In my first post of July, 2012; I’d like to take a moment to talk about PSTA’s two cross-bay express routes, Route 100X and Route 300X. Both of these express routes provide a crucial link between Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and serve many passengers each day.
I had an opportunity to ride Route 100X from Britton Plaza in South Tampa to Downtown Tampa back in 2011, when my car was in the repair shop for a few days. For the most part, it was a great trip. Instead of me sitting on HART Local Route 19 for an hour and 10 minutes going through Davis Island, I was whisked along the Selmon-Crosstown Expressway and arrived in Downtown Tampa within 30 minutes. One of the key reasons why I love the PSTA express routes is because of the quick travel time.
Another thing that I love about PSTA’s express routes is the fleet of buses they use; the Motor Coach Industries (or MCI) 45 foot D4500 motorcoach style buses. These are the same type of buses that operate the NYCMTA’s numerous express routes in New York City and its surrounding boroughs. These buses are equipped with plush seating, individual reading lights and air conditioning settings, overhead luggage compartments, and even places to plug in your cell phone for charging. These features alone provide the perfect environment to just sit back and relax!
Although I’ve only had one opportunity to ride along Route 100X, I am hoping that later this year, I will have the opportunity to use the local routes that PSTA has to offer. Currently, PSTA is planning out a couple more express routes, including one to WestShore, depending on how funding goes. PSTA is also planning out a flex bus route (among 3) that would connect into northern Hillsborough County. We can only hope that these services will blossom into reality. The only reason why I haven’t made this transit trip yet is because of my educational matters. However, when I graduate this August from USF, I will have much more time to be able to finally plan out my trip with PSTA.
Now where exactly does Route 100X run you ask? It currently connects Downtown Tampa (HART’s Marion Transit Center) to the Gateway Mall in Central Pinellas, with a stop at the Britton Plaza Transfer Center in South Tampa. There are plans to eventually connect the route into Downtown St. Pete, but these plans have yet to materialize due to costs. The other express route that PSTA operates is the 300X, which connects the Ulmerton Rd Park-N-Ride to Downtown Tampa.
If you would like to get a feel of how transit is like in neighboring Pinellas County, you can read up on Zac Ziegler’s recent post on the PSTA system by clicking here. HART bus driver Jason Eames was able to join Zac on his cross-bay travels and has posted his observations on the PSTA system. If it weren’t for me still being in school, I probably would have tried to join them (LOL). However, there is always a next time. In the meantime though, I hope that you will be able to ride the PSTA system soon as well! You’d be surprised at just how much fun you can have using public transit! 😀
To finish this post, I have a short video of my journey along Route 100X (which you can watch by clicking here). I hope you will enjoy it!
Have a Happy 4th Everyone!