St. Petersburg, Fla. – A life-sized gas pump plunging into 350-gallons of water might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of public transportation – but it will be now!
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) hosted the first ever Dunk the Pump event at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill in St. Petersburg Tuesday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness for public transportation.
“For some reason people get really excited about the idea of dunking people in water, so we thought this would be a great way to get people excited about public transportation,” said PSTA Spokesperson Ashlie Handy. “Just look how popular the ice bucket challenge got to be. That is the type of energy we want to see about public transit.”
Tampa Bay Rays mascot DJ Kitty threw out the first pitch and sent PSTA intern Jordan Leitheiser plunging into the ice-water filled tank. St. Petersburg Council Member Wengay Newton also took a turn to show his support for public transit and PSTA by dunking the pump.
“A great city needs to have great public transportation, and St. Petersburg is a great city,” said Council Member Newton. “PSTA provides more than just rides for the people of St. Petersburg, it provides stability.”
PSTA staffers handed out system maps and told onlookers about route and fare information as they watched the gas pump plummet. Those who were successful in dumping the pump received a free one-day bus pass, and were encouraged to use it Thursday, June 18th for the national holiday.