The Transportation Task Force Meeting held on February 23rd, was largely focused on turning St. Pete into a bicycle friendly business area. This is a collaborative effort under the healthy St. Pete initiative. St. Pete is at the bronze level when it comes to hosting bicycle friendly businesses. Many communities have found this push to become more bicycle friendly and increasing the use of bicycles as economically valuable for their tourist and luring the right kind of citizens to relocate to St. Pete.
The bicycle friendly business initiative seeks to support all pedal populations: employees, customers, and the community at large. The four key areas of this initiative are encouragement, engineering, education, evaluation. The initiative is currently in phase one, to design and share this project with key stakeholders to receive feedback. Businesses may focus on changing facilities and storage for bikes, while adding bike repairs or bike washes. Smaller merchants may provide discounts if you arrive on your bike.
This bicycle friendly business initiative would hopefully bring about more cyclist commuters in the St. Pete area. There is a want to get all sizes of business involved and to get a safer environment for those traveling by bike. Acosta stated that, “Everything depends on the businesses and their goals.”
Brad Miller, PSTA: There has been a really good kick off to the pilot Uber and Taxi Cab initiative in Pinellas Park. The Uber app now allows riders in select areas to take $3 off an Uber ride if you are going to a PSTA bus stop. There is also continued testing up in East Lake with cabs.
Evan Mory, City of St. Petersburg: The City of St. Petersburg included Darryl LeClair’s gondola concept in their “Smarty City Challenge” grant application. St. Petersburg is among 70 cities vying for the $40 million "Smart City Challenge" federal grant that emphasizes alternative and innovative transportation. The challenge has been proposed to midsize cities to come up with future transportation – looking for creative ideas. The gondola system would connect different areas from downtown to gateway district, beaches, Skyway Bridge and Eckerd College, to the south. The City of St. Petersburg should know by late March, early April if they are a finalist.