07/20/17 Mass Transit
The debate over if and how to expand Tampa Bay's transit system has dominated civic discussions for decades.
The region's bus system lags behind almost every other major city when it comes to frequency, spending and access to jobs.
07/17/17 Mass Transit
TAMPA — After dozens of studies, public meetings, forums, plans and votes, Hillsborough's transit leaders still don't know how they'll raise money for the county's struggling bus system.
07/14/17 Mass Transit
TAMPA — Jeff Vinik said Friday that it's local politicians, not the business community, who are holding Tampa Bay back when it comes to transit.
"Our business community is behind it," said Vinik, a driving force in developing Tampa's downtown, during a Friday meeting recapping a recent Charlotte visit to learn about transit. "The political community is mixed and not there yet."
It's up to the business community and the public to help politicians understand how critical an issue transit is for Tampa Bay, Vinik said....
07/14/17 Mass Transit
TAMPA — About 20 local business leaders, including Jeff Vinik, Richard Gonzmart and Judy Genshaft, spent two days in Charlotte this week to see what Tampa Bay could learn from its peer city when it comes to transit and development.
Several from that group will meet at the Tampa Bay Partnership's office at 10 a.m. today to discuss what they saw, whom they met with and how those lessons might be applied here. ...
New Zealand is at the top of many travel lovers' bucket lists. Scenic vistas, famous hikes and adventure sports beckon anyone who craves time outdoors and loves a good adrenaline rush. Not to mention Lord of the Rings obsessors like myself who dream of visiting the movie versions of the magical places J.R.R. Tolkien created.
But because of its remote location, there's a prevailing sense that people need to carve out a good chunk of time to make the trip "worth it." Many wait to travel to the land of the long white cloud until they can squirrel away several weeks. ...
Tampa Bay's most traveled bridge needs to be replaced.
The original Howard Frankland Bridge opened in 1960 and a new southbound span was finished in 1991. Now the original span has reached the end of its lifespan and a new bridge must be built in the next decade.
Here's how the Florida Department of Transportation plans to do that. (Spoiler alert: it involves toll lanes.)...
In 2014, the state announced an ambitious road project called Tampa Bay Express. Known as TBX, the Florida Department of Transportation planned to add toll lanes to 90 miles of interstates.
TAMPA — Frank Lee Jones, 55, only worked with his son for a month before he made Frankie Atkins get a new job.
The work at Gaffin Industrial Services was too dangerous, Atkins said his father told him.
So after working at a few plants in Lake City and Clewiston, Atkins left the job and his father carried on. But Atkins' concern never eased.
"I always worried my Daddy was going to get hurt," Atkins told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday....
TAMPA — The state has spent six months telling people it's re-evaluating a $6 billion expansion of Tampa Bay's interstates, including controversial toll lanes.
Transportation officials scrapped their original plan, held a series of public workshops and even renamed the project.
TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.
The Florida Department of Transportation met with about 20 community members, politicians and planners Wednesday for an update on Tampa Bay Next, a $6 billion expansion of the region's interstates that includes adding express toll lanes to Interstates 275, 75 and 4. ...
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....