Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Article

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PSTA logo.png
ParentPSTA
Founded1984
Headquarters3201 Scherer Drive,
St. Petersburg, Florida
Locale Pinellas County, Florida
Service areaPinellas County
Service type bus service
AlliancePinellas County Government
Routes37 [1]
Stops5,109
Fleet203 [1]
Daily ridership14.5 Million annually
Fuel typeDiesel Hybrid Electric
Chief executiveBrad Miller
Website www.psta.net

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides public transportation for Pinellas County, Florida. The authority manages a bus system that encompasses over 40 bus routes - including 2 express routes, 3 flex-route neighborhood connectors (the PSTA North County Connector), the Central Avenue Trolley, and the Suncoast Beach Trolley - and uses all Gillig made buses and trolley replicas).

History

  • PSTA began in the early 1900s as the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System (SPMTS). The system began with a streetcar line to Gulfport and eight buses to run several routes throughout the St. Pete area. By 1928, ridership on the system hit 4.2 million. In 1949, the Gulfport streetcar system was closed, marking the end of streetcar service in Pinellas County. Meanwhile, transit service elsewhere continued to expand.
  • In 1970, the Central Pinellas Transit Authority (CPTA) was formed, serving the Clearwater area and northern Pinellas. The agency was fully established by 1973 and operated 9 routes with a fleet of 21 buses. The CPTA saw 900,000 riders in its first year of service. In 1975, SPMTS begins paratransit services and both agencies continue to expand their fleet. In 1978, tourist trolley service (using trolley-replica buses) began in downtown St. Petersburg and became successful. By the 1980s, the two agencies formed a cooperative agreement, which allowed the expansion of routes throughout Pinellas County.
  • In October 1984, the two companies merged to create the PSTA. In the years following their merger, PSTA operated nearly 80 routes with a fleet or nearly 130 buses. The agency begins installing electronic fareboxes and completed its central Pinellas operations center, as well as several bus terminals. In 1990, PSTA obtained its first express route, previously operated by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART). Also in 1990, PSTA established a cross-county bus route via US 19.
  • Massive expansion and improvements took place during the 1990s and well into the 2000s. PSTA constructed its Williams Park terminal in downtown St. Pete in 1994. In 1996, the agency introduced electronic fare cards (called GO Cards) and began replacing their outdated bus fleets with a combination of New Flyer and Gillig buses. In 2001, the Suncoast Beach Trolley began service along the gulf coast beaches and in 2003, PSTA purchased a fleet of buses (from Motor Coach Industries) to operate its express routes. Additional capital improvements were made during the early 2000s as well, including the renovation of the Park Street Terminal. In 2001, the website PSTA.net debuted.
  • In 2004, HART and PSTA began an intersystem passport to allow patrons from either county to use each other's bus systems without paying additional fares. A year later, PSTA's current operations center opened near Roosevelt Boulevard. In 2006, PSTA expanded its fleet with the purchase of 48 Gillig low-floor buses. HART and PSTA agreed to honor each other's reduced fare photo permits. In 2007, PSTA introduced an online trip planning system. This system allowed patrons to better plan out their trip throughout the PSTA system. In 2009, the interface was scrapped in favor of a partnership with Google, which HART began partnership back in 2007. This newest alliance allows patrons to seamlessly plan their trips on both the PSTA and HART systems. [2] PSTA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tampa Bay Regional RT), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to conduct an Alternatives Analysis of transit corridors in Pinellas County. The study would focus on the area between downtown Clearwater, Gateway, and downtown St. Petersburg. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recognized the MOU as an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation.PSTA partnered with the MPO, TBARTA and Pinellas County Communications to carry out the region’s first ever eTownHall Meeting on Transit and the Pinellas County Alternatives Analysis. The event was broadcast live on PCC-TV and on the web, and citizens were able to participate online or via telephone. It was the first time that all three technologies were combined for a Town Hall type of event in Pinellas County. In 2010 PSTA added 14 Diesel-Electric Hybrid Buses, bringing the hybrid fleet up to a total of 24 vehicles. These vehicles are branded with the SmartBus logos and are painted a sleek shade of silver.Agency leaders decided that investing in the environmentally friendly and fuel-saving hybrid technology was the best move for both PSTA and the community. As a result, PSTA replaced 10 standard gasoline cars with new Ford Fusion hybrid-electrics. Like their hybrid bus counterparts, the agency has branded its new hybrid sedans as SmartCars.
  • In 2012, PSTA launched the North County Connector flex-route van service, allowing customers in areas of northern Pinellas to have access to transit service - including those in neighborhoods by which regular transit buses have difficulty accessing or where a traditional fixed bus route would have lower ridership projections. The three routes have since been modified to serve areas with demand for the service [3].

Bus routes

PSTA operates 34 routes that traverse Pinellas County and 2 express routes that connect into downtown Tampa. [4]

Local

No. Name Terminus 1 Terminus 2 Operates Direction Notes
4 4th Street 34th St N Transfer Center (PSTA Facility) - St. Petersburg 25 Way/Roy Hanna Drive - St. Petersburg Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional Buses run every 20 minutes during early mornings on weekdays, every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays, every 30 minutes during evenings on weekdays and all day on Saturdays, and every hour on Sundays and holidays
5 Tyrone Square Mall via 5th Ave N Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg 5th Ave N/2nd St N - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
7 Tyrone Square Mall via Midtown/9th Ave N Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg 2nd Ave S/4th St S - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
9 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St N/Gateway Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg 1st Ave N/6th St N - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional (serves 116th Ave N, Goodwill Industries, and Gateway Mall in a one-way clockwise pattern). Serves the St. Petersburg Greyhound station.
11 Carillon/Pinellas Point 34th St N Transfer Center (PSTA Facility) - St. Petersburg 25 Way/Roy Hanna Drive - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Hourly service seven days a week
14 Palms of Pasadena Hospital 3rd Ave N/4th St N - St. Petersburg Palms of Pasadena Hospital - South Pasadena Daily Bi-Directional
15 Gulfport 2nd Ave S/4th St S - St. Petersburg Gulfport Casino - Gulfport Daily Bi-Directional
16 16th St N Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg 3rd Ave N/4th St N - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Limited Service (buses depart every hour and 10 minutes, seven days a week)
18 Clearwater/Bay Pines VA Medical Center/St. Petersburg via Seminole Blvd/Tyrone Square 1st Ave N/3rd St N - St. Petersburg Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes during weekdays, every 30 minutes on Saturdays, and hourly on Sundays and holidays
19 US 19 North of Largo Largo Transit Center - Largo Huey Ave & Tarpon Ave - Tarpon Springs Daily Bi-Directional Buses leave every 30 to 40 minutes Monday through Saturday and every hour on Sundays and holidays
20 Pinellas Point/Tyrone Square Roy Hanna Dr & 25 Way S - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Hourly service seven days a week
22 22nd Ave N, Northwest Community Center, Tyrone Square Mall, and 4th & 22nd Ave 4th St N/22nd Ave N Tyrone Square Mall-St.Petersburg Monday thru Saturday Bi-Directional (buses travel on a one-way counter-clockwise loop around 22nd Ave N, 4th St N, 30th Ave N, and Dr. MLK St N) No Sunday Service
23 Tyrone Square Mall via 22nd Ave S/Gulfport 3rd Ave N/4th St N - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
32 Downtown St. Petersburg Circulator 4th Ave N/15th St N - St. Petersburg 6th St S/6th Ave S - St. Petersburg Monday Through Saturday Limited Service (Circulator) One-Way Directional Loop
34 US 19 South of Largo/34th St N Largo Transit Center - Largo 46th Ave S/34th St S - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional (frequent weekday service) Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes Monday through Friday, every 30 minutes on Saturdays, and every hour on Sundays and holidays. Eckerd College is only served during select Monday through Saturday trips.
CAT Central Avenue Trolley The Pier - St. Petersburg 9th Ave and Gulf Way - Pass-A-Grille Daily Bi-Directional Extended weekend service; frequent weekday service
38 Downtown St. Pete/Tyrone Square Mall via 38th Ave N 4th Ave N/1st St N- St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
52 Grand Central/Downtown Clearwater via E Bay/W Bay Dr and 49th St N Grand Central Station - St. Petersburg Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes Monday through Friday (peak times), every 30 to 50 minutes Monday through Friday (off-peak times), every 30 minutes on Saturdays, and every hour on Sundays and holidays
58 Gateway Mall/Seminole City Center via 118th Ave N Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg Seminole City Center - Seminole Weekdays Only Bi-Directional
59 Ulmerton Rd 34th St N Transfer Center (PSTA Facility) - St. Petersburg 1 St & 4 Ave - Indian Rocks Beach Daily Bi-Directional 15 minutes weekday peak and midday service, 30 minute Saturday service, and Hourly Sunday and holiday service
60 McMullen Booth Frontage Road/Downtown Clearwater McMullen Booth Frontage Road - Clearwater Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional McMullen Booth Rd is only served on select trips
61 Indian Rocks Beach/ Dunedin Indian Rocks Shopping Center - Indian Rocks Westfield Countryside - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional
62 Tyrone Square Mall/The Shoppes of Boot Ranch Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg The Shoppes of Boot Ranch - Palm Harbor Monday through Saturday Only Bi-Directional Safety Harbor is no longer served as of October, 2016. Customers may use the Safety Harbor Flex Connector from Westfield Countryside to connect to Safety Harbor
65 Seminole City Center/Indian Rocks/Clearwater Seminole City Center - Seminole Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional
66L Tarpon Springs/Indian Rocks Beach Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks - Tarpon Springs Morton Plant Hospital - Clearwater Weekdays Only (Peak Times) Bi-Directional Select Peak Direction trips serve Clearwater Fundamental Middle School
67 Downtown Clearwater/Downtown Oldsmar via SR 580 & Hercules Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Downtown Oldsmar Monday through Saturday Only Bi-Directional
68 Tyrone Square Mall/John's Pass Village John's Pass Village - Madeira Beach Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
73 Tyrone Square Mall/Downtown Clearwater via Keene Rd/Starkey Rd/Park St Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Monday through Saturday Only Bi-Directional
74 Gateway Mall/Seminole City Center via Park Blvd Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg Seminole City Center - Seminole Daily Bi-Directional
75 Tyrone Square Mall/Gateway Mall Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
76 Downtown Clearwater/ Westfield Countryside via Belcher Rd & Sunset Point Westfield Countryside - Clearwater Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Monday through Saturday Only Bi-Directional
78 Downtown Clearwater/Westfield Countryside via SR 580 Westfield Countryside - Clearwater Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional
79 St. Petersburg/Largo Transit Center via 66th St N 3rd Ave N/4th St N - St. Petersburg Largo Transit Center - Largo Daily Bi-Directional
90 St. Pete Beach/Downtown St. Pete Grand Central Station - St. Petersburg St. Pete Beach Daily Bi-Directional Peak hours only
97 49th St & Carillon/Downtown St. Pete Williams Park - St. Petersburg Criminal Justice Center - Clearwater Weekdays only Peak direction only Peak hours only
98 49th St & Carillon/Downtown Clearwater Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Carillon Office Complex - St. Petersburg Weekdays only Peak direction only Peak hours only

Express services

No. Name Starting Point Terminus Operates Direction Notes
100X St. Petersburg/South Pinellas Express Downtown St. Petersburg (Pier District) Marion Transit Center, Tampa Weekdays Only Bi-Directional Also serves Gateway Mall (St. Petersburg) and Britton Plaza (Tampa)
300X Central Pinellas Express Ulmerton Park-N-Ride, St. Petersburg Marion Transit Center, Tampa Weekdays Only Bi-Directional Most trips also serve Tampa International Airport (Rental Car Center Bus Hub)

Suncoast Beach Trolley

PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley connects patrons to the Pinellas Gulf Coast Beaches via trolley-replica buses (similar to HART's downtown trolleys, but rubber-tired). The Suncoast Beach Trolley also connects to the Central Avenue Trolley (at St Pete Beach), as well as local routes: 59 (at Indian Rocks Beach), 68 (at Johns Pass) and 90 (at St Pete Beach), for seamless travel to and from other Pinellas destinations.

North County Connector

There are three flex-route cutaway van-operated "Connector" routes that operate in northern Pinellas County. The Dunedin/Palm Harbor Connector runs from Westfield Countryside to the Palm Harbor WalMart (off US 19 and Alderman Rd), the Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Connector runs from Westfield Countryside to the HART Northwest Transfer Center in Town-N-Country, via Oldsmar and the Shoppes at Boot Ranch, and the Safety Harbor Connector runs from Westfield Countryside to Phillipe Park in Safety Harbor. All connector routes run Monday through Saturday.

Connection to PCPT

In addition to the cross-bay express routes, PSTA also provides connections to Pasco County Public Transportation (PCPT) bus routes 18 and 19 via PSTA routes 19 and 66.

Active Fleet

The PSTA bus fleet is all Gillig Buses

Transit buses

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)
Active Notes
2000 Gillig G27D102N4

Low Floor

PSTA 2110.JPG 2101-2116 40 Y All revenue service buses are painted in the new livery. Some buses have been retired.
2002 Gillig G27D102N4, G27E102R2

Low Floor

[2] 2201-2210 (40-foot), 2230-2233 (29-foot) 40 and 29 Y All revenue service buses are painted in the new livery. #'s 2204, 2205, 2210, 2230, and 2231 are no longer in service. #'s 2232 and 2233 are used as spares for the North County Connector.
2005 Gillig G29D102N4, G29B102N4, G29E102R2

Low Floor

[3] 2501-2508 (40-foot), 2510-2517 (35-foot), 2530-2534 (29-foot) 40, 35 and 29 Y All revenue service buses are painted in the new livery. #'s 2530 through 2534 are used for the North County Connector.
2006 Gillig G29D102N4, G29B102N4

Low Floor

[4] 2601-2636 (40-foot), 2650-2661 (35-foot) 40 and 35 Y All of these buses are in the new livery.
2007 Gillig G29D102N4, G29B102N4

Low Floor

PSTA bus 2702.JPG 2701-2711 (40-foot), 2712-2718 (35-foot) 40 and 35 Y All of these buses are in the new livery.
2008 Gillig G27D102N4, G27B102N4

Low Floor 35FT and 40FT

[5] 2801-2815 (40-foot), 2830-2835 (35-foot) 40 and 35 Y All of these buses are in the new livery.
2009-2019 Gillig G30B102N4, G27B102N4

Low Floor

BRT Gillig Bus 2901-2903 (35-foot hybrid), 2910-2911 (35-foot straight diesel), 10101-10114 (35-foot hybrid), 12101-12108 (40-foot hybrid), 13101-13108 (40-foot hybrid), 14101-14108 (40-foot hybrid), 15101-15113 (40-foot hybrid), 16101-16107 (40-foot hybrid), 17101-17103 (35-foot hybrid), 18111-18119 (35-foot hybrid - on order, expected delivery Fall, 2018), 19101-19109 (35-foot hybrid - on order, expected delivery Spring, 2019) 35/40 Y All 2016 and 2017 Gillig buses are in service as of 2/24/2018. #'s 16101, 16103, & 16106 are now specifically designated for Route 300X service with special wrapping and on-board luggage racks.

Low Floor

2018-2019 BYD K9 18109-18110 (on order, expected delivery August, 2018), 19110-19111 (on order, expected delivery Fall, 2019) 35 N Currently on order. First battery electric buses for PSTA. To be used on the expanded Downtown St. Petersburg "Looper" route.

Low Floor

2018 Champion/Freightliner

Defender

1801-1808 30 N Currently being delivered as of July, 2018 - to replace the aging 2002 and 2005 vehicles for the North County Connector

Trolley Replicas

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)
Active
2007 Gillig G29B102N4

Low Floor "Trolley"

720-722 35 Trolley-replica buses, modified by Cable Car Classics.
2008 Gillig G27B102N4

Low Floor "Trolley"

820-825 35 Trolley-replica buses, modified by Cable Car Classics. Powered by clean diesel.
2009 Gillig G30B102N4

Hybrid Low Floor "Trolley"

920-926 35 Trolley-replica buses, modified by Cable Car Classics. Powered by the same Advanced Hybrid drive train as the SmartBus. Distinguishable by a white roof.

Retired Fleet

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers (if available) Length
(ft)
Time in service Number of buses in fleet Notes
1973 General Motors

TDH3302A

101-121 30 from Central Pinellas Transit Authority
1975 General Motors

T6H4523A

201-214 35 from Central Pinellas Transit Authority
1976 General Motors

T6H4523A

1164-1173 35 from St Petersburg Municipal Transit System
1978 General Motors

TW7603

401-410 35 from Central Pinellas Transit Authority
1979 General Motors

T7W603

1174-1187 35 from St Petersburg Municipal Transit System
1980 General Motors

T7W603

601-614 35 from Central Pinellas Transit Authority
1982 General Motors

T80604

1200-1224 40 from St Petersburg Municipal Transit System first 40-foot buses in St Petersburg/Clearwater
1983 General Motors

T70604

701-707 35 from Central Pinellas Transit Authority
1985 Flxible

35096-6T

1001-1015 35 First buses bought new by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
1983 Flxible

40096-6T

8301-8308 40 Bought used from Hillsborough Area Regional Transit formerly HART 311, 313-318, 321
1989 Flxible

35096-6T

8901-8915 35
1991 Gillig

Spirit

9101-9110 30
1992 Bus Industries of America

Orion I/01.502

9201-9210 30
1993 Flxible

35096-6T

9301-9321 35
1994 Gillig

Phantom S50T3596

9401-9432 35 1994-
1995 Advanced Vehicle Systems

Electric

2001 30 Battery-operated electric bus
1996 New Flyer

D40LF

[6] 9601-9615 40 1996–2008 Retired in 2008
1997 New Flyer

D30LF, D35LF

[7] 9701-9735 (35-foot), 9750-9759 (30-foot) 30 and 35 1997–2009 Retired in 2009
1998 New Flyer

C40LF

9801-9804 40 1998- CNG fuel
1999 Gillig

G21D102N4

9901-9908 40 1999-
2003 Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

D4000

PSTA motorcoach 2308.jpg
2301-2310 40 2003-2018 10 Originally used for Express Routes 100X and 300X. PSTA decided to instead use regular transit buses on the routes upon retirement instead of purchasing another coach fleet and 2309 was the last unit to run in service as of May 2017.

References

External links