Transit Update from the CEO – December 2012

After the monthly meeting of PSTA’s Board of Directors, CEO Brad Miller puts together a summary of important topics that were discussed. Here is that recap from the December 5th meeting (there was not a meeting in November):

PSTA Board Considers Asking for November 2014 Sales Tax Referendum & How to Best Plan for Transit Improvements

  • The PSTA Board plans to vote at their January 23, 2013 whether or not to request that the Pinellas County Commission establish November 4, 2014 as the date for a possible sales tax referendum.
  • Setting the November 2014 date allows the significant amount of transportation planning already underway to continue in 2013 with greater focus towards “green lighting” the best package of transportation infrastructure improvements possible.
  • The PSTA Board discussed a revised committee structure that allowed PSTA to take the lead in recommending the package of improvements for County consideration but strengthened the role of the Advisory Committee for Pinellas Transit (ACPT) to emphasize the important roles the Pinellas Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Pinellas Planning Council (PPC) and the Tampa Bay Area Regional  Transportation Authority (TBARTA) will play in coordinating transportation improvements.
  • While no vote will be taken until January, there was consensus that it was essential for PSTA and the County to move forward with its plans to seek a sustainable revenue source for improving transit.

PSTA & HART to Make Recommendations on Completed Consolidation Study

  •   On Monday, December 10 at 9:30 a.m. at PSTA and then again on Monday, January 14, 2013 at HART offices, both PSTA and HART Boards will meet to discuss and then vote what recommendations can be made regarding consolidation or merging the two transit agencies, following the completion of the state-required consultant study.
  • The study, funded by PSTA & HART identified  that one way to avoid a referendum being needed was the creation of a Joint Powers Authority which could act as a consolidated public transportation system in the region.  The study also estimated that while there would be further planning and up-front costs, up to $2.4M in annual savings could be identified through elimination of redundant overhead positions.
  • While there was no consensus by the PSTA Board on any specific step towards “formalized partnering,” if non-agency resources could be identified, there was support to further develop this scenario while being mindful of PSTA’s plans to identify a sustainable funding source by November 2014. 

New North County Connector Flex Routes Start Monday, December 10, 2012 – And They’re FREE to Ride in December!

  •   North County Connector Ribbon CuttingDunedin Mayor Eggers, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie, Clearwater Council members Bill Jonson & Doreen Hock-DiPolito, Dunedin Commissioner Julie Bujalski, and PSTA Chair & St. Petersburg Councilmember Jeff Danner cut a ribbon yesterday to celebrate Monday’s start to PSTA’s first new weekday transit routes in many years.
  • Serving previously unserved-parts of Northern Pinellas County and connecting over to HART in Hillsborough County, the Connector Flex Routes will operate Monday-Saturday and can be accessed either at normal PSTA bus stops along the routes or by calling and scheduling a “flex” pick-up closer to where you are at 540-1900.
  • Throughout December, try out these new services at no cost! Two of the three routes connect at Westfield’s Countryside Mall so you’ll have more money for holiday shopping!

PSTA Ridership Going Up! Up! Up!

  • Following the completion of most successful year for public transportation ridership in Pinellas County history (more than 100 years), October’s monthly ridership was the single-highest monthly total ever.
    • And November, 2012 was the highest November on record ever as well!

Welcome Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long & Bellair Bluffs Commissioner Joe Barkley!     

  •   PSTA welcomed two new members to its 15-member Board.

Thank  you Terry Parks!!! PSTA’s Extraordinary Customer Relations Manager to Retire after 39-YeCustomer Relations Manager Terry Parksars of Impeccable Service to PSTA’s Customers 

  • Terry received a nice send-off at the PSTA meeting today but following her end-of-year retirement, she will most certainly be missed!

Sincerely,
Brad Miller
Chief Executive Officer

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