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

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • 20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:10:55 GMT
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
  • Mother takes stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Mother to take stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:07:55 GMT
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
  • Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Car loses control injuring 3 at Dunedin shopping center

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:28:26 GMT
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
    An out of control car injured three people at a Dunedin shopping center on Wednesday afternoon. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Curlew Road and Bayshore Boulevard.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-07-23 12:52:24 GMT
    Aadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESHAadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESH
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
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.