Caitlin Johnston, Transportation and General Assignment Reporter

Caitlin Johnston

Transportation and General Assignment Reporter

I write about transportation, a subject that affects all of us as we navigate our busy lives. I let you know how new projects will impact your commute and quality of life, while also dissecting complex policies and budgets. My work takes me from bus stops to government meetings to sitting in mind-numbing traffic jams. I’m a proud Hoosier, a slow runner, and a lover of mountains. I studied journalism and political science at Indiana University and earned my master’s at the University of Maryland. I joined the Times in 2012, first covering breaking news in Tampa and east Hillsborough. I attend 9-hour meetings and read traffic studies from the 1960s so you didn’t have to. I’m always looking for story ideas.

Parking in downtown St. Pete? Those weekend meters arenít free anymore

Metered parking spots like these along the 200 block of First Avenue S in St. Petersburg, along with spots in surrounding areas, have been changed to include weekend and more evening hours. Daniel Figueroa IV  |  Tampa Bay Times
The city recently extended metered hours to include nights and weekends and is working to phase out most free parking downtown.

Hillsborough transit chief placed on leave after whistleblower complaint

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority CEO Ben Limmer, center, talks with Stephen Simon, president of Tampa's Amalgamated Transit Union, and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister while riding a county bus last month. Limmer was placed on paid leave Monday by the agency board as they investigate claims against him related to procurement irregularities. Caitlin Johnston  |  Caitlin  Johnston
Ben Limmer became CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority this spring after working in Atlanta and Phoenix.

A question as the Cross-Bay Ferry returns: What do we get for the money?

Lightning fans and other riders line up for a Cross-Bay Ferry ride in downtown St. Petersburg. While local taxpayers kick in a relatively small overall amount to subsidize the service, the per person cost for each trip is higher than what they pay for other modes of public transportation.
Taxpayers subsidize the service at a much higher rate than other modes of public transportation. But some say the cost will go down with time.

Port Tampa Bay will test new security scanners. No stopping to empty pockets.

A rendering shows how technology developed by Liberty Defense Holdings can scan people for metallic and non-metallic weapons. The new system will be tested at Port Tampa Bay in the spring of 2020. Courtesy of Liberty Defense Holdings
Travelers will briefly see the new system this spring. A Georgia-based company is testing how well they work.

Tampa Bay lands $1.4 billion to rebuild West Shore interchange

A view of the I-275 interchange in the West Shore area of Tampa from earlier this year. Officials announced Thursday that the state will pay $1.4 billion to rebuild the interchange starting in 2023. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times  |  Times
Construction will start in 2023 and is expected to take four to five years.