Ferry Tales

By Jim Bleyer The first step on the road to success is defining success at the outset, not during the effort or at its completion. By any professional transportation yardstick, the Tampa Bay ferry experiment is a failure. The fact that politicians, the ethically-corrupt Tampa Bay Times, and Ed Turanchik, …

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Sharpe Promotes Transit for Innovation Place

  By Jim Bleyer Improved mass transit is the top priority of the 238 businesses that comprise Innovation Place, the economic district anchored by the University of South Florida, the organization’s Executive Director Mark Sharpe said Friday. Speaking at Cafe con Tampa’s weekly community forum, Sharpe conceded that Hillsborough County …

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Jack Latvala: The Elephant in the Room

A Latvala Power Trip To Seasons 52 in Tampa By Jim Bleyer The aura of power, if not power itself, was on full display Monday at a workshop for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) board of directors. Senate Bill 1672, which would create an umbrella transit authority over …

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Times Report Deceptive, Says Transportation Expert

Mark Aesch   By Jim Bleyer The Tampa Bay Times characterization of Tampa Bay as having “one of the worst transit systems in America” is not only “silly and misleading” but 180 degress from the truth, according to nationally-recognized transportation expert Mark Aesch. If the article, published Feb. 16, underwent …

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Oh, What a Week!

By Jim Bleyer Until recently, conventional wisdom dictated that one should never pick a fight with people that buy ink by the barrelful. That precept no longer applies, especially in Tampa Bay. Two public figures, whose incompetence and backroom wheeling and dealing have been shielded from public view under the …

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Bipartisan Consensus Builds for Hillsborough Mass Transit

By Jim Bleyer In outlining her vision for Hillsborough County’s mass transit future Friday, Pat Kemp found herself in the trenches alongside activists on the opposite side of the political spectrum. The rookie county commissioner, a Democrat, shares many of the same views as self-styled conservatives  who during the past …

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Times Agenda Overrides Integrity

By Jim Bleyer The Tampa Bay Times this month forfeited its right to be perceived as a fair, serious journalistic entity. The newspaper sent its designated first-string political writer to a well-publicized forum last Friday on mass transit featuring three high-profile opponents of light rail.  The overflowing Cafe con Tampa …

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Is Anybody Listening?

By Jim Bleyer Timothy Leary would have riffed, “Drop in, turn off, tune out.” The three citizen activists most instrumental in defeating Greenlight Pinellas and Go Hillsborough, the most recent ill-fated local transit proposals calling for higher sales taxes, spoke Friday morning to an SRO, mostly pro-transit crowd at Cafe con …

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