Who: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: Encouraging revelers to leave their cars at home and Ride PSTA to and from St. Pete Pride
When: June 29, 2013 service running from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 pm
Where: Along the Central Avenue corridor. Check the PSTA Rider Alert page for service detours for the parade
Why: To reduce traffic congestion and provide a cool, comfortable and convenient transportation alternative
It’s touted as the biggest celebration of its kind in the state of Florida and this year – could be bigger than ever before. That’s what organizers of the St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade are saying and if they’re right, it also means that finding parking spaces and driving to and from the event could be unusually difficult. That is unless revelers take advantage of PSTA’s bus service that will be frequently running along 1st Avenues north and south all day long (parallel to the event venue).
Leaders say that in light of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, they are preparing for what may be the event’s largest turnout ever. That could also lead to some major traffic headaches. “We want to give people an option to driving and struggling to find parking,” says PSTA spokesperson Bob Lasher. “PSTA operates several routes along the parade corridor, which will give revelers easy and frequent access to buses – cool, comfortable buses – throughout the day and well into the evening.” Among the routes serving the celebration in the Grand Central District will be the Central Avenue Trolley, 7, 18, 20 and 52. Several routes will also be detoured to accommodate the parade and those detours can be found at the PSTA Rider Alert webpage.
The event drew some 100,000 attendees last year, but St. Pete Pride organizers believe attendance might approach 125,000 this year due to the response to the court’s ruling earlier this week. St. Pete Pride, which is in its 11th year, dwarfs similar gatherings in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and draws thousands of visitors to the area’s bars, restaurants and accommodations for the festivities.
For all-things PSTA, including trip planning, schedules maps and fares visit the agency’s award-winning website www.psta.net. You can also keep up with the agency’s plans for the future of transportation in Pinellas County and participate in the community conversation helping to shape those plans at www.greenlightpinellas.org.