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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

arrow Roadsroads

The MPO works with the Florida Department of Transportation, the federal government, Pinellas County agencies and municipalities to identify road improvement and bicycle and pedestrian project priorities eligible for State and Federal 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 highlights travel trends and presents information on traffic conditions and transportation system performance.

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).LOS Report

arrow Intelligent Transportation Systems bumpertobumper

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) seek advanced technology solutions to addressing traffic congestion. ITS concepts were first introduced by the United States Department of Transportation in 1996 with a goal of saving every American up to 15% in travel time.

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; freeway management systems, such as electronic message signs and highway advisory radio messages that warn travelers of heavy congestion; and electronic fare payment on public buses that reduce passenger boarding time.

The MPO works to coordinate these planning efforts in the County through its ITS Committee, which is composed of public and private sector transportation planners, engineers, and representatives responsible for traffic management, emergency management (including fire and rescue), law enforcement, transit service, communications and tourism. MPO board members and an MPO Citizens Advisory Committee representative also serve on the committee.

An ITS Implementation PlanLOS Report for Pinellas County was completed in 2009. The Plan called for the installation of an extensive array of advanced traffic management system improvements on major roadways including signal pre-emption for emergency vehicles, closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) and electronic message signs. The Plan also included the coordination of signal systems through a primary control center. The Plan for ITS improvements on major roadsLOS Report identified three phases. Improvements on the highest priority corridors such as US Highway 19 and Ulmerton Road were completed under phase one. Phase three is anticipated for completion by 2018.

Addtional ITS DocumentsITS documents

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.

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 Development of the County's sidewalk, bicycle lane and trail networks is guided by the MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan Facilities Element.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. Law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and municipal police departments participate on the MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and the Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST), which provide input to the MPO decision making process on matters affecting bicycle and pedestrian safety in the County.bicyclist

A primary objective behind the MPO's bicycle and pedestrian activities is to allow for bicycling and walking to be viable commuting alternatives in addition to being healthy recreational activities. 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 45 miles from East Lake Tarpon to St. Petersburg. The County's planned and existing trail network is identified in the MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan Facilities Element.prog energy map

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

The Pinellas County Parks Department is looking for volunteer auxiliary rangers. The rangers play an important role in patroling the Trail and providing information to visitors, and assisting with light maintenance and special events. Volunteer rangers are required to complete a certification training course and 100 hours of service within a one-year period. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Auxiliary Ranger Program can sign up here.rangerprogram

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 $11 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. The cost is $3 per 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 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.



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. 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 six member-MPOs, including Hernando/Citrus, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota/Manatee. FDOT Secretaries from District 1 and District 7, Florida's Turnpike Authority, four Regional Planning Councils, and the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) are also represented on the CCC in a non-voting capacity.

The CCC develops regional solutions to transportation problems and to ensure a consistent regional planning approach among the 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), which is made up of citizen representatives appointed by the TBARTA Board and Transit Management Committee (TMC). Joint CAC members are also appointed by the Land Use Working Group (LUWG).

The regional planning landscape changed in 2013 with the formation of the Transportation Management Area (TMA) Leadership Group. They are 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 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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