Who: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: Posts all-time annual ridership record
Where: Throughout Pinellas County
How: By giving more than 14.4 million rides in FY 2013
When: October 2012 to September 2013
Riding a wave of increased transit ridership that set eight all-time monthly records over the past year, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority easily cruised to a new all-time annual record in fiscal year 2013. From October 2012 to September 2013, PSTA gave 14,457,035 rides, making for a 3% increase over the previous record set last year. “Once again, PSTA has set a new record for ridership in our community. The residents of Pinellas County speaking loud and clear on the need for better transit in our area,” says PSTA Board Chair and St. Petersburg City Councilmember Jeff Danner.
Agency leaders say there are many contributing factors to the steady climb in ridership including record tourism, a healing economy and consistently high fuel prices. They add that more than half of their riders are going to and from work, yet data shows that many can only use PSTA to go one way in their commute because service ends too early to accommodate second shift workers. PSTA officials and local leaders have been working with partners around the region and the public to formulate a comprehensive transportation improvement plan to help meet that growing demand for transit service. The plan is called Greenlight Pinellas and it features significantly improved, countywide bus service along with plans for a future passenger rail system. Details, questions and answers, study data and community forums can all be found at www.greenlightpinellas.com. “As we crisscross the County speaking to literally hundreds citizen groups about how transit improvements might benefit our community, the backdrop of record-breaking ridership demonstrates the true value of this service to more and more people,” adds PSTA CEO Brad Miller.
If you’d like to take advantage of Pinellas County’s increasingly popular transit system, just visit the agency’s award-winning website at: www.psta.net. Patrons are also encouraged to use PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information system to find out exactly when the next bus will arrive at their stop. Simply visit www.ridepsta.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900.