New transit plans get the ‘green light’ - FOX 13 News

New transit plans get the ‘green light’

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

In about a month, Greenlight Pinellas will become a frequently heard phrase. 

Final approval of the campaign slogan is expected at the April 24 board meeting of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority [PSTA]. 

After that, it will be used in presumably impartial educational materials produced at taxpayer expense, as well as straight-up commercial advertising paid for by a political action committee. 

The Greenlight Pinellas slogan was created by an outside advertising firm. It's designed to inform residents about bus and rail plans they'll vote on in 2014.

"It moves things forward," PSTA chairman Jeff Danner explained. "It keeps going."

Pinellas officials are mindful of a similar effort rejected by Hillsborough voters in recent years, in part because the Hillsborough transportation plan had not been finalized before the referendum. 

Pinellas has identified the route of a proposed light rail spine and is now finalizing the systems that would feed the trains. 

"We have a bus network plan, we have a bus rapid transit plan that's in the works," Danner said, adding the rest of this year will be consumed finalizing an overall transportation plan. 

That process will include public involvement. 

"What parts of the transportation plan are most important to them based on where they work, where they live, how they would use it," Danner explained. "How they want other people to use it just to help with the road congestion?"

At PSTA's Grand Central bus hub, bus rider Angela Travis said she will have to be convinced to vote "yes" on the sale tax.

"If you could show us the plan, not just tell us about it, but if we could see it," she said. "If you made us believe that it was actually going to make a difference, then she would vote yes."

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