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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides public transportation for Pinellas County, Floridamarker. The authority manages a bus system that encompasses 39 local routes and two express routes, and the Suncoast Beach Trolley (using a fleet of replica trolleys that consist of Optima and Gillig-made vehicles).

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 hits 4.2 million. In 1949, the Gulfport streetcar system is 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) is formed, serving the Clearwater area and northern Pinellas. The agency is 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) begins in downtown St. Petersburg and becomes successful. By the 1980s, the two agencies have formed a cooperative agreement, which allowed the expansion of routes throughout Pinellas County.

In 1982, the two companies merged to create the PSTA. In the years following ther 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). This service has been immensly improved since the acquisition. Also in 1990, PSTA established a cross-county bus route via US 19.

Massive expansion and improvements take 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 In 1996, the agency introduces electronic fare cards (called GO Cards) and begins replacing their outdated bus fleets with a combination of New Flyer and Gillig buses. In 2001, the Suncoast Beach Trolley begins service along the gulf coast beaches and in 2003, PSTA purchased a fleet of motorcoach buses (from Motor Coach Industries) to operate its express routes. Additional capital improvements are made during the early 2000s as well, including the renovation of the Park Street Terminal. In 2001, PSTA.net debuts.

In 2004, HART and PSTA begin 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 opens near Roosevelt Blvd. In 2006, PSTA expanded its fleet with the purchase 48 Gillig low-floor buses. HART & PSTA agree to honor each other's reduced fare photo permits. In 2007, Executive Director Roger Sweeney retires. He is succeeded by Tim Garling. That same year, PSTA introduces a 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.

Fares

New fare changes went into effect on October 5th, 2008.

  • One-Way Cash Fares


  • PSTA Passes


    • 7-Day Unlimited GO Card


    • 31-Day Unlimited GO-Card


    • 20-Ride GO Card
      • Express ONLY: $48.00


    • Intercounty PSTA/HART Monthly Passport: $85.00
      • For use on all PSTA and HART Bus, Trolley, and Streetcar Routes.


Bus routes

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

Note: The table below is under construction

Local

No. Name Starting Point Terminus Operates Direction Notes
1 Gateway Mall/Tyrone Square Mall Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Monday through Saturday Only Bi-Directional
4 4th Street Goodwill Industries Suncoast Facility - St. Petersburg 25 Way/Roy Hanna Drive - St. Petersburg Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional Buses run every 20 to 30 minutes on weekdays
5 Tyrone Square Mall via 5th Ave N Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Limited Sunday Service
7 Tyrone Square Mall via Central Plaza Terminal Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional
11 Carillon/Pinellas Point PSTA Headquarters - St. Petersburg 25 Way/Roy Hanna Drive - St. Petersburg Weekday Service Only Bi-Directional
14 Palms of Pasadena Hospital Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Palms of Pasadena Hospital - South Pasadena Monday through Saturday Service Only Bi-Directional
15 Gulfport Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Gulfport Casino - Gulfport Daily Bi-Directional
18 Clearwater/Bay Pines VA Medical Center/St. Petersburg via Seminole Blvd/Tyrone Square Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes during weekday peak hours. Limited Sunday Service.
19 US 19 46th Ave & 34th St - St. Petersburg Huey Ave & Tarpon Ave - Tarpon Springs Daily (Frequent Weekday Service) Bi-Directional Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes during weekday peak hours. Limited Sunday Service.
20 Pinellas Point/Tyrone Square Roy Hanna Dr & 25 Way S - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Limited Sunday Service.
23 Tyrone Square Mall via 22nd Ave S/Gulfport Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional Limited Sunday Service.
30 30th Ave N Circulator Northeast Shopping Center - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Monday Through Saturday Limited Service (Circulator) Bi-Directional
32 Downtown St. Petersburg Circulator Williams Park Transit Center - St. Petersburg Arlington Ave/11th St - St. Petersburg Monday Through Saturday Limited Service (Circulator) One-Way Directional Loop


  • Route 35 - Downtown St. Pete & The Pier/St. Pete Beach
  • Route 38 - Downtown St. Pete/Tyrone Square Mall via 38th Ave N
  • Route 52 - Downtown St. Pete/Downtown Clearwater via E Bay/W Bay Dr
  • Route 58 - Gateway Mall/Redington Shores
  • Route 59 - Williams Park & Downtown St. Pete/Indian Rocks Beach via MLK St & Ulmerton Rd
  • Route 60 - Drew St & Bayview Ave/Downtown Clearwater
  • Route 61 - Indian Rocks Beach/Dunedin
  • Route 62 - Tyrone Square Mall/The Shoppes of Boot Ranch
  • Route 66 - Tarpon Springs/Indian Rocks Beach
  • Route 67 - Downtown clearwater/Downtown Oldsmar via SR 580 & Hercules
  • Route 68 - Tyrone Square Mall/John's Pass Village
  • Route 73 - Tyrone Square Mall/Downtown Clearwater via Keene Rd/Starkey Rd/Park St
  • Route 74 - Williams Park & Downtown St. Pete/Indian Rocks Beach via Park Blvd
  • Route 75 - Tyrone Square Mall/Gateway Mall
  • Route 76 - Downtown Clearwater/Westfield Countryside via Belcher Rd & Sunset Point
  • Route 78 - Downtown Clearwater/Westfield Countryside via SR 580
  • Route 79 - Downtown St. Pete/Whitney Rd & US 19
  • Route 90 (Commuter Shuttle) - St. Pete Beach/Downtown St. Pete
  • Route 93 - Downtown clearwater/Downtown Oldsmar via SR 584 & Keene Rd
  • Route 97 (Commuter Shuttle) - 49th St & Carillon/Downtown St. Pete
  • Route 98 (Commuter Shuttle) - 49th St & Carillon/Downtown Clearwater
  • Route 444 (Circulator) - Pinellas Park
  • Pasadena Circulator - Pasadena Beach Area/Downtown Pasadena (only operates on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings)


Note: Commuter Shuttles and Circulators run on a limited timetable (typically only at peak times).


Express services

No. Name Starting Point Terminus Operates Direction Notes
100X St. Petersburg/South Pinellas Express Gateway Mall, St. Petersburg Marion Transit Center, Tampa Weekdays Only Bi-Directional Operated by PSTA
200X Clearwater Express Marion Transit Center, Tampa Eddie C. Moore Complex Park-N-Ride, Clearwater Weekday Rush Hours Peak Direction Operated by HART.
300X Central Pinellas Express Ulmerton Park-N-Ride, St. Petersburg Marion Transit Center, Tampa Weekdays Only Bi-Directional Operated by PSTA


Suncoast Beach Trolley

The PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley connects patrons to the Pinellas Gulf Coast Beaches via trolley-replica bus (similar to HART's downtown trolleys, but rubber-tired).The Suncoast Beach Trolley also connects to local bus routes 35 (at St Pete Beach), 58 (at Park Blvd), 59 (at Indian Rocks Beach), 68 (at Johns Pass) and 90 (at St Pete Beach), for seamless travel to and from other Pinellas destinations.

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 encompasses several different models, including those from New Flyer, Gillig, and Motor Coach Industries.

Transit buses

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)

Active Notes
1997 New FlyerDLF35 [395884] 97XX 35 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors.
2000 GilligLow Floor 40FT 21XX 40 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors.
2000 GilligLow Floor 40FT [395885] 22XX 40 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors.
2001 GilligLow Floor 30FT 24XX 30 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors. Used on lower frequency routes
2004 GilligLow Floor 35FT [395886] 25XX 35 Most of these buses are in the new livery.
2005 GilligLow Floor 35FT [395887] 26XX 35 All of these buses are in the new livery.
2006 GilligLow Floor 35FT [395888] 27XX 35 All of these buses are in the new livery.
2008 GilligLow Floor 35FT [395889] 28XX 35 All of these buses are in the new livery.
2009 GilligLow Floor BRT Hybrid 35FT [395890] 29XX 35 Known as the "Smartbus".


Express coaches

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)

Active Notes
2003 Motor Coach IndustriesD4500CT 23XX 45


Trolley replicas

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)

Active Notes
OptimaAmerican Heritage Streetcar AH-28 [395891] Unknown 30 These buses still run on the Suncoast Beach Trolley line, but are slowly being replaced by Gillig Low Floor Trolley-replica buses.
2007 GilligLow Floor "Trolley" 30FT 27XX 30 Trolley-replica buses.


Retired Fleet

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers (if available) Length
(ft)

Time in service Number of buses in fleet Notes
1996 New FlyerDLF40 [395892] 96XX 40 1996-2008 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors. Retired from service.
1997 New FlyerDLF30 [395893] 97XX 30 1997-2009 Many of these buses are in the old livery and are used on lower frequency routes. Retired from service.


References

  1. The History of PSTA (flip book)
  2. PSTA Bus Fares
  3. PSTA Bus Schedules


External links




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