St. Petersburg, Fla. —Despite severe weather and record rainfall throughout the county, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has set a new record for the highest ridership ever in July.
Riders boarded PSTA vehicles 1,260,603 times, a 0.7 percent increase from the same month in 2014, and the 74th consecutive month of ridership exceeding 1 million. The nearly 9,000 additional trips made last month came despite several days of heavy rainfall that left three counties flooded, dozens of roads closed, and forced evacuations.
“The safety of our passengers is always our first priority and that is even more so during severe weather,” said Safety, Security, and Training Superintendent Michael Gloss. “PSTA bus operators go through months of training and practice to help prepare them for all types of weather situations .”
PSTA staff was able to keep riders updated on route detours in real-time by using Rider Alert text messages, emails, and social media.
“It’s our responsibility to not only keep our riders safe and secure,” said Gloss, “but also to keep them informed and prepared in a timely fashion.”
As an active member of the Emergency Operations Center for Pinellas County, PSTA buses will continue to run routes during a storm to help transport and evacuate people until it is no longer safe to travel.