Public Meeting on Future of Pinellas Transit

PSTA
TAMPA (2011-8-10) -

Tired of slogging through endless traffic lights during that morning commute? Transportation officials in Florida's most densely-populated county want to help - and they want your help. An "E-Town Hall meeting” will be held tonight to give an update of the latest transit study in Pinellas County.

The online and over-the-phone meeting will discuss different types of transit, such as fast bus and rail.

While voters in Hillsborough County rejected a plan to build light rail, it's still on the drawing board in Pinellas. Brad Miller, the new head of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, says rail is merely one idea still in the discussion stage.

"Whatever ultimately gets decided, this region in order to grow - and the most important thing on everyone's mind is creating economic development and new jobs for people - it's going to need a sound transportation system," says Miller. "So it's great the plans continue for that."

Miller says plans are also in gear for bus rapid transit, which would connect downtown St. Petersburg to the Carrillon area and Clearwater.

Here's more information from Pinellas County government:

Phones will be ringing and bloggers will be blogging across Pinellas County on Wednesday, Aug. 10 as the Pinellas Transit Alternatives Analysis involves the public in the latest phase of its transit study to discuss the future of Pinellas County's transit along with different types of transit, such as fast bus and rail.

Many residents have questions about the future of Pinellas County's transportation and its transit connections. That's why the Pinellas Transit Alternatives Analysis Team, in partnership with Pinellas County, is hosting its second eTownhall: Transit Alternatives for a Stronger, Faster Pinellas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Between 7 and 8 p.m., this live, interactive online blog-video-and-telephone communication will bring together thousands of different voices and opinions from all around the county. This unique event will feature members of the Pinellas Transit Alternatives Analysis Team answering your transportation questions live. The panel includes:

• Bob Clifford, TBARTA executive director, moderator
• R.B. Johnson, Indian Rocks Beach Mayor and PSTA board chair
• Brad Miller, PSTA chief executive officer
• Brian Smith, MPO executive director and Pinellas County Planning Department director
• Ken Welch, Pinellas County Commissioner

Citizens can participate in the eTownHall event at www.pinellascounty.org/etownhall. Email reminders will be sent to those who log onto the website and sign on early. They can also watch the event live on PCC-TV on Bright House channel 622, Knology channel 18 or Verizon channel 44. In addition to joining online or through TV, a random sample of 40,000 residents will be called and invited to participate in the telephone portion of the event. Interested citizens who do not receive a call but wish to join the telephone portion may call toll-free, 1 (888) 886-6603, extension 16868#.

The online blog is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 8, to allow participants to ask questions before the live event takes place. The panel will answer questions that come in through the online blog as well as the live telephone calls. Participants can also participate through Twitter by including the #pinellastransit in the message. This alerts blog moderators that the message is a part of the discussion.

The conference room at the Pinellas County Communications Department will be open to the public during the live event as well. It is located at 333 Chestnut Street in Clearwater. In addition, the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative will dedicate computers for the eTownHall at two public libraries:

Tarpon Springs Public Library
138 E. Lemon St.
Tarpon Springs
(727) 943-4922
www.tarponspringslibrary.org

St. Petersburg Public Library, James Weldon Johnson Branch
1059 18th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg
(727) 893-7113
www.splibraries.org/Johnson.htm

For more information on the event, go to www.pinellascounty.org/eTownHall or call (727) 464-4600.

For more information on the Pinellas Transit Alternatives Analysis, visit the project website at www.PinellasOnTrack.com.

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