Monday, June 18, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas to start bus service to Tampa International Airport this summer

TAMPA — Pinellas County will finally get a direct bus to Tampa International Airport starting this summer.

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller announced the new route Friday to a group of politicians from Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties who had gathered at the airport to talk about regional transportation options.

RELATED: Plan envisions 'rapid' bus trips from St. Pete to beaches. But will Trump fund it?

Airport CEO Joe Lopano, who often notes that people can fly directly to Zurich from Tampa but can't take an express bus to the airport, congratulated Miller on the new route. Lopano praised it as a positive development for the airport and those who travel through Tampa Bay.

And he said the airport's parking garages can handle any loss of business.

"Not that I want to give away parking revenue, but we're getting kinda full out here," Lopano quipped.

RELATED: Tampa International's billion-dollar update is a new airport experience

The service will start in June and operate out of the Gateway area. There is currently no bus from Pinellas County to the airport.

The bus route will only run during peak travel times on the weekdays.

Miller stressed this is not an ideal service. But it is the kind of service PSTA can launch as quickly as possible.

"The number one thing that service is lacking is more frequency," Miller said. "It will be a great start, but in order to serve more air travelers it will have to operate on Saturdays and Sundays and later in to the evening."

Though its a barebones service that will need additional funding to expand, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman said the ability for PSTA to launch a direct bus to the airport was a challenge to other counties in the region. She also serves on the board of Hillsborough's bus agency.

"I think the takeaway from me is that we need to step up our game," Murman said,  "because we need to pass you."

Comments
Democrat who hopes to challenge Gus Bilirakis put on New Democrat Coalition Watch List

Democrat who hopes to challenge Gus Bilirakis put on New Democrat Coalition Watch List

A major Democratic group just put one of Gus Bilirakis' potential challengers on its list of candidates to watch.The New Democrat Coalition, 68 congressional Democrats who emphasize economic issues and "finding pragmatic solutions to policy challenge...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Valdes fires back, and draws a blistering response from Alvarez

Valdes fires back, and draws a blistering response from Alvarez

[SEE UPDATE AT THE END FOR FIGHTING WORDS FROM ALVAREZ]Victor DiMaio on Thursday released this announcement on behalf of Florida State House hopeful and Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes:"Susan Valdes hoped the race between Democra...
Published: 06/14/18
Tampa City Council hears cautious optimism in Buckhorn’s modest last budget

Tampa City Council hears cautious optimism in Buckhorn’s modest last budget

Tampa City Council members reacted to Mayor Bob Buckhorn's cautious last budget Thursday with their own hedge, saying the city's economic forecast could change on a dime if the national and regional economy goes south in the next few months.Buckhorn ...
Published: 06/14/18
Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes’ resignation letter raises objections

Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes’ resignation letter raises objections

Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes, who is running for the Florida House District 62 seat, sent in her legally required resignation letter hours before last Friday's deadline. On Monday, Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer announ...
Published: 06/13/18
Jane Castor takes early fundraising lead in Tampa mayor’s race

Jane Castor takes early fundraising lead in Tampa mayor’s race

Election Day is still more than eight months away, but former police chief Jane Castor, who dominated the field in a recent local poll, is also breaking ahead in the money race.And Castor has much more money remaining in the bank than her opponents f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
What quorum? Pat Kemp left TBARTA meeting, scuttling planned vote

What quorum? Pat Kemp left TBARTA meeting, scuttling planned vote

TAMPA — The regional transit authority will schedule an emergency board meeting after a member, Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, said she fell ill and abruptly left Friday’s meeting.The problem with that is Kemp’s sudden&#...
Published: 06/12/18
Executive director of TBARTA runs for Hillsborough County Commission

Executive director of TBARTA runs for Hillsborough County Commission

TAMPA – Ray Chiaramonte, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, has entered the race for the Hillsborough County Commission District 7 seat.Chiaramonte filed papers Monday with the Hillsborough County Superviso...
Published: 06/11/18
Murman decision to withdraw from District 7 race shakes up county commission race

Murman decision to withdraw from District 7 race shakes up county commission race

TAMPA — In the year since County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman filed to switch to commission District 7, she raised more than $180,000 to fund a race for the countywide seat.But in a surprise move Friday, Murman let a deadline pass without...
Published: 06/08/18
Harry Cohen’s message to Tampa: ‘You know me’

Harry Cohen’s message to Tampa: ‘You know me’

TAMPA — Harry Cohen stood before several hundred people at the Tampa Museum of Art on Wednesday evening with a simple message: He's a proven quantity that residents can rely on to take the city to the next level — and do it fairly.Co...
Published: 06/06/18
Updated: 06/07/18
Ed Narain is still making up his mind about a run for Tampa mayor

Ed Narain is still making up his mind about a run for Tampa mayor

People ask Ed Narain all the time if he's going to run for mayor of Tampa.Narain admitted as much after being contacted Tuesday by the Tampa Bay Times about a flurry of rumors that he was about to jump in the race.“A lot of people...
Published: 06/05/18