FL DOT offers cash for carpooling - WFLA News Channel 8

FL DOT offers cash for carpooling

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Florida Department of Transportation officials say they have money to give away, but have few takers. The only catch, they say, is you have to agree to carpool regularly and keep a record of it.

You may have seen the billboards while you're stuck in traffic. It's called Startup 275 and the department is offering Visa gift cards to Tampa Bay commuters who carpool at least 12 times each month down a congested stretch of Interstate 275.

"We want to reduce congestion in our construction area along 275 from the Howard Frankland Bridge to the Hillsborough River, but at the same time, we also want to encourage carpooling," explained FL DOT Spokeswoman Kristen Carson.

Carson says a major construction project, that's not scheduled to wrap up for four more years, is the culprit for most of the brake lights.

"It's bumper to bumper traffic 24/7," said Tampa driver Shiela Griffin.  "I don't care what day it is, every day of the week."

Carson said crews are reconstructing much of I-275 to widen it.  During the construction, some of the exits are closing or changing. 

To qualify for the carpool program, you have to carpool through the construction zone and log your miles. The first 500 carpoolers to sign up each month will get the gift cards.

"It's a very easy system," explain Carson. "We'll pay everybody in your car $25 a month.  It's a Visa gift card that can go towards whatever you want."

Carpoolers who register for Startup 275 can also enter a contest for $10,000. A local radio station is offering the cash for the team who comes up with the best entrepreneurial idea on their way to and from work. 

"97X is going to give away $10,000 to a group that can think of an amazing idea, startup company, something very innovative," explained Carson.  "It can be anything you want, as long as it's within our contest rules."

You can find those rules on Startup275.com

  • NewsMore>>

  • Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:53:32 GMT
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Plane lands on Venice beach kills father, injures daughter, 9

    Plane lands on Venice beach kills father, injures daughter, 9

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:38:30 GMT
    Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:37 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:37:02 GMT
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIDEO: Sea turtles hatch in the Keys

    VIDEO: Sea turtles hatch in the Keys

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:09:17 GMT
    Look at them go - these tiny sea turtles hatched in the Keys this weekend.
    Look at them go - these tiny sea turtles hatched in the Keys this weekend.
  • 16 Old Wives' Tales We've All Heard

    16 Old Wives' Tales We've All Heard

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-16 18:11:56 GMT
    Here are some of the common old wives' tales that we still hear today.
    Here are some of the common old wives' tales that we still hear today.
  • PHOTOS: Savannah Woman Celebrates her 105th Birthday

    PHOTOS: Savannah Woman Celebrates her 105th Birthday

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:11:27 GMT
    On Friday, Mrs. Isabel Hansen Coons, celebrated her 105th birthday with a big bash at Summer Breeze Senior Living on Wilmington Island.Mrs. Coons was born in 1909 and has been a resident of Savannah since 1986. Staff at Summer Breeze Senior Living say she is spirited, competitive and full off insightful advice. They add that Mrs. Coons attributes her longevity to 'moderation.'Happy Birthday Mrs. Coons!
    On Friday, Mrs. Isabel Hansen Coons, celebrated her 105th birthday with a big bash at Summer Breeze Senior Living on Wilmington Island.Mrs. Coons was born in 1909 and has been a resident of Savannah since 1986. Staff at Summer Breeze Senior Living say she is spirited, competitive and full off insightful advice. They add that Mrs. Coons attributes her longevity to 'moderation.'Happy Birthday Mrs. Coons!
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.