It’s my bus, and it’s your bus

“Look mommy, it’s your PSTA bus,” says my six-year-old daughter whom I’ll call “E.” Since she could speak they’ve all been my buses. Working for a public transit agency is a funny thing… people who get started in the industry tend to stay in it, and tend to feel the same kind of ownership that E attributes to me. I certainly didn’t expect to still be here 13 years after I first came to PSTA. Our longest term employee has been here since 1974. PSTA’s new CEO has been involved in transit practically since birth (his dad worked in transit). Many people who have retired in recent years have done so after 20, 25, even 30 years of service with PSTA. We all have one thing in common: we are dedicated to serving our community.

What does that mean to you? Well, it means that even though you might not know us, we care about you. We want you to have safe transportation that gets you where you need to go when you need to get there.

The service cuts we’ve had to implement over the last few years are hard because we know that you rely on us and we hate to let you down. But, our future is bright! Right now we have lots of great projects in the works. There are new hybrid buses on order, route studies planned for the near future, and next year we’ll be introducing you to Real Time Bus Information.

Please know that we value your opinions and want you to have positive experiences with PSTA. If you don’t, please let us know right away so we can investigate and figure out a way to make it better. You can call and speak to our customer service experts on the InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 every day of the week.

By helping us improve PSTA, you too can feel that sense of ownership. After all, this is YOUR transit system! Along that same line of thought – show us what your transit system means to you by entering our photo contest. Just scroll down to our first blog post to see the guidelines!

Bus is coming, gotta go!

Your Editor,
Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt

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6 Comments

Filed under Customer Service, Miscellaneous

6 responses to “It’s my bus, and it’s your bus

  1. Corey

    Really psta cares? I mean i didn’t really think that was possible
    being that psta does everything that should NOT be done such as spacing out the 52 to give it more timeits taking a bus off the schedule makes no sense its not how i would’ve taken care of that i would’ve added 2 more plus given the operators more time if it means psta turning into TBARTA so be in Tampa’s got the best service which is why pretty soon all my doctors offices will be in tampa this way i don’t have to rely on psta that often

  2. Thanks for the comment Corey. We just changed service on the Route 52 this past Sunday to try to accommodate the higher ridership on the route. While it would have been great to add more trips, we had to find a way to adjust the route without affecting the budget. We are property tax funded and with the huge loss in property values over the past few years we’ve lost about a third of our funding. We’re looking toward a sustainable funding source (hopefully in the next couple of years) that will enable us to start adding service back into our system.

    • Steve – I’m very sorry that you encountered a full bike rack on the Route 19 bus. The Bikes on Buses program is very popular, and we know that capacity is an issue. The three position racks you refer to were removed because the spokes of three bikes stacked together was tending to block the bus headlights. This created a safety hazzard on two fronts: first it made it harder for drivers to see while driving in the evening hours, and second it made the bus less visible to pedestrians and other drivers in the evening hours. (The drivers who told you it was because of accidents were misinformed.) We do still use “old” photos in our bike rack instructional materials because photo shoots are costly – the mechanics of the two and three position racks are the same, so it made sense to not unnecessarily spend money for new photos.

      We are currently working with several bike rack manufacturers to develop a three position rack that staggers the bike positions and therefore won’t block the lights.

      • Steve

        You might check with Portland and Seattle to see whose racks they use. If you need more examples of cities who do not seem to have problems let me know. However, it does seem rather ironic that I have to give you this information. I am simply a cycist who uses the bus for inclement weather or timing issues. You are in the business and should know better than I which racks are successfully in use and on what brands and models of buses throughout the country.

  3. I believe they’re using the same racks that we were, which are made by a company called SportWorks. (There aren’t many bike rack manufacturers.) The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) determined that these racks were unsafe and directed us to remove them. As I mentioned before, we are working to develop a new rack that will safely hold three bikes and meet FDOT approval.

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