There was no shortage of game changing moments in Tampa's transportation scene.
From a transportation sales tax passing to Brightline working to build a intercity passenger rail connecting Orlando to Tampa, these were the stories that caught the most attention from Tampa Bay Business Journal readers in 2018.
1. Brightline's deal with Sir Richard's Virgin Group unveils Tampa expansion cost, ticket price
Brightline's new partnership with Virgin Group has revealed new details of the proposed train service from Tampa to Orlando through a 200-plus page filing. The filing was for the rebrand to Virgin Trains USA in 2019, but it also provided insight on its financial standing and that Brightline anticipates commencing passenger rail operations for the Tampa expansion in 2021.
2. Hillsborough County transportation gets the green light
Nearly 60 percent of Hillsborough County residents vote yes to pass a sales tax that's expected to raise $280 million that will be used to reduce congestion.
3. High-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando is back in play
The Florida Department of Transportation receives an unsolicited proposal to lease state-owned property along Interstate 4.
4. Cross Bay Ferry to dock at Florida Aquarium for Tampa-St.Pete service, here's the cost
HMS Ferries Inc., the operator of the Cross Bay Ferry connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa, will use a portion of a Port Tampa Bay berth at The Florida Aquarium.
5. A new way to get to Tampa International Airport is here
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority launches a new stop at the consolidated rental car center at the Tampa International Airport.
6. Brightline wins approval for Tampa-to-Orlando intercity passenger rail
The Florida Department of Transportation's Selection Committee agrees to move forward in negotiating the lease agreement with Brightline. Brightline would lease FDOT and Central Florida Expressway Authority rights of way for the rail line. FDOT has 90 days to negotiate the lease agreement.
7. FDOT to award contract for design, build of I-275 Howard Frankland Bridge
The Florida Department of Transportation issues a request for proposals to solicit competitive bids for the design and construction of the Howard Frankland Bridge with the contract amount limit being $814,401,002, which is the largest contract that District 7 has advertised.
8. Long overdue multi-county transit plan finds billions in savings
The Jacobs study, funded through the Florida Department of Transportation and facilitated through the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority, found light rail could cost up to $4 billion while the 41-mile bus rapid transit plan would cost $450 million.
9. CSX executive joins Brightline as plans for Tampa/Orlando high-speed rail are put in motion
Bob O’Malley, a top executive for CSX Transportation, leaves the company to work for another train company — All Aboard Florida's Brightline.
10. Section of US 41 to close for weeks due to CSX railroad crossing
The Florida Department of Transportation closes State Road 50, or Cortez Boulevard, in the Ridge Manor area for three weeks. The closure is necessary for CSX Corp. (NASDAQ: CSX) to replace the railroad crossing located just west of Burwell Road.
--SOURCE TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL--