Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

THE Bus rolls out new schedule and three new vehicles

BROOKSVILLE — The county's transit operator will trot out its new schedule for THE Bus — including a shorter wait time and new stops — beginning June 4.

County commissioners approved the new routes and stops for operator McDonald Transit Associates last month. While officials had hoped to implement the service upgrades earlier, they were held up when the delivery of new vehicles was delayed, said Dennis Dix, the county's transportation coordinator.

The vehicles, three new low-floor, cut-away vans, arrived in the county last month for only the cost of driving them from Palm Beach. The vehicles had been ordered for transit improvements there, but officials canceled their plans, making the $70,000 vans available to Hernando County, Dix explained.

"We're happy,'' he said of the acquisition.

One of the new vans will be needed for the enhanced service. The others are needed as backups since the county's fleet of buses is aging and has had maintenance issues. Each van has 14 seats and two wheelchair tie-downs.

The other delay in getting started has been getting all of the bus stop signs traded out. The signs were color-coded to routes that are now going to be different, so there are 150 signs that needed to be changed or added, Dix said. Fifteen are moving to new locations, and another 15 are marking new stops.

Before the changes take effect, county officials plan a public information blitz to get the word out to current riders and others they hope to draw to the service because of the enhancements.

"It's going to be extensive,'' Dix said of the publicity campaign. "We want to make sure that the public is aware.''

The changes include shortening the wait time for buses from two hours to 75 minutes. One new route will connect Brooksville to Spring Hill without requiring a transfer. Also new is service to the State Road 50 bypass west of U.S. 41 in Brooksville and service to the Spring Hill campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College.

The enhanced service will raise the price of the annual contract with McDonald Transit Associates from $465,060 to $555,490, with the majority of that cost paid through state and federal grants.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments

Updated: 7 minutes ago
Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER — A simmering feud between Tampa and the regional water authority avoided boiling over Monday, but little was resolved.At a Tampa Bay Water meeting, board members requested Tampa work with the agency on the city’s plan to convert tens of m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Associated PressST. PETERSBURG, Russia — While Russian officials scoff at a U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, several people who worked at the same St. Petersburg, Russia, "troll factory" say t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

Man sought in sexual assault of woman, 71, in New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies are searching for a man who they said broke into a home and raped a 71-year-old woman on Monday.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the woman was checking on a home at 7437 Heather St. for the homeowner at about 8:15 a.m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Associated PressWEST PALM BEACH — From the confines of his Mar-a-Lago golf club, President Donald Trump offered support Monday for a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases while staying largely mum in the past few days ab...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Puerto RicoJudge grants $300M loan for power companyA federal judge on Monday approved a $300 million loan for Puerto Rico’s power company that officials say will help keep the troubled agency operating until late March. The judge had originally reje...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Grief-filled funerals also can be cathartic

Grief-filled funerals also can be cathartic

PARKLAND — Each funeral for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre is different, yet the same: the mourning relatives, teens walking in clutches wearing black, politicians paying their respects, media cameras pointing at the entran...
Updated: 1 hour ago

U.S. input unlikely on climate rule book

VIENNA — The climate rule book being drafted to keep a lid on Earth’s rising temperatures should be finished by the end of the year — with or without the U.S. government’s help.Countries that ratified the Paris climate agreement will meet in December...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pa. Supreme Court redraws districts

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court drew new boundaries for the state’s congressional districts on Monday, releasing a map that, if it stands, could play a significant role in Democratic Party efforts to gain control of the House of Representatives in the...
Updated: 3 hours ago