The Point, Feb. 4, 2020: Gainesville Rolls Out Public Testing Phase Of Autonomous Buses


Subscribe to The Point to invite us into your inbox with the most important Florida news from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.

The top stories near you

• WUFT News: What’s It Like To Ride In A Driverless Bus? Gainesville Passengers Are About To Find Out. “Gainesville residents can now use the bus for free as it travels between the parking garage on Southwest 2nd Street and the Innovation Hub from 8 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The bus is still in its testing phase, however, so an operator will be present at all times on the bus — until the testing phase is complete on June 17.”

• Florida Politics: Former Gainesville Commissioner Todd Chase enters race to replace Ted Yoho.The list of Republicans already running for the seat includes Kat Cammack, Kent Guinn, Joe Millado, Gavin Rollins, Judson Sapp, James St. George and Amy Pope Wells.”

Citrus County Chronicle: Lawsuit by former sheriff’s deputy begins; targets Prendergast, former sheriff, and former deputy. A civil trial in which a former Citrus County Sheriff’s deputy is suing her former sheriff bosses for sexual discrimination began Monday in Tampa federal court…”

The Alligator: UF student launches pro-LGBTQ+ campaign challenging Supreme Court cases. The campaign, which trended on Twitter for more than an hour when it launched on Twitter Jan. 26, includes videos and social media messages raising awareness for three ongoing Supreme Court cases deciding whether someone can be fired for being LGBTQ+.”

Ocala Star-Banner ($): Ocala Earth Fare will close along with all other locations. Grocery chain includes 14 stores in Florida…Earth Fare stated it would begin immediately liquidating all merchandise and store fixtures, according to a news release.”

Today’s sponsored message

Crime Prevention Security Systems has more than 40 years of experience in providing peace of mind for businesses and families in North Central Florida. With its free app, local monitoring and state of the art security equipment, Crime Prevention is the local leader in security systems and home technology. Upgrade your existing system now for remote access to your security, lights, locks and thermostats – from your smartphone or tablet. Call 352-376-1499 or visit

Around the state today

Fort Myers News-Press ($): Sen. Amy Klobuchar is top pick among Iowans at Port Charlotte caucus. For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party has allowed state Democrats to caucus at multiple satellite sites, including four in Florida.”

Florida Politics: ATM pill bill cleared for final Senate committee. Legislation to allow pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs through an automated kiosk passed its penultimate hurdle Monday before it goes to a Senate vote.”

Miami Herald ($): Bill that would restrict medical treatments for transgender youth lies dormant. “(Rep. Anthony) Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) said he filed the legislation because of the ‘explosion of interest’ in gender reassignment surgery, which he says Florida should show some skepticism toward.”

WUSF: Coronavirus Concerns Contribute to Tampa Bay’s Plunging Gas Prices. “Tampa Bay is among the cheapest metro areas with an average price of $2.28 a gallon.”

WLRN: Juan Guaidó Rallies Venezuelan Expats In Miami, But Doesn’t Get Trump Meeting. Guaidó was joined onstage by a bipartisan gallery of South Florida political leaders. But he could not score a meeting with the U.S. politico with whom he most wanted a photo op: President Trump – who over the weekend was just an hour away in Palm Beach (and tweeted Saturday that he was playing golf).”

Lakeland Ledger: Displaced Puerto Rican who now lives in Polk will join Soto for State of the Union Address. “(Rep. Darren) Soto, who has Puerto Rican ancestry, has championed efforts to secure relief for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and, more recently, a series of earthquakes that throttled the southwest section of the island starting Dec. 28.”

Sun Sentinel ($): Broward high schools sanitized over MRSA bacteria concerns. A notice on Western High School’s website says some students are believed to have contracted MRSA but doesn’t say how many.”

Florida Keys News ($): Police found a sex trafficking suspect hiding in the Keys. He was wanted by Interpol. Catalin Aionesei Lupu, 51, was caught Saturday by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies who were checking out a report of people squatting at a home on Sugarloaf Key.”

Tampa Bay Times ($): Florida beer can reunites long-lost dog with Minnesota owner. “’Had I not seen that can on Facebook … I don’t think I ever would have found her again,’ (Monica Mathis) said.”

From NPR News

• Politics: Technical Reporting Issue Delays Results From Iowa Caucuses

• Politics: Closing Arguments Delivered In Impeachment Trial

• National: Ex-CIA Employee Accused Of Leaking Documents To WikiLeaks Goes On Trial

• National: Rush Limbaugh Says He Has Been Diagnosed With Advanced Lung Cancer

• World: Turkey, Syria Trade Deadly Strikes As Russia Watches Uneasily

• Science: Study Links Autism To ‘Insulation’ That Coats Brain Cells And Speeds Signals

• Health: Why The World Cares More About The New Coronavirus Than The Flu

About Gabriella Paul

Gabriella Paul is a reporter for WUFT. She can be reached at

Check Also

The Point, Sept. 22, 2020: Meet The Two Women Running For Alachua County’s District 3 Commission Seat

Joy Glanzer and Anna Prizzia are well known in pockets of the region.