St. Petersburg, Fla. — Ridership has continued to soar at the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and now a new record has been set for the highest ridership ever in June.
Riders boarded PSTA buses 1,227,612 times, a 3.4 percent increase from the same month in 2014, and an all-time record for the month overall. The nearly 40,000 additional trips made last month could be attributed to increased tourism seen throughout the county.
Last month, an estimated 250,000 people were drawn to St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District to celebrate the annual St. Pete Pride Parade and Street Festival. PSTA offered several routes throughout the weekend to better transport people safely across the city during the festivities.
PSTA’s partner trolley service, Jolley Trolley, also saw a significant increase in ridership of almost 60 percent. The 31,850 additional trips in one month come as no surprise to Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates.
“The Jolley Trolley is a critical part of the Clearwater Beach guest experience, as many of our guests tell us, and it is critical to CMA’s overall success,” said Yates. “It has become a signature part of Clearwater Beach.”
This new record continues a sustained, significant upward ridership trend for PSTA.
“With the influx of tourism and events here in Pinellas County, we are seeing more and more people using the benefits of riding public transportation, “said PSTA Chair Bill Jonson. “These numbers paint a story that transit matters.”
PSTA is now focused on a customer-oriented service redesign that will better allocate resources to areas with the highest need. The next stage, community outreach and public engagement, will begin in early August.