Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

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PSTA logo.png
PSTA motorcoach 2308.jpg
Founded 1982
Headquarters 3201 Scherer Drive,
St. Petersburg, FL
Locale Pinellas County, Florida
Service type bus service
Routes 37[1]
Fleet 205[1]
Website psta.net

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) provides public transportation for Pinellas County, Florida. The authority manages a bus system that encompasses 34 local routes, two express routes, and the Suncoast Beach Trolley (using a fleet of replica trolleys that consist of Optima and Gillig-made vehicles).

History[edit]

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 In 1996, the agency introduced electronic fare cards (called GO Cards) and began replacing their outdated bus fleets with a combination of New Flyer and Gillig buses.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 motorcoach 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]

Fares[edit]

New fare changes went into effect on October 3, 2010.[3]

  • PSTA Passes
    • 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[edit]

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

Local[edit]

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
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 Williams Park - St. Petersburg Tyrone Square Mall - St. Petersburg Daily Bi-Directional
52 Downtown St. Pete/Downtown Clearwater via E Bay/W Bay Dr Williams Park - St. Petersburg Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional Late service on weekdays.
58 Gateway Mall/Redington Gateway Mall - St. Petersburg Gulf Blvd & Park Blvd - Redington Shores Daily Bi-Directional
59 Williams Park/Indian Rocks Beach via MLK St & Ulmerton Rd Williams Park - St. Petersburg 1 St & 4 Ave - Indian Rocks Beach Daily Bi-Directional Serves the St. Petersburg Greyhound station.
60 McMullen Booth Frontage Road/Downtown Clearwater McMullen Booth Frontage Road - Clearwater Park Street Terminal - Clearwater Daily Bi-Directional
61 Indian Rocks Beach/Dunedin Indian Rocks Shopping Center - Indian Rocks Palm Lake Village - Dunedin 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
66 Tarpon Springs/Indian Rocks Beach Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks - Tarpon Springs Indian Rocks Shopping Center - Indian Rocks Daily Bi-Directional
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 Williams Park & Downtown St. Pete/Indian Rocks Beach via Park Blvd Williams Park - St. Petersburg Indian Rocks Shopping Center - Indian Rocks 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 Downtown St. Pete/Whitney Rd & US 19 Williams Park - St. Petersburg Whitney Road - Clearwater 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
444 Pinellas Park Circulator N/A N/A Weekdays only Circulator

Express services[edit]

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[edit]

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 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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Transit buses[edit]

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

Low Floor

PSTA 2110.JPG 2101-2116 40 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors.
2002 Gillig G27D102N4, G27E102R2

Low Floor

[1] 2201-2210 (40-foot), 2230-2233 (29-foot) 40 and 29 This fleet is mixed, with some buses painted in the new livery, and some retaining the old colors.
2005 Gillig G29D102N4, G29B102N4, G29E102R2

Low Floor

[2] 2501-2508 (40-foot), 2510-2517 (35-foot), 2530-2534 (29-foot) 40, 35 and 29 Most of these buses are in the new livery.
2006 Gillig G29D102N4, G29B102N4

Low Floor

[3] 2601-2636 (40-foot), 2650-2661 (35-foot) 40 and 35 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 All of these buses are in the new livery.
2008 Gillig G27D102N4, G27B102N4

Low Floor 35FT and 40FT

[4] 2801-2815 (40-foot), 2830-2835 (35-foot) 40 and 35 All of these buses are in the new livery.
2009 Gillig G30B102N4, G27B102N4

Low Floor

[5] 2901-2903 (35-foot hybrid), 2910-2911 (35-foot) 35 2901-2903 known as the "Smartbus".
2010 Gillig G30B102N4

Low Floor

Picture Unavailable 10101-10114 (hybrid) 35 Known as the "Smartbus"

Express coaches[edit]

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)
Active Notes
2003 Motor Coach Industries

D4000CL

PSTA motorcoach 2308.jpg 2301-2310 45

Trolley replicas[edit]

Year Builder/Model Example Numbers Length
(ft)
Active Notes
1985 Boyertown

Replica Trolleys

J3-J4 30
1991 Chance Coach

VS-24 Replica Trolleys

JT5-JT6 30
1999 Cable Car Concepts

Replica Trolleys

LT1-LT4 30 Also ncluded LTT1, an upowered "trailer module" to be pulled by one of LT1-LT4 series
2001-2002 Trolley Enterprises and Supreme Corp

Replica Trolleys

[6] BT10-BT19, BT201-BT210 35 These buses ran on the Suncoast Beach Trolley line from 2001 until 2009, when they were replaced by Gillig Low Floor Trolley-replica buses. However, they are still leased out by PSTA to St. Petersburg Trolley and the Gulfport/St. Pete Beach trolley who use them on their routes. All were on Freightliner chassis, with BT10-BT19 having bodies by trolley Enterprises and BT201-BT210 having bodies by Supreme Corp/Starcraft.
2007 Gillig G29B102N4

Low Floor "Trolley"

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

Low Floor "Trolley"

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

Hybrid Low Floor "Trolley"

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

Retired Fleet[edit]

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

[7] 9601-9615 40 1996–2008 Retired in 2008
1997 New Flyer

D30LF, D35LF

[8] 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-

References[edit]

External links[edit]