The New York Times. The article is critical of the stimulus-funded project's key components and also discusses alternative routes that would benefit from a high-speed rail.

Read the complete story.

Continual Transportation Growth For Tampa Bay Region

Improvements to Tampa's transportation system continue with a multimillion dollar project to assist traffic flow on Interstate 275 and a proposed penny sales tax increase in Hillsborough County to expand transportation development.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal also reports the The Tampa Port Authority celebrated an accomplished fiscal year due to their diverse endeavors in trade, shipbuilding and repair, and cruise passenger traffic.

Read the special report.

Florida's High-Speed Rail Zips US Toward Global Competitiveness

The United States is decades and millions of dollars behind China when it comes to the speedy delivery of goods and people across country, reports The New York Times.

Florida's high-speed rail line planned to connect Tampa and Orlando is the first step to begin to catch up.

As China and other rapidly developing nations continue to upgrade and expand their transit systems, can the U.S. afford not to pick up the pace?

Read the complete story.

TIA Sees Increase In International Passengers

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, international travel is up at Tampa International Airport this year.

From January through June of 2009. 19,306 international travelers passed through the airport, which is a 404 percent increase over the same period last year.

The U.S. DOT ranks the airport 39th in volume of international travel. Miami International Airport ranks first in the nation.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Would Be Among First Stops If Florida Gets High-Speed Rail

The CBS Interactive website SmartPlanet.com reports that the Florida Legislature has approved a plan for a statewide high-speed rail system.

The proposed system would be partly funded by federal stimulus money and would eventually link all of Florida's major metropolitan areas.

The first phase of the project would link Tampa to Orlando along the I-4 corridor.

Read the complete story.

TIA Again Ranks Among Nation's Top Airports

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports on a Zagat survey that ranks Tampa International Airport No. 2 behind Portland International Airport for overall top quality airports in the United States.

Orlando International Airport also placed in the top 5.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Region Moves Toward Transit

The St. Petersburg Times editorialized about the Hillsborough County Commission's approval of an ordinance that serves as the first step to a major upgrade of the area's public transit system.

"The Hillsborough County Commission showed the sort of leadership last week that it has lacked for the entire decade," opined the Times.

The ordinance will allow the county attorney to draft ballot language for a County Charter amendment that, if approved by voters, would create a penny sales tax to fund, among other things, a light rail system, major road construction projects and pedestrian trails.

Read the complete story.
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