Posts Tagged ‘Department of Transportation’

Will Brightline passenger train survive as counties try to choke off funding?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
Brightline’s promise to extend its South Florida passenger train service to Orlando is in jeopardy again after two counties asked a judge this month to rescind federal approval of All Aboard Florida’s plan to issue $1.15 billion in bonds to fund the project.
The post Will Brightline passenger train survive as counties try to choke off funding? appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Amid rush to deploy driverless cars, federal regulators urged to keep hands on the wheel

Friday, December 8th, 2017

By Paul Feldman
FairWarning
The era of driverless vehicles appears to be rapidly approaching, raising a bevy of urgent questions about how to prevent the emergence of new hazards on the nation’s roads.
The post Amid rush to deploy driverless cars, federal regulators urged to keep hands on the wheel appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Poor Fort Lauderdale neighborhood pays millions for city streetcar line that won’t reach it

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

By Joseph A. Mann Jr.
FloridaBulldog.org
What does sewage in the streets around western Sistrunk Blvd. (NW 6th Street) in Fort Lauderdale have to do with the $195- million Wave Streetcar line being developed for the city? Plenty, according to Marie “Ms. Peaches” Huntley, neighborhood resident, activist, businesswoman and candidate for commissioner in District 3 of Fort Lauderdale, as well as other critics.
The post Poor Fort Lauderdale neighborhood pays millions for city streetcar line that won’t reach it appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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U.S. judge tosses lawsuit to block All Aboard Florida; Money for Phase 2 still in question

Friday, May 26th, 2017

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando survived a lawsuit filed by Indian River and Martin counties when a federal judge on May 10 dismissed the suit. But funding problems remain.
The post U.S. judge tosses lawsuit to block All Aboard Florida; Money for Phase 2 still in question appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Tri-Rail sticking with, defending, controversial $500M, one-bid contract

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

The operators of South Florida’s Tri-Rail commuter train are sticking to their guns, defending their process that disqualified five of six bidders for a half-billion dollar contract, and hoping to win back angry state leaders who want to cut their state funding over the matter.
“Right now, we’re moving forward. We followed a process, and we put the process in place,” said C. Mikel Oglesby
deputy executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
That process has Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Transportation and state Sen. Jeff Brandes, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development, all threatening to cut Tri-Rail’s money out of concern over how and why the regional transportation authority disqualified five lower bids before awarding the contract to Herzog Transit Services for $511 million for ten years.
The contract is a merged program that brings together the operations, train maintenance, track maintenance and dispatching for a commuter rail that serves 4 million people a year along a line from West Palm Beach to Miami. The authority requested the proposals late last summer, and they were all submitted in December. Late in December the authority’s procurement staff, backed by its Technical Committee, ruled that five companies ignored explicit rules and made their proposals conditional, meaning their bottom lines might not be their ultimate bottom lines.
Their proposals were tossed, even though they were for less money, as low as $396 million over 10 years. The bidding process wasn’t all about money; 80 percent of the competition had to do with other matters such as reliability and programatic assurances. But no one knows how the others stacked up against Herzog on those scores because the tossed proposals were never scored. All that is known for sure is that Herzog’s bid cost the most.
Tri-Rail gets about $50 million in operating subsidies from

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It’s official: Jim Boxold resigns as state Transportation secretary

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott Monday officially announced the resignation of state Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold after FloridaPolitics.com broke the story of his departure last Friday night.
Boxold’s resignation is effective Feb. 3, the governor said in a statement. Rachel Cone, who is now Assistant Secretary for Finance and Administration, will serve as interim secretary.
Later Monday, the governmental affairs firm Capital City Consulting also confirmed he was joining the team.
“Jim Boxold has done a great job leading FDOT and I want to thank him for his hard work as we have continued to make critical investments in Florida’s transportation infrastructure,” Scott said.
“Under his leadership, Florida has been a leader in transportation and made great improvements in our seaports, bridges and airports,” he added. “His dedication to our state has helped ensure we have a world-class transportation system that supports continued economic growth and job creation. I am truly proud of all the good work Jim has done and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
FloridaPolitics.com reported on Friday that, according to well-placed sources, Boxold had accepted an offer to join the governmental affairs firm Capital City Consulting. (The governor’s statement did not mention where Boxold was going.)
Boxold, a former DOT chief of staff, was appointed to lead the agency in December 2014 to succeed Ananth Prasad.
He’s one of two high-profile departures from the Scott administration in recent days: DEP Secretary Jon Steverson turned in his resignation on Friday.
Prior to his time at the DOT, Boxold served a decade as Director of Cabinet Affairs for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, now led by Adam Putnam.
Before that, Boxold was Deputy Director of Cabinet Affairs for Gov. Jeb Bush. He also served as legislative affairs director for U.S. Rep. Porter J. Goss in 1995-2001.
“Jim has served the State of Florida with distinction and has overseen major seaport expansions, significant upgrades to our interstates and roadways, and the

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Rick Scott orders FDOT to suspend tolls in counties with Hurricane Matthew evacuations

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The Department of Transportation will suspend tolls in counties where there are evacuation orders.
The National Hurricane Center has called Hurricane Matthew a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. The most recent forecast showed the entire east coast — spanning from Monroe to Nassau counties — could experience tropical storm or hurricane force winds, beach erosion, rip currents and heavy rain.
Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency earlier this week in all of Florida’s 67 counties, and has encouraged Floridians to take every precaution to stay safe during the storm.
“This is a dangerous storm and it is never too early to evacuate. If you live in a low lying area, on a barrier island, or in an area prone to flooding, you need to make plans to leave now,” he said in a statement.
Scott said he ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls “as needed to keep traffic flowing.”
“If there is an evacuation order in a county, all tolls will be suspended in that county,” said Scott.
Brevard County issued mandatory evacuations for barrier islands beginning at 3 p.m. today. The Associated Press reported Martin County has also issued a mandatory evacuation warning. As of noon, St. Lucie, Flagler and Duval counties were among the counties that issued voluntary evacuation orders, according to the Governor’s Office.
Scott said he activated 500 National Guard members across the state. Those members will be stationed in north, central and south Florida, so they can “be mobilized immediately.” He has also directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to have “high-water vehicles and … search and rescue teams on standby throughout the state.”
Hurricane Matthew is barreling over the Bahamas and taking aim at Florida. The center of the storm is expected to arrive near the Florida coast Thursday

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All Aboard Florida’s plan for passenger train service from Miami to Orlando in jeopardy

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando is in jeopardy following a federal judge’s order questioning the company’s ability to borrow $1.75 billion in taxpayer-subsidized federal bonds to pay for the project.
The post All Aboard Florida’s plan for passenger train service from Miami to Orlando in jeopardy appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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All Aboard Florida’s plan for passenger train service from Miami to Orlando in jeopardy

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando is in jeopardy following a federal judge’s order questioning the company’s ability to borrow $1.75 billion in taxpayer-subsidized federal bonds to pay for the project.
The post All Aboard Florida’s plan for passenger train service from Miami to Orlando in jeopardy appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Heavy-spending trucking industry pushes Congress to relax safety rules

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

By Brian Joseph
FairWarning.org
Big rig crashes kill nearly 4,000 Americans each year and injure more than 85,000. Fatalities involving large trucks are up 17 percent since 2009; injuries up 28 percent. Given these numbers, you might expect Congress to be agitating for tighter controls on big rigs. In fact, many members are pushing for the opposite – looser restrictions on the trucking industry and its drivers.
The post Heavy-spending trucking industry pushes Congress to relax safety rules appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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