I enjoyed my meeting and discussion of transportation issues in late May with Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller. Unfortunately, I still have a number of issues and recommendations for the Green Light Program.
The major problem is North Pinellas pays for the system, yet the majority of benefits go to the south county. The minor increases in bus routes for north county pales in comparison to the light rail for south county, both in service to the community’s needs and in cost.
North Pinellas needs better transportation. It does little good to have a bus route on U.S. 19 to connect Tarpon Springs to the major rail services if its older residents cannot get to the bus line to take advantage of it. We need a well-thought-out, well-designed bus system through Tarpon’s neighborhoods.
Another major problem with the current proposal is it does not serve our college system. We need to add service from each campus to the rail and the bus lines connecting to the rail.
By Miller’s estimation, the plan is only 30 percent complete. Now is the time to add North Pinellas to the system, possibly in Phase 2. Such a move would ensure north county support for Green Light.
The writer is a former Tarpon Springs city commissioner.
As the only third-party candidate for governor, I am extremely disappointed in the Florida Press Association’s failure to include me in its gubernatorial candidate forum at the 2014 FPA/FSNE Convention. The FPA’s exclusion of a viable third-party candidate is unacceptable and exposes an entrenched bias in its approach to political coverage.
The criteria the FPA has created for inclusion in the forum guarantees that only Republican and Democrat candidates can participate.
I have little doubt that this was entirely by design.
Therefore, I refuse to accept its rules and will attend the FPA/FSNE Gubernatorial Forum on July 10 in Coral Gables. The FPA may either allow me to participate or have me arrested. It has no third option.