Note: The original links to the PSTA website no longer work. I’ve posted a link to the Tampa Bay Newspapers Weekly site, which has an archived article on these changes. Route 22 – which was merged into Route 1, was restored in 2015 after Route 1 was axed due to being the lowest ridership route in the system. Finally, PSTA terminated its contract with Yellow Cab in 2016 in favor of doing business full-time with Care Ride for Paratransit services.
An array of service and fare changes are coming to PSTA, effective October 1, 2008.
The mainline reason for the fare increases is to compensate costs due to rising fuel prices and the property tax rollbacks. As I might have mentioned in earlier posts; HART, PSTA, SCAT, MCAT, and PCPT all still rely on property taxes for the bulk of their funding. After Amendment 1 was passed last year, much of that revenue was scaled back, forcing these agencies to cut underperforming routes and raise fares.
For PSTA in particular, a few things will take place on October 1.
- Fare increase from $1.50 to $1.75.
- Elimination of under-utilized routes and combining of others.
- Paratransit contractor changes.
So first, let’s look at the fare increase. The local cash fare will increase from $1.50 to $1.75. HART is following the same protocol for its local cash fare in November. Both agencies are also raising costs for monthly passes and some passes will be eliminated.
PSTA’s day pass increases from $3.50 to $4.00 and the monthly pass goes up from $50.00 to $55.00.
The express pass for HART/PSTA expresses will increase from $80.00 to $85.00.
Other fare changes are listed here.
Next, the routing changes. Routes 22, 80, 82, 96, 98, and the Municpal Services Center Shuttle will be eliminated entirely. The Suncoast Beach Trolley will begin serving more of Clearwater Beach and link to downtown Clearwater as well. Most existing routes will see changes of some sort, and underperforming segments will be transferred to other adjoining routes or eliminated altogether.
Finally, the Paratransit Service changes. Unlike HART and SCAT, PSTA contracts out its Paratransit services to a third party. Starting in October, Yellow Cab of Clearwater will provide sedan services to the elderly and disabled. Those needing wheelchair transport may contact Care Ride starting in October.