600 Cleveland St.
Clearwater, FL 33755
(727) 464-8200 E-mail - Map
Transportation Task Force
December 28, 2010 feedback-
the transportation will be a good change as long as its improving.
December 13 , 2010 feedback-
High speed rail is not needed in Pinellas county. Less density is what is needed. It is unbelievable that this commission is even considering higher taxes for this boondoggle.
November 3 , 2010 feedback-
After reading the article on transportation in today's Beacon-11/03/10- it's obvious Mr. Johnson and Mr. Frishe comments were made before Tuesdays election, which had Hillsborough voters soundly defeating a 1 percent tax increase to fund their attempt to build and redesign a light rail/transportation system for many other reasons other than the economy. I have lived in Pinellas county for 42 years and have never seen such poor ridership on buses for all the reasons the previous writer has stated. Also, there must be a strong reason for the transportation dept. purchasing such huge buses that will never be filled to operating efficiently. The majority of people moving around this county is accomplished by auto. That won't change. Also, no way will I vote for a 1 percent tax increase.
November 1 , 2010 feedback-
I just moved here from Houston, TX, where the bus system is well-known for reliability and cost efficiency. I came here without a vehicle and just assumed I would be able to get around using the mass transit system.
Do you realize, it takes me at least 2 buses and one hour just to get to the grocery store located less than 1.5 miles from my house? That is a 2 hour and $8 round trip just to get groceries. Now, imagine how much it would cost and how long it would take to search for work using your system. An unemployed person can not afford to use PSTA.
The fact that you charge $2/ per bus without granting transfers is outrageous to me. On top of this, the bus drivers are unable to give a receipt, which seems illegal. I should be able to show how much I have to spend to get to work each day. In Houston, the buses run every 15 minutes, they run in a straight line so you know how to get where you're going (I think this is a problem here due to a lack of buses covering a large region), and transfers are granted upon request, allowing you to travel as far in any direction as you would like for only $1.25. It's $1.25/ direction, NOT per bus. Or, $2.00 for a day pass.
And, people use the buses. The cost is preferable to driving and parking and they run like clockwork. So, Houston Metro only charges $2.00/ day pass and still they make a ton of revenue.
I can not use your system. With the way you are currently running it, I don't see any way that I would benefit from riding the bus. If you would give your riders a break on the cost, you would have more of them riding and paying happily and then you'd have enough money to buy more buses which would bring more riders and so on and so forth.
October 16, 2010 feedback-We all know the cost of energy will continue to escalate at an annual rate of 6 to 7%. Environmental concerns are becoming more and more of an issue in our neighborhoods and businesses. The safety and security of our nation hinges on rather or not we heed the warning signs of a greater dependence on imported oil.
One solution to our dilemma is the rapid deployment of a clean mode of transportation with electric vehicles. EV's will be here very soon, but a dedicated charging infrastructure is critical to support early adaption and help remove "range anxiety". Washington and Oregon are in a race to see which state rolls out the largest network of charging stations. Here locally, Orlando and Tampa are gearing up for a similar race. We would like to see Pinellas County involved in this rollout as well.
The average commuter travels approximately 30 to 40 miles a day. Current battery technology for EV's is estimated at 40 to 100 miles on a single charge. EV owners will leave home with a full charge, but if the return trip requires any side trips or if traffic is congested the dreaded "RA" may surface.
EV's traveling east across the bay will have conveninent locations to re-charge in Tampa, but this may not be the case for those traveling to Pinellas County. Project Get Ready is a great first step. We need to consider the economic advantage of a similar network here.
October 8, 2010 feedback- am very disappointed that senior citizens on social security with medicare and medicaid have to pay so much for pinellas bus transit tickets. That is the only transportation for alot of residents of this county. You should inact no more than $5.00 a month for this service. These people helped create the future in their lifetimes and deserve better treatment from our officals who oversee the transportation in this county. Please give concideration to their plight and help the burdon placed on them to be able get to doctors,stores, and their family's homes. Thanking you in advance.
September 27, 2010 feedback- I think the priority should shift from a Downtown St. Petersburg to Downtown Clearwater connection for the starter light rail line to a Downtown St. Petersburg to Westshore/Tampa Int'l Airport starter line. With the advent of High Speed Rail and Hillsborough's recently announced strategy to locally fund the rail line from Downtown Tampa to Tampa Int'l Airport (pending passage of the transit tax referendum and timed to open with the opening of high speed rail), it would be to our economic advantage to build the cross-bay connection first and connect in to high speed rail sooner rather than later. The region is poised to benefit greatly from increased business and tourist activity with high speed rail. However, most of that benefit will be felt in Hillsborough without a rail connection across the bay.
Previously, I supported high speed rail in Pinellas. I still think it would have its advantages. However, as that seems unlikely, the best way for Pinellas to benefit from high speed rail is to get a rail connection across the bay, and consider that the TOP priority. This will make the county immediately more attractive to businesses looking to expand or relocate as it increases mobility from potential workers in Hillsborough and points east (namely Polk County) as well as provides rail access to the major airport (via a Westshore intermodal center or directly to Tampa Int'l Airport). It will also make the area immediately more attractive to tourists, particularly those whose primary destination is Orlando, but now would take a day trip to Pinellas with its beaches, museums and developing nightlife due to access by rail.
I think Pinellas could employ a similar strategy as Hillsborough plans to use, in using local tax funds raised from a referendum to locally fund the stretch of rail from Downtown St. Petersburg to Gateway, then use federal and state match to build the new rail bridge to connect with Hillsborough's rail at an intermodal station either in Westshore or at Tampa Int'l Airport. The federal match would also be used to fund construction of the connection from Gateway to Downtown Clearwater. The goal should be to have a rail linkage to high speeed rail by 2018, and I think that is doable.
August 4, 2010 feedback- I was hoping you could examine using ferries effectively for public transportation. I spent some time in Brisbane, Australia and they have a great infrastructure that includes effective use of high speed ferries. The benefit is lack of congestion due to the open waters and (once the bridge clearances are okay) no stops due to traffic lights. The ferries could run up and down the inter-coastal on the West side of Pinellas County, and the same on the East side while also being able to traverse across the bay to Tampa. Furthermore, it would not require too much construction for improving the infrastructure (depending on how you want to deal with certain bridges) and would limit the interruption of the current traffic flow compared to adding bus lanes. Commuters would get to enjoy our beautiful ocean scenery and we would be utilizing a source that we have yet to effectively tap into. Here is a link that briefly describes the Brisbane system -Thank You!
August 2, 2010 feedback- It is very encouraging to see Pinellas on board with light rail. This is the single-most important economic development activity at this time. Not only will it provide an alternative to driving, and make employment centers more accessible, it will in and of itself drive development patterns of for the future and attract the density of employment and residential needed to support it and grow the local economy.
With that, I think something that should be considered is a push with the Florida High Speed Rail Authority to include a Pinellas connection as part of its Phase 2 expansion. This would solve the issue of connecting the two sides of the bay, which is crucial to the success of rail in both counties and throughout the region. It provides a high speed connection to Pinellas for potential workers and tourists in Polk County and the Orlando metropolitan area that otherwise would not consider working in Pinellas or visiting the beaches and local attractions as part of their visit to Florida. Also, if an interim stop is included in the Westshore area, Tampa International Airport travelers would have a direct rail link to Pinellas and add riders to the Pinelles light rail system.
As an idea, a "Pinellas Grand Gateway Station" could be built in the Gateway area to connect high speed rail with light rail and bus. A shuttle could be added for St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport to the Pinellas Grand Gateway Station. This would add riders to the light rail system, attract more business to the Airport, and get their backing in bringing high speed rail to Pinellas. Furthurmore, having a transit hub in the Gateway area (with high speed rail) would create the opportunity for a true, transit-oriented urban development, perhaps a "downtown Gateway" so-to-speak for more office, residential and retail development, adding riders and improving the local economy.
So, I encourage you, in your planning for light rail, an improved bus system and road improvements, that you also consider and push for a high speed rail connection to Pinellas as part of Florida High Speed Rail Authority's Phase 2.