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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides public transportation for
Pinellas County, Florida Pinellas County (, ) is located on the west central coast of the state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 916,542. The county is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clearwater ...
. The authority manages a bus system that encompasses over 40 bus routes - including 2 express routes to
Tampa Tampa () is a major city that serves as the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area. With an estimated ...
, 3 flex-route neighborhood connectors (the PSTA North County Connector), the Central Avenue Trolley, and the Suncoast Beach Trolley.


History

* PSTA began in the early 1900s as the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System (SPMTS). The system began with a
streetcar Preserved Kraków, Poland">Trams in Kraków">Kraków, Poland A tram (in North America streetcar or trolley) is a rail vehicle that runs on tramway track public urban streets; some include segments of segregated right-of-way. The lines or n ...
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 tourist trolley formerly operated by RRTA in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A tourist trolley, also called a road trolley, is a rubber-tired bus designed to resemble an old-style streetcar or tram, usually with false clerestory roof. The vehicles are us ...
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 Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (also known as the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART)) provides public transportation for Hillsborough County, Florida. The agency provides fixed-route local and express bus service, door-to-door paratransit s ...
(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 commuter buses 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.The History of PSTA
/ref> 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.


Bus routes

PSTA operates 38 routes (including one limited express route) that traverse Pinellas County and 2 express routes that connect into downtown Tampa.


Local


Express services


Suncoast Beach Trolley

PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley connects patrons to the Pinellas Gulf Coast Beaches via
trolley-replica bus tourist trolley formerly operated by RRTA in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A tourist trolley, also called a road trolley, is a rubber-tired bus designed to resemble an old-style streetcar or tram, usually with false clerestory roof. The vehicles are us ...
es. 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 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 (Route 812) runs from Westfield Countryside to the Palm Harbor WalMart (off US 19 and Alderman Rd), the Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Connector (Route 813) 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 (Route 814) runs from Westfield Countryside to Phillipe Park in Safety Harbor. All connector routes run Monday through Saturday.


Bus Hubs/Transit Centers

* Grand Central Station - Downtown St. Petersburg - Serving Routes: 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, 18, 34, 52, 52LX, 79, 90, CAT (Also serving Downtown St. Pete are Routes 4, 14, 16, 20, 23, 32, 79, 100X, Looper * Park Street Terminal - Downtown Clearwater - Serving Routes: 18, 52, 52LX, 60, 61, 65, 66L, 67, 73, 76, 78, Jolly Trolley, SBT * Tyrone Square Mall - Serving Routes: 5, 7, 18, 20, 22, 23, 38, 62, 68, 73, 75, 79 * Westfield Countryside - Serving Routes: 19, 61, 62, 67, 76, 78, DPC, OTC, SHC * Gateway Mall - Serving Routes: 4, 9, 16, 58, 74, 75, 100X * Pinellas Park Transit Center - Serving Routes: 11, 34, 52, 52LX, 74, 75 ** Serves as a stop for Greyhound. * PSTA 34th Street Transfer Center - Serving Routes: 4, 11, 52, 52LX, 59 * Largo Transit Center - Serving Routes: 19, 34, 52, 52LX, 79 * Ulmerton Park-n-Ride - Serving Routes: 59, 300X * Largo Mall - Serving Routes: 18, 59 * Seminole Shopping Center - Serving Routes: 18, 58, 65, 74 * Indian Rocks Shopping Center - Serving Routes: 59, 61, 65 * Clearwater Beach Transit Center - Serving Routes: SBT, Jolly Trolley


Connection to PCPT

In addition to the cross-bay express routes, PSTA also provides connections to
Pasco County Public Transportation Pasco County Public Transportation (or PCPT) provides public transportation in Pasco County, Florida. The agency operates both fixed bus and paratransit services. Routes PCPT operates ten fixed bus routes throughout Pasco County: three in East Pasc ...
(PCPT) bus routes 18 and 19 via PSTA routes 19 and 66.


Active Fleet

PSTA operates a fleet of 210 transit buses. The bus fleet consists of a fleet of Gillig Gillig Low Floor, Low Floor and BRT buses as well as BYD K9, BYD buses. They are powered by clean diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, and battery-electric. All buses are being equipped with barrier shields in the operator area.


Transit Fixed-Route Buses


Trolley Replicas


On Order


Retired Fleet


References


External links

*
Tampa Bay Transit
{{FloridaTransSystems Bus transportation in Florida Transportation in Pinellas County, Florida, Transit agencies in Florida 1984 establishments in Florida