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Transportation

A new Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation was selected today. A week after being recommended to Governor Ron DeSantis, Kevin Thibault has been chosen to lead the Florida Department of Transportation. The Governor made the decision today in a press release calling Thibault, "a proven leader in state government and the private sector.”

Wikipedia.com

A high-speed rail line could soon connect Orlando and Tampa.

Brightline got approval this week to negotiate for the right to use the median of Interstate 4. The grassy strip had been targeted for high-speed rail during the Obama administration, but federal stimulus money was rejected by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011, who said it was too risky and predicted the state would wind up subsidizing the project. Now, the private firm wants to connect Tampa with South Florida via Orlando.

Land Rover MENA / Wikimedia Commons

Entrepreneur Richard Branson is adding his name and money to a new privately-owned rail line in Florida. The branding comes at an important time for the new service, as its expanding to Orlando.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Brightline got the green light Wednesday from the state to negotiate for land to add high-speed passenger rail service from Orlando to Tampa --- a link envisioned to eventually connect with Brightline’s existing service in South Florida.

Tampa International Airport

As Thanksgiving weekend ends, many travelers are returning back home, but a snowstorm in the Midwest has left some stranded at airports around the country.

Wikimedia Commons

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means travelers will be headed to see loved ones – or hoping for a quick getaway.

People board a HART bus.
HART

Starting Jan. 1, Hillsborough County residents will pay an 8.5 percent sales tax, the highest in the state.

Voters approved two referenda this week to raise taxes for transportation improvements and school repairs.

FHP

The Florida Department of Transportation is working on new technology that will detect wrong way drivers on Florida highways. An increase in wrong way collisions has lead to the Howard Frankland Bridge being chosen for the upcoming pilot test.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local and state officials held a ceremonial ribbon cutting Friday to celebrate the TECO Line Streetcar System going fare-free for the next three years.

Florida Department of Transportation

A new Interstate 4 construction project is starting this week, but it shouldn’t bring any more congestion than usual. The 11-mile stretch from east of 50th Street to east of McIntosh Road will be completely repaved between now and summer 2020. 

Susan Giles Wantuck

It may feel like prices at the gas pump are higher than they've been in a while. Well, AAA on Monday reported gas prices hit a four-year high for the month of September. 

Call it much-needed traffic relief for Kendall residents or the "Everglades Snakeway" -- but it's on its way to completion.

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If you’ve driven on Courtney Campbell Causeway, there’s a good chance you’ve been sped past by street racers.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

Residents of Tampa and Orlando might finally be getting a solution to the dreaded Interstate 4 traffic. The Florida Department of Transportaion is taking bids from private companies to build a high-speed rail between the two cities.

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Distracted and speeding drivers seem to be problems in any neighborhood, but in one Lakeland community, it’s threatening local wildlife. In just three weeks, five of Lake Morton’s swans have been killed by vehicles, and residents are searching for an answer.

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Floridians seem to have a love-hate relationship with roundabouts. But they may have to get used to them, because they are popping up all over the state and Dr. Pei-Sung Lin of USF's Center for Transporation Research, who specializes in Intelligent Transporation Systems, predicts we are likely to see more of them.

leamericanos/Wikimedia Commons

The troubles with Florida's SunPass toll system started with what was to be a six-day upgrade in June. It's resulted in a major malfunction that led to motorists across Florida seeing their bank accounts being overdrawn and charged overdraft fees.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Hillsborough County residents will decide in November whether a one-cent sales tax increase could be the solution to traffic and transportation woes.

Florida will seek new bids in three years instead of renewing its contract with the company that oversaw last year’s botched SunPass conversion.
FourteenSixty / Flickr

Sen. Bill Nelson wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a company that operates the SunPass electronic toll system.

A HART bus
Visit Tampa Bay

A citizen's group looking to improve Hillsborough County's transportation system has gathered more than enough signatures to qualify for November's ballot. But first, elections officials have to confirm that all the names on those petitions are valid.

Florida Democratic lawmakers want the state to suspend all SunPass toll collections as the system responds to a backlog of more than 100 million unprocessed payments. 

State Rep. Kionne McGhee will join state Sen. Annette Taddeo and other local officials Wednesday in also calling on Gov. Rick Scott to create an independent auditing committee to investigate the backlog and other customer service complaints.

Florida's busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there.

Courtesy of HMS Ferries

The Hillsborough County Commission voted Wednesday to bring back the ferry service that connects downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.

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Allegiant Air canceled more than a dozen flights into and out of the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport today through June 21. They say it is due to a delay in putting their new aircraft into service.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

With interstates jammed with people fleeing the state during Hurricane Irma, many Floridians are questioning the state’s evacuation plan for this year’s hurricane season.

California is testing new digital license plates on vehicles — opening up new possibilities and raising new privacy concerns.

The digital plates use the same technology behind Amazon's Kindle e-book reader to display large letters and numbers, as any other license plate would. But the devices are also able to show ads and personal messages and send data about their locations.

Sarasota County Emergency Management

Just in time for hurricane season, Sarasota County is introducing a plan to help transport people who can’t drive to evacuation centers.

Wikipedia Commons

Tampa Bay has the dubious distinction of being the largest metro area in the country without any kind of local passenger rail service. So as our rush hour commutes crawl to a standstill, transportation planners are taking yet another shot at mass transit. The latest proposal might not include rail at all.

Find a Ride Florida

Older adults in Florida who no longer can drive themselves have a new option when it comes to finding ways to get around.

The University of Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation Safe Mobility For Life have created FindaRideFlorida.org, a website where people can search for transportation options in all 67 of Florida’s counties.

People board a HART bus.
HART

Jeffrey Seward, interim CEO of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), is in Washington D.C. to speak with congressional leaders about the importance of public transit.

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