Category Archives: Transit Services

Help Us Test “OneBusAway”

oba_logoPSTA has partnered with USF and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) to add our Real Time Bus Info to an app called OneBusAway. This app will give PSTA riders one more way to use the Real Time system (texting, auto-voice call, and website are still available).

We’re looking for riders to help us test the app — How does it work for you? Are you getting accurate Real Time info? How do you feel about the interface?

Want to help? Download the test app from one of these links, give it a try, and tell us what you think using the help/feedback function in the app.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you,
The PSTA Technology Team
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Filed under Projects, Real Time Bus Info, Transit Data, Transit Services

New Largo Transit Center Opens Sunday, May 1st

1,000 is the number of steps it takes to get from the nearest bus stop at US 19 and Roosevelt Boulevard to the Walmart Supercenter located on the corner—rain or shine.

PSTA thought they could do better, so they changed it to seven.

On the east side of Walmart at US 19 and Roosevelt, the new Largo Transit Center is set to open to riders on Sunday, May 1st. Located in the heart of Pinellas County, Largo Transit Center is served by some of PSTA’s highest ridership routes, namely Routes 19, 52, and 79.

Not only will riders and employees of nearby businesses now have a convenient, comfortable place to make transfers, they will also be the first to enjoy PSTA’s new bus shelter design. With a teal roof and clear blue glass on one side, the new shelter design is sleek and modern, while still being functional and practical with plenty of seating, shade, and trash receptacles.

Largo Transit Center Shelter with BusAn official ribbon cutting marked the opening of the center and the new shelters on Thursday, April 28th. PSTA’s CEO Brad Miller was joined by Largo Mayor Woody Brown, PSTA Board members Commissioner Joe Barkley (Belleair Bluffs), Councilmember Bill Jonson (Clearwater), Commissioner Janet Long (Pinellas County), Brian Scott, and Walmart store manager Sheila Perez.

IMG_2767Largo Transit Center will deliver significant value to the lives of riders, making it easier to transport heavy loads of groceries, get to work on-time, and move more efficiently across the entire reach of Pinellas County.  

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Filed under Events, Transit Services

PSTA sets all-time record for June ridership

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has set another all-time ridership record, as riders boarded PSTA vehicles nearly 1.2 million times in the month of June.

The 1,188,625 boardings by riders were a 4.4% increase over June 2013. This continues a strong upward ridership trend for PSTA, coming after a record year in 2013 with 14,459,180 riders. The June 2014 ridership level is the highest June on record in Pinellas County’s 102-year history, and follows record May ridership on the North County Connector route to Tampa.

“PSTA is one of the few transit systems to see continual ridership growth over the last five years including the recession, despite service cuts due to a major loss of property tax revenue,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “We’re glad that demand for PSTA service is up, we thank the nearly 1.2 million Pinellas County residents, visitors, tourists and workers who made the choice to ride PSTA, and we look forward to offering them expanded service and new options through Greenlight Pinellas.”

PSTA’s single busiest route, the Route 19, has seen a 20% ridership increase over the last three years with an average ridership of nearly 6,000 per day; the Route 19 is also the longest route in the PSTA system, from Tarpon Springs to Gulfport. PSTA has also recently added additional increased service from Clearwater to the Gulf beaches, in response to high demand of beach and tourist industry employees needing to get to Clearwater Beach jobs without paying for scarce beach parking.

About PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 14.4 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 203 vehicles. More information is available at www.psta.net.

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Filed under Press Releases, Transit Data, Transit Services

Let PSTA be your ride to PRIDE

Who:Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: Encouraging revelers to avoid traffic and parking hassles by riding PSTA to and from St. Pete Pride
HowNew riders can call the PSTA InfoLine (727) 540-1900 for guidance
Where: Along the Central Avenue corridor. Check the PSTA Rider Alert page for service detours for the weekend’s events
Why:  To reduce traffic congestion and provide a cool, comfortable and convenient transportation alternative
WhenJune 27-29, 2014

st-pete-pride-paradeThe biggest celebration of its kind in the state of Florida just got bigger.  The St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade will now make up a full weekend of celebration. Whether you’re going to the parade on Saturday or the Street Festival on Sunday,  you don’t have to fight traffic or struggle to find a parking spot if you let PSTA be your ride to Pride.

PSTA buses will be running frequently along 1st Avenues north and south – parallel to the events – making it easy to leave your car at home or in an outlying parking spot while PSTA chauffeurs you to and from the celebrations.

PSTA operates several routes along the parade and festival corridor, which will give revelers easy and frequent access to cool, comfortable buses throughout the day and well into the evening. Among the routes serving the celebration in the Grand Central District will be the Central Avenue Trolley, Routes 7, 18, 20 and 52. Several routes will also be detoured to accommodate the celebrations and those detours can be found at the PSTA Rider Alert webpage.

In Motion by James BranamanSt. Pete Pride, which is in its 12th year, dwarfs similar gatherings in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and draws thousands of visitors to the area’s bars, restaurants and accommodations for the festivities.

For all-things PSTA, including trip planning, schedules maps and fares visit the agency’s award-winning website www.psta.net.  You can also keep up with the agency’s plans for the future of transportation in Pinellas County and participate in the community conversation helping to shape those plans at www.greenlightpinellas.org.

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Filed under Customer Service, Events, Press Releases, Transit Services

Cut Costs, Cut Oil Use, Cut Pollution and Stress: “Dump the Pump” Tomorrow

Who: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and transit agencies across America
What:  Participating in the national Dump the Pump day
When: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Where:Throughout the United States
Why: To promote affordable, easy and earth-friendly public transportation
How: By riding PSTA on Thursday instead of driving your car

9385 reducedDid you know that transportation is now the biggest household expense in the United States behind rent and mortgage? If you’re surprised to learn that fact, you’re not alone, but it’s not hard to understand when you consider that USA Today and the American Automobile Association say the average cost to own a car is now more than $9,000 a year. Additionally, the news outlets started their week with reports about gasoline prices are once again on the rise. That means that a fill-up for many cars now costs more than a full-fare, unlimited ride monthly bus pass on PSTA ($65).

These are just some of the reasons why PSTA leaders are joining APTA and transit agencies nationwide to promote the ninth annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 19.  “The 2014 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car,” says Virginia Miller APTA Director of Media Relations. “In fact, according to the April APTA Transit Savings Report, a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,000 annually by downsizing to one car.”  In addition to saving money, officials say public transit use cuts pollution, demand for foreign oil and stress as you let someone else drive while you relax, read or surf the internet during your commute.

To participate and “Dump the Pump” all you have to do to is to leave the car at home this Thursday and ride PSTA. For those who have never ridden before, you can call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 to learn how or book a special “Show Me” service offered by the agency. “We established the ‘Show Me’ program to make it easier for people to take their first trip on PSTA,” says agency spokesperson Bob Lasher. “We found that the main reason why people don’t try PSTA is the uneasiness about doing something new for the first time, so we created this program to ease their mind.” When a “Show Me” is booked, a PSTA employee meets with an individual or group and teaches them how to plan a trip – either electronically or using printed materials – then the employee takes them on a free round-trip ride to practice and see just how easy it is to use PSTA.

The agency has plenty of other how-to-ride resources as well including a Google Trip planner located on the home page of www.psta.net.  You can also view various “how-to” videos on the site’s “How to Ride” page, www.psta.net/howtoride.php. Full fare is $2.00 one way or $4.50 all day $1.00 & $2.25 for seniors and people with disabilities. Daily passes can be purchased right on the bus, although exact change is required. When you’re ready to travel, you can then call, text, logon or use a smartphone to find out when your bus will arrive at your stop with PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information System.

Did you know?

  • Public transportation is a $57 billion industry, which employs more than 400,000 people.
  • Public Transportation provides economic opportunities & drives community growth and revitalization
  • Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns
  • Every $10 million in public transportation capital investments yields $30 million in increased business sales
  • Every $10 million in operating investments yields $32 million in increased business sales.
  • From 2006-2011, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service.
  • Public transportation use in the US saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.

To learn more about PSTA, please visit the agency’s award winning website at www.psta.net and to learn more about the future of transit in Pinellas County, learn about the Greenlight Pinellas Plan at www.greennlightpinellas.com.

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Filed under Events, Miscellaneous, Press Releases, Transit Services

Deconstructing PSTA Ridership Charts

As we have been discussing Greenlight with the public over the past months, we have had lots of opportunities to talk about our ridership numbers. This has been a great opportunity for us at PSTA (a.k.a. public transit geeks) to talk about the science of how we plan and manage our routes.

The chart below was developed through our Community Bus Plan and it simply illustrates total ridership by route:

chart 1The danger here is that this one chart doesn’t tell the whole story or really give you the full formula of how we manage routes, it simply shows ridership on routes- not the frequency of those routes.  For an example, look a the 98 (yellow). This chart makes it look no one is riding it; but, this route only runs five times a day and is a popular commuter route.

To really understand this you need to look at this second chart:

chart 2This chart is a true measure of transit success. It shows the number of people boarding PSTA buses while they are in service. Now look at the 60, 14, 78 & 67 – they’re four of the top producing routes in the entire PSTA system, even though the first chart makes it seem like they’re not. And, the 98 may only run 5 times a day, but there are a lot of people getting on and off those buses. Just like many others in the system, it’s a very productive route.

So, when one has all of the data, it’s easy to see that most PSTA routes perform quite well. Like any system, there are routes with lower ridership – these are the routes that feed riders into the corridors where the higher ridership routes are running. Think of it like your neighborhood street feeding into a main street, which feeds into the major roadways in our county – they all work together as a system, just like PSTA’s bus routes.

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Filed under Behind the Scenes, Greenlight Pinellas, Transit Data, Transit Services