For immediate release: January 9, 2013
Who: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: Record ridership record for the 14th month in a row
When: December 2012
Where: Throughout Pinellas County and Tampa
How: By giving more rides in December 2012 than another December in agency history
The 2012 holidays ushered in another month of impressive, record setting ridership for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority this season. After 13 straight months of record boardings and a recent drop in fuel prices, PSTA officials weren’t sure if the system would continue its impressive ridership growth through the holiday season.
“Santa Claus didn’t let us down a bit this year,” says PSTA Spokesperson Bob Lasher with a smile. “He brought us our 14th straight month of record ridership and he did it in a month when gas prices dropped below $3.00 a gallon.” Early estimates indicate that the agency provided 1,128,221 rides in December, which is an 8% jump over December 2011 and an all-time record for the month.
Along with record setting tourism numbers and an improving economy, which typically boost ridership, PSTA introduced three new Connector routes in northern Pinellas County on December 10, 2012. “It typically takes many months to build decent ridership on new routes, but we’re already seeing excellent numbers on the Connector services,” Lasher says. “It’s very encouraging and we’re getting really positive feedback about the service from riders.” Officials add that although there are additional riders on the new Connector services, they only account for a small portion of the overall 8% increase in ridership.
The new routes offer bus service to many communities that have never had transit service before and they feature smaller buses that can divert up to ¾ mile off the regular routes. That means that a greater portion of the residents in those communities will be able to take advantage of PSTA’s service. The buses are also equipped with PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information technology that allows people to use a computer or smartphone to know exactly when a Connector bus will arrive at their stop.
If you’d like to take advantage of PSTA’s safe, convenient, and affordable transportation, visit www.PSTA.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 to plan your trip. Then, before you head out, be sure to check PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information site at RidePSTA.net to find out exactly when your next bus will depart.