mass transit

Andy Lalino / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we visit the office of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to talk about his second term in office, which began about a month ago.

Jacobs Engineering

A new study finds, buses - not rail - would be the most workable option for mass transit in Tampa Bay, because of its lower cost and ability to change along with the city.


The bus rapid transit system is projected to attract 4,500 new riders along 41 miles from St. Petersburg to Tampa and Wesley Chapel, in Pasco County. It would be estimated to cost about half as much as a light rail system.


Roberto Roldan/WUSF

The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater laid out their priorities for 2018 at the State of the Bay discussion on Friday.

from Wikimedia Commons

Rush hour is legendary among Tampa Bay residents for bumper-to-bumper congestion and long commutes.

The area has suffered from traffic woes for years. The Hillsborough County Commission recently approved an $812 million transportation plan, which focuses almost exclusively on road improvements.

Rick Homans is CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, an organization that works to solve economic problems in the area.


When Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) officials look into the future, they see riders tapping preloaded smart cards as they get on the bus.

Yoselis Ramos

A plan to expand I-275 and I-4, and build express toll lanes was voted into Hillsborough County's Metropolitan Planning Organization five-year redevelopment plan called TIP.  

The plan, called Tampa Bay Express (TBX), was passed but Les Miller, Chairman of MPO, told the Florida Department of Transportation it had to update the 20-year-old study it is using to justify the plan.

Public Transit Ridership Up Nationally

Mar 10, 2014

The American Public Transportation Association released a report today stating Americans took a record high number of trips on U.S. public transportation last year. People across the country took 10.7 billion rides on public transit in 2013. Since the mid '90s, ridership growth has been outpacing population growth.

The numbers in Tampa Bay are up as well, with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) closing last year with about 14.5 million rides.

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.

Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.

Transit Talk: First Public Forum

Aug 7, 2013

Hillsborough County hosted its first in a series of public forums yesterday discussing mass transportation in an effort to gauge residents' perspectives.

A group of city and county leaders - including three mayors, the chief of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), and a number of county commissioners - are meeting monthly to discuss the where's, what's, and how to pay for transportation improvements that will stimulate job growth in the area.


Hillsborough County is following Pinellas' lead. Commissioners have agreed today to restart the conversation on transportation.

The Tampa Bay area is number one. Forbes ranks it the worst city for commuters especially because of our lack of mass transit.

Pinellas County commissioners voted 5-1 today to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot asking residents to approve a one-cent sales tax to pay for light rail and an expanded bus system.

It's now in the hands of voters to approve what would become the region's first light-rail line. It would connect Clearwater with the Gateway area of northern St. Petersburg and downtown St. Petersburg.

The Ledger/Michael Wilson

The City of Lakeland has a message about its bus system this week: buses aren't just for those who can't afford a car. They're teaming up with artists to make riding the bus a little more fun, and on Tuesday WUSF's Robin Sussingham went along for the ride with Bev Hendricks, who is one of the event's organizers.

As part of "Art on the Bus" week, Hendricks brought her violin to Lakeland's downtown bus station, and prepared to play on the bus. She's the former executive director of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra and now does mostly volunteer work for several arts organizations.