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 Transportation Topics

arrow Roads
arrow Congestion Management Process
arrow Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
arrow Trucks and Freight
arrow Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel
arrow Bus Service
arrow Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ccc

arrow Transportation Disadvantaged
arrow Livable Communities
arrow Commute Options
arrow Regional Transportation

Pinellas County's transportation system consists of a vast network of roads, bridges, airports, bus routes, trails and sidewalks that serve as a lifeline to the local economy and the quality of life afforded to the area's residents. Addressing the future transportation needs of Pinellas County requires a multi-modal planning approach that encompasses all the major modes of travel. Planning programs and activities associated with these modes are described below.

arrow Roads

roadsThe MPO works with the Florida Department of Transportation, the federal government, Pinellas County agencies and with municipalities to identify road improvement priorities for Surface Transportation Program (STP) funding and bicycle and pedestrian projects eligible for Enhancement Program funding. The expansion and redesign of U.S. Highway 19us 19 is a current example of a high priority project for STP funding. Safety, cost, traffic congestion, economic impact and preservation of neighborhoods are all given due consideration in prioritizing and planning roadway improvements. The MPO utilizes an assortment of data sources in this process, including traffic counts and crash information, which is collected on an ongoing basis.

arrow Congestion Management Process

As required by Federal Law, the MPO is required to implement a congestion management process (CMP) which is designed to ensure that lower cost alternatives to major capital investments are considered in identifying improvements necessary to address roadway congestion. The MPO's CMP is centered on its State of the System Report which documents travel trends and traffic patterns on the major transportation system elements (roads, buses and non-motorized modes) and identifies traffic congestion issues.

Travel trends and patterns evaluated for the Congestion Management Process are reported in the annual MPO Level of Service ReportLOS Report as well as the MPO Crash Data Report.crash facts These traffic congestion and related problems are then addressed by identifying small scale physical improvements such as intersection modifications, median closings and sidewalk construction to fill existing gaps in the network. They are scheduled in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

arrow Intelligent Transportation Systems

As one of its many responses to congestion problems, Pinellas County has begun implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) on its arterial roadways. This approach seeks technical and practical solutions to alleviating traffic congestion problems. Examples of ITS technology include computerized traffic signal systems that automatically adjust to maximize traffic flow and to permit emergency vehicles to pass through intersections quickly, cameras and detectors that identify congested areas and travel advisories that inform drivers about these problems and recommend alternative routes.

arrow Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel
image of pedestrians in crosswalk

The MPO's three-pronged approach to creating safer and friendlier environments for walking and bicycling focuses on education, engineering and enforcement. Education encompasses activities related to increasing the awareness of laws affecting walkers and bicycles as well as safe pedestrian and bicycling practices. This includes safety training exercises MPO staff provides to children and adult groups at schools, community fairs and other civic or social events.

The Pinellas County Pedestrian Safety Action Plan ped safety action plan reflects a comprehensive approach by the MPO and its partner agencies to improve travel conditions for pedestrians. The MPO also works closely with community groups and organizations, such as the Community Traffic Safety Team, Florida Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition,safe kids and the Pinellas County School Board,pcsb in these education initiatives.

Engineering revolves around efforts centered on expanding the County's sidewalk, trail and bicycle lane networks to create more and better opportunities for these travel modes. The MPO's most direct inolvement in these efforts is by prioritizing and allocating funding to construct bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the County through the Transportation Improvement Program. tip

Enforcement refers to the MPO's partnering with local law enforcement agencies to ensure laws affecting bicyclists and walkers are being appropriately enforced to improve their safety. Details on the MPO's education, engineering and enforcement activities is contained in the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan.bp master plan The MPO's livable communities initiative and related efforts have emphasized creating more bicycle and pedestrian friendly environments through local land use policies and regulations affecting land development projects. bicyclist

A primary objective behind the MPO's bicycle and pedestrian activities is to encourage these travel modes as commute alternatives to the automobile in reaching their destinations. This not only helps to reduce traffic congestion, it reduces auto emissions, saves energy and creates a healthier population and improved quality of life for the County's residents. The MPO's Safety Pages provide additional information on bicycle and pedestrian safety with an emphasis on school-age children.

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arrow Trails

bicyclistsPinellas County is nationally recognized for its extensive trail system network, which includes the nationally recognized Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail.trail put This facility extends 37 miles from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas Trail and its connecting facilities include bridges over waterways, connections to shopping and employment centers, parks, schools and other centers of interest. An important element in the planned trail network is the 20.6-mile Progress Energy Trail,prog energy map which when completed, will provide a north/south trail facility in eastern Pinellas County. The Progress Energy Trail'sTrail Users northern end will connect with the East Lake/Tarpon Springs section of the Pinellas Trail. The southern terminus will connect to the planned Weedon Island Trail.

The Trailways Plan also calls for a connection between the Progress Energy Extension and the Friendship Trail (Old Gandy Bridge), a multi-use recreational trail spanning Tampa Bay with trail connections in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. This Plan is included as part of the regional trails mapMUTmap developed under the auspices of the Chairs Coordinating Committee.

Detailed information for Pinellas Trail users is available in the Guide to the Pinellas Trail. bike trail

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arrow Bus Service
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
psta (PSTA) is the primary public transportation provider in Pinellas County, Florida. The main objective of PSTA’s fixed route system is to provide affordable transportation that connects people to their places of employment, recreation areas, tourist destinations and shopping locations. In addition to serving the general public, PSTA plays an important role in serving the transportation needs of the disadvantaged population.

Bicyclists can also access PSTA buses through the agency's Bikes on Busespasco bus Program. This program allows riders to mount their bikes on the front of PSTA buses for long distance travel.

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arrow Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Program

transportation disadvantaged logoThe state-funded TD Program provides low-cost, non-emergency transportation throughout Pinellas County to individuals who qualify as "transportation disadvantaged." To be qualified, a person must have no means of transportation, including family and friends, and an income no greater than 150 percent of the federal poverty level. With unlimited use bus passes (Go Cards), TD Program customers can receive transportation to anywhere a bus can take them for a reduced fee of $8.25 for a 31-day pass and $5 for a 10-day pass. For those unable to ride the bus, non-emergency service is provided by taxi cabs or wheelchair accessible vans. Cost is $3 each one-way trip. The PSTA is the designated Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) for Pinellas County. As the CTC, PSTA is responsible for managing the TD Program.

For more information on the State of Florida Transportation Disadvantaged Program see Commission for the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged.ctd

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arrow Commute Options

In addition to the above planning areas, the MPO works with the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) TBARTA to promote commute alternatives to single occupant vehicle travel, which represents nearly 80 percent of all the vehicles on the State's roadways during peak hours of travel. These alternatives include carpools, vanpools, transit, teleworking and compressed/flexible work weeks coordinated by TBARTA.

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arrow Regional Transportation

Florida's transportation challenge lies in finding innovative ways to get people where they want to go - easily, efficiently, and economically while ensuring the state's fragile and uniquely diverse natural environment is protected. The West Central Florida Chairs Coordinating Committee (CCC) represents an effort to address this transportation challenge from a regional and long-range perspective. Issues such as personal mobility, access to jobs, goods movement, emergency evacuation, and growth management are some of the concerns addressed by the CCC, which is made up of the chairpersons from Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Transportation Planning Organizations and other transportation agencies in the region. The goal of the CCC is to prioritize and find ways to address the region's transportation needs through the support and cooperation of its member agencies, partner entities and advisory committees.regionmap

The Chairs Coordinating Committee is composed of chairpersons from the seven member-MPOs (listed in the column at left). FDOT Secretaries (District 1 and District 7), Florida's Turnpike Authority, four Regional Planning Councils, and the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) are represented on the CCC in a non-voting capacity.

The CCC meets quarterly to develop regional solutions to transportation problems and to ensure a consistent regional planning approach among the six member agencies. The CCC is responsible for the following:

  • Cost Affordable Regional Long Range Transportation Plan;
  • Regional Congestion Management System;
  • Air Quality Management Planning Process;
  • Regional Multi-Use Trails Element;
  • Major Investment Studies Coordination;
  • Regional Data Sharing and Mapping; and
  • Regional Public Involvement Program.

All meetings are open to the public.  Information related to CCC and CCC advisory committee meetings, including date, time and location, are posted on the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) calendar.calendar

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA)calendar was created by the Florida State Legislature in 2007 to develop and implement a Regional Transportation Master Plan for the West Central Florida region, including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties. The purpose of the Master Plan is to improve mobility and expand multimodal transportation options for passengers and freight throughout the region. The agency is governed by a board of elected officials and appointed members from around the region. TBARTA supports the regional Joint Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of citizen representatives appointed by the TBARTA Board, Transit Management Committee (TMC) consisting of executive directors of the transit agencies in the region, and the Land Use Working Group (LUWG) comprised of representatives from local government and regional land use planning agencies, environmental groups, the development community, transportation agencies, and the public.

The regional planning landscape changed in 2013 with the formation of the Transportation Management Area (TMA) Leadership Group. Comprised of three voting members from each of the TMA MPOs (i.e., Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough) and advisory representatives of FDOT and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA), the Leadership Group held its first meeting in November, 2013. The group was formed to serve in an advisory role to the three MPOs, develop regional consensus priorities for the TMA particularly in the allocation of Federal urbanized area funding and to help the Tampa Bay metropolitan area speak with one voice in discussions of regional transportation issues and resources. The three MPOs provide staff support to the Leadership Group.  Further information on the Leadership Group is available in the TMA Profile.crash facts The meeting schedule is posted on the TBARTA calendar.calendar

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