PSTA’s Flex Service Plan Gains Steam

Following on HART’s success of utilizing flex bus routes, PSTA will be hosting three public workshops to gain public input on three proposed northern Pinellas flex bus routes.

For those of you who may not be familiar with flex bus service; routes operate within a “zone” usually comprising of a cluster of neighborhoods. A fleet of minibuses transport passengers from their doorstep to various destinations within their “zone”. These places include schools, supermarkets, post offices, businesses, and more. Since flex routes utilize minibuses, they can easily pick up and drop off passengers who may live within gated communities and other hard-to-reach areas that are otherwise inaccessible by the traditional 30, 35, 40, 45, and 60 foot public transit bus.

To use flex bus services, passengers call a special telephone number to place a reservation. Reservations can be placed within a time frame that is set forth by the public transit authority (usually 2 to 3 hours minimum advance notice is required). Some services may offer what is called “walk-up service”, which means that passengers can walk to a designated bus stop and catch a minibus. However, with the “walk-up service”, destinations are limited and seating is not guaranteed.

PSTA hopes to launch its three flex bus routes later this year, but they want to know what the needs of the communities impacted by the services are before they launch the service. At this time, the exact flex zones are not known, however there will be connections to the PCPT (Pasco) and HART (Hillsborough) systems.

To learn more about PSTA’s proposed flex bus service and the upcoming public workshops, click here.

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