For immediate release: December 7, 2012
Who: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: The maiden runs for three new and innovative transit routes
When: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Throughout northern Pinellas County
Why: To expand transit services and connectivity throughout Pinellas and into Hillsborough County
At 7:30 a.m. this coming Monday, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will begin service on three new and innovative bus routes in northern Pinellas County. The new routes, called the North County Connectors, will offer bus service to many communities that have never enjoyed transit service before. Since the routes feature smaller buses that can divert up to ¾ mile off the regular route, more residents in those communities will be able to take advantage of PSTA’s service. The buses will accommodate up to two wheelchairs or scooters each, along with 14 seated passengers. Their smaller size makes it easy for Bus Operators to navigate tighter turns often found inside neighborhoods, while the smaller engines offer a quiet ride. The new routes will also be included in PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information system that allows people to use a computer or smartphone to know exactly when a Connector bus will arrive at their stop.
The new services, which run every hour (see attached schedules), run along three different routes:
- Dunedin and Palm Harbor
- Tarpon Springs and East Lake
- Countryside Mall to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s (HART) Northwest Transit Center in Town ‘n’ Country
Along with getting on and off the buses at regular stops (just like other PSTA routes) riders can call up to two hours in advance to schedule a pick up or drop off within ¾ mile of the regular route. That means that if you live, or are traveling to a destination within ¾ mile of a Connector route, you can call ahead and have the bus pick you up at your curb and drop you off at your destination. Reservations are taken on a first come – first served basis with a limit of two custom pickups or drop-offs per run. PSTA leaders say that these new services will connect riders to numerous commercial, medical and recreational destinations throughout the county including other PSTA, HART and PCPT (Pasco County Public Transit) services.
Free Connector Rides through December 31, 2012
To encourage residents to take advantage of the new services, PSTA will offer FREE rides on the Connectors through the end of December. As of January 1, 2013, the cost will be the same as all other PSTA Fares: $2.00 one-way ($1.00 for Seniors and Special Citizens) and $4.50 all day ($2.25 for Seniors and Special Citizens). Senior fares apply to riders 65 years and older; a government-issued ID showing age or an original Medicare Card must be presented when paying a reduced fare. Daily Unlimited Ride GO Cards can be purchased right on the Connector buses (exact change required), as well as at any PSTA Terminal, ticket outlet or through the PSTA’s Online Ticket Store.
To learn more about PSTA’s new North County Connector services, visit PSTA.net/connector. To make a reservation for a pick up or drop off, call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 and select option 2. You can book your trip a minimum of 2 hours or up to 3 days in advance and don’t forget to arrange your return trip at the same time.