Caitlin Johnston, Transportation and General Assignment Reporter

Caitlin Johnston

Transportation and General Assignment Reporter

I write about transportation, a subject that affects all of us as we navigate our busy lives. I let you know how new projects will impact your commute and quality of life, while also dissecting complex policies and budgets. My work takes me from bus stops to government meetings to sitting in mind-numbing traffic jams. I’m a proud Hoosier, a slow runner, and a lover of mountains. I studied journalism and political science at Indiana University and earned my master’s at the University of Maryland. I joined the Times in 2012, first covering breaking news in Tampa and east Hillsborough. I attend 9-hour meetings and read traffic studies from the 1960s so you didn’t have to. I’m always looking for story ideas.

‘We found her, you guys. We did it.’ Hiker Amanda Eller turns up alive after 2-week search.

Amanda Eller, 35, speaks from her hospital bed on Saturday, the day after she was rescued from a dense forest on the island of Maui. She had been missing since May 8 and the search to find her involved hundreds of volunteers. This image is from a video on the Findamanda Facebook page, which was started during the search. [Courtesy of the Eller family]
Eller, who has ties to Tampa Bay, went missing on May 8 in a Maui forest and is found in a creek bed. “I chose life,” she said from her hospital bed.

‘Stop the Bans’ protesters rally in St. Pete for abortion rights amid rollbacks across U.S.

MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE   |   TimesRachel Brownlee, 35, of Tampa, is pictured wearing a Handmaiden's cap and cape during an abortion rights rally in St. Petersburg on May, 21 2019.
It was part of a nationwide day of protest to oppose those states trying to ban abortion.

Hillsborough leaders need more time to decide on regional ferry service

The Cross-Bay Ferry, seen here loading passengers in downtown St. Petersburg in January, reported promising numbers for its 2018-19 season. Now the operators want to partner with Hillsborough County for permanent service. But Hillsborough commissioners moved cautiously on Wednesday during a discussion about the proposal, asking county staff to collect more information by August. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
Dock location and parking issues are among the concerns as commissioners ask county staff to come back with more answers by mid-August.

Protestors to Gov. Ron DeSantis: Veto toll road bill

Protesters gathered Tuesday evening in downtown St. Petersburg’s Williams Park to speak out against a bill that would authorize a toll road to Georgia. At right, Tim Martin, of the Sierra Club Florida, urged the public to call the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis and ask him to veto the measure. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON   |   Times]
At a gathering in downtown St. Petersburg, protesters target two bills they say will damage Florida's environment.

Survey says: Cross-Bay Ferry riders support year-round, regional service

Colt Caywood, 36, of St. Petersburg, stands at the back of the line in February as Cross-Bay Ferry ticket holders get ready to board in St. Petersburg. More than 3,000 riders filled out a customer survey after the ferry season ended and gave the service a positive rating. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
More than 3,000 Cross-Bay Ferry passengers completed the survey, and 96 percent gave the service good grades. More than 70 percent said they support year-round service.