Press Release: Local Leaders Celebrate New Bus Service

When officials from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority meet with members of the public, they say the request they hear most often is “Pinellas County needs more bus service.” Whether it’s about buses running more frequently, for longer periods of the day or to areas not yet served by PSTA, the top request agency leaders hear is for more service.

PSTA and local leaders gathered at the St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA) offices today to celebrate a new opportunity to meet that demand in the form of bus service to the SPHA.  Joined by Housing Authority and PSTA staff along with members of the public, officials inaugurated the new service with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.  As of this morning,  PSTA’s Route 444, also known as the Pinellas Park Shuttle, began providing regular weekday service to the Housing Authority offering staff and patrons an easy, direct link to area businesses, residential communities and numerous PSTA bus routes.  “At a time when funding is being cut for those folks who need it most, this is a terrific opportunity for those who need help getting here.  This new bus service will make it easier for clients to get here,” said St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO, Darrell Irions.

L to R: Safety Harbor Vice Mayor Cliff Merz, PSTA Board Member Brian Scott, St. Petersburg City Councilmember Wengay Newton, PSTA CEO Brad Miller, SPHA CEO Darrell Irions, SPHA Vice Chair Delphinia Davis, Clearwater City Councilmember Bill Jonson, and PSTA Board Chair Jeff Danner (back row).

L to R: Safety Harbor Vice Mayor Cliff Merz, PSTA Board Member Brian Scott, St. Petersburg City Councilmember Wengay Newton, PSTA CEO Brad Miller, SPHA CEO Darrell Irions, SPHA Vice Chair Delphinia Davis, Clearwater City Councilmember Bill Jonson, and PSTA Board Chair Jeff Danner (back row).

PSTA Board members addressed the crowd regarding the importance of transit in our community and the need for new opportunities to increase service throughout the county. “Responding to the needs of our community is what the PSTA staff and Board are all about. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our service and to do what we can to make this a better system for our community and we’re happy to now be partnering with the St. Petersburg Housing Authority,” said PSTA Board Chair Jeff Danner.

PSTA leaders say that today’s service expansion is an excellent example of the type of local bus services included in the Greenlight Pinellas Plan. In addition to frequent buses running along the county’s major corridors, the Greenlight Pinellas plan includes local “circulators,” like the Route 444, to connect the major core routes with surrounding employment and residential centers.

Also in attendance today were Safety Harbor Vice-Mayor Cliff Merz, St. Petersburg City Councilmember Wengay Newton, Clearwater Councilmember Bill Jonson and PSTA Board Member Brian Scott.

To learn more about PSTA, its service, and how to ride, visit the agency’s award winning website at www.PSTA.net. You can also keep up with the agency’s comprehensive new transit improvement plan, called Greenlight Pinellas, along with supporting study documentation at www.greenlightpinellas.com.

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