Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is in route to a record-breaking year for ridership numbers.
ST. PETERSBURG - Thanks to another record-breaking month in August, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is on track to break its all-time annual ridership record this fiscal year.
Last month, the transit agency provided 1,238,666 rides, which is more than any other August in agency history. That’s an impressive 10 percent jump over August 2011, and the ninth monthly mark set by PSTA within the last 10 months.
“Truly remarkable,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “When Tropical Storm Isaac came around we were worried that the storm would keep many of the Republican National Convention visitors from venturing out. This record ridership shows that visitors and many locals opted for public transportation.”
Like all government services, the economic recession has required PSTA to significantly reduce bus service over the past several years. Despite the reductions, ridership is up more than 7 percent this fiscal year and is poised to top the all-time annual record. Officials point to several factors that have led to this ridership increase, including:
- Partnering with private business to launch innovative trolley services in St. Petersburg and Clearwater to provide additional travel options for a record number of tourists.
- The installation of new bus shelters, benches and other passenger amenities.
- A new, high-tech Real Time bus information system at www.RidePSTA.net that allows customers to track bus arrival times from their Smartphones.
“Our employees have worked very hard to bring these real improvements online and the response by Pinellas County residents and visitors is rewarding,” Miller said.
PSTA leaders say they can do even better, which is why the agency recently launched a comprehensive study of its network of bus routes, fares, and amenities. The study will reach out to the community to find even more ways to improve transit services.
Record ridership is proof that citizens want more public transit, and this planning and community input effort will help PSTA develop responsible, comprehensive plans that improve transit in Pinellas County. The study should be complete within the next year.
For more information, visit www.PSTA.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at 540-1900.