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PSTA on Pace to Break Annual Records

Last month, the transit agency provided 1,238,666 rides, which is more than any other August in agency history.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is on track to break its all-time annual ridership record this fiscal year, according to a PSTA news release.

Last month, the transit agency provided 1,238,666 rides, which is more than any other August in agency history. That’s 10 percent jump over August 2011, and the ninth monthly mark set by PSTA within the last 10 months, a news release said.

“Truly remarkable,” says PSTA CEO Brad Miller in a news release. “When Tropical Storm Isaac came around we were worried that the storm would keep many of the Republican National Convention visitors from venturing out. This record ridership shows that visitors and many locals opted for public transportation.”

According to PSTA, like all government services, the economic recession has required PSTA to significantly reduce bus service over the past several years. Despite the reductions, ridership is up more than 7 percent this fiscal year and is poised to top the all-time annual record.  

“Our employees have worked very hard to bring these real improvements online and the response by Pinellas County residents and visitors is rewarding,” said Miller in the news release.

Jack Sprat September 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Wow! That is an average of 41,000 "rides" per day! So...if you assume that everyone "rides" without a transfer and returns back to their starting point, that is 20,500 "rides" (If a passenger does transfer, that is counted as another "ride"). That means we have a whopping 2% of Pinellas County's population riding PSTA buses. And the operational costs alone were $55 Million last year. That does not include capital costs such as new buses, equipment, shelters, etc. Taxpayers pay 75% of operating costs and 100% of capital costs. So, if this record average holds true for the year, 20,000 people will have received $41,250,000 in taxpayer subsidies,,,,which is about $2,000 per person. Seems that the other 98% of taxpayers would sure like to have $2,000 deducted from their transportation costs. Most of them have to get back and forth to work, schools, groceries, church, wherever people go - and they have to pay 100% of their costs. Jeff Danner believes we should pay another 1% sales tax so PSTA can build a $2 Billion train to Clearwater so all those people won't have to drive to Clearwater (exactly how many would that be?). He wants $130 Million a year from local taxpayers instead of the $30 Million they already get from our property taxes.

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