SCAT to hold public hearings on service reductions

As many of us know, due to the economic recession, many transit agencies across the United States are having to drastically reduce costs due to lower revenues. SCAT Transit in Sarasota is no exception. SCAT is proposing several service eliminations and adjustments to save money while continuing to serve the citizens of Sarasota and Venice in an efficient manner. Some routes will be eliminated or adjusted due to low ridership and/or inefficiency.

SCAT will hold 2 open house style meetings in April to address these issues and allow input. Meetings are open to the public and will be held from 4:30pm to 6:00pm at the 2 locations shown below.

Monday, April 5
Robert L.Taylor Community Complex
1845 34th St., Sarasota

Tuesday, April 6
Community Hall, Venice City Hall
401 W. Venice Ave.,Venice

MAJOR SERVICE CHANGES

• Route 26 (Venice Connector): SCAT will merge most of the service area from Route 26 into the Route 13 (Venice Island). The portion of Route 26 operating on the U.S. 41 By-Pass will be served by a redesigned Route 16 (Englewood).
• Route 16 (Englewood): Route 16 will be redesigned to be more direct between Venice and Englewood. In Venice, the route will operate via U.S. 41 By-Pass, not Venice Island.
• Route 13 (Venice Island): Route 13 will be extended to the Venice Walmart on Jacaranda Boulevard via Center Road, Shamrock Boulevard, Alligator Drive and U.S. 41. To make this change, SCAT will remove service from U.S. 41 Business between Golf Drive and Avenida Del Circo.
• Route 18 (Longboat Key Trolley): In coordination with Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT), service on the Longboat Key Trolley will end at 8 p.m. The last trip of the day is proposed to depart outbound at 7:25 p.m. from downtown Sarasota and inbound at 7:40 p.m. from Coquina Beach.
• Route 8517 (Tallevast – SMH): SCAT will eliminate Route 8517 on Sunday. The route will be replaced with two separate routes: Route 7 (Newtown – NE) and Route 8 (Newtown – U.S. 301). Routes 7 and 8 will operate every two hours on Sunday. Both routes end at the SCAT Downtown Sarasota Transfer Station and do not continue to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Riders can transfer to Route 1713 to travel south of Lemon Avenue.

MINOR SERVICE CHANGES
• Route 9 (North Port via Jacaranda Boulevard): Route 9, which travels between North Port and the Venice Train Depot SCAT Transfer Station, requires minor schedule changes that will help to improve connections. SCAT will continue to operate the route every 60 minutes. The last Route 9 trip outbound from the Venice Train Depot to North Port will be at 6:40 p.m.
• Route 99 (Palmetto Fairgrounds to downtown Sarasota): Route 99’s first trip at 6:25 a.m. from the airport will be eliminated, but passengers can ride MCAT Route 99 at 6:35 a.m.
• Route 17 (Trail): Route 17 outbound trip at 7:15 p.m. will be extended to Venice Monday through Saturday.
• Route 20 (Toledo Blade): Route 20 outbound trips at 6:40 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. will be eliminated. The last outbound trip will be at 7:30 p.m.
• Route 5 (Osprey/Swift): Route 5 trip outbound at 7 p.m. will end at Proctor Road. There will be a full trip at 6 p.m.
• Route 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17, and 99: Services on these Monday-Saturday routes will end earlier in the evening than the current schedule.
• Route 215, 1713, 6, 12, 1411: Services on these Sunday routes will end earlier in the evening than the current schedule. For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000, or visit the SCAT Web site, http://www.scgov.net/scat

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