PSTA Downtown St. Petersburg Grid System Implementation – 2/14/16

PSTA February 2016 Service Changes Banner 2

Update – 2/14/16

The changes described in the original blog post below are now in effect. Please consult individual route schedules for new times and timepoints, and keep in mind which stop to get off at if you are transferring to another route.

As of 8:45am this morning; PSTA has updated Real Time to reflect the new grid pattern.

Any questions or concerns regarding the upcoming changes should be directed to PSTA. Contact information is listed at the bottom of the original post.

Original Post – 1/29/16

As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is preparing to discontinue Williams Park in Downtown St. Petersburg as a transit hub. This change will allow the City of St. Petersburg to beautify the park so that it will be able to become the urban commons that it was designed to be. The changes will also allow PSTA to create a grid system throughout the downtown area where customers can transfer between routes via street-side bus stops. While there will be many challenges ahead for PSTA as they implement these changes, the agency is hoping for a smooth transition for everyone.

During the weekend of January 30/31, 2016, the bus shelters around Williams Park will be were completely removed, although each of the existing routes will continue to operate as they do now. PSTA staff will be at the park during the next few weeks (beginning January 31 through February 17) to educate customers on where they can catch their bus once the grid system is implemented. Staff members can be identified via the yellow vests that they will be wearing. The service changes will take effect on Sunday, February 14, 2016 (Valentines Day) and will affect Routes 4, 5, 7, 14, 15, 18, 20, 23, 32, 38, 52, 59, 74, 79, 97, and the Central Ave Trolley.

To illustrate how each of the affected routes will operate once the grid system is implemented, including the locations of bus stops, PSTA has uploaded a copy of its service change brochure on I’m sure that hard copies will also be have been distributed throughout the system as well, and are available at all customer service centers. At some point in the beginning of As of February 10th, new route schedules will be have been distributed throughout the system and uploaded to Please be sure to check in with PSTA for further updates on the upcoming changes. As soon as additional information becomes available, I will post them to my blog and across my Social Media channels.

#12105 on layover.
#12105 on layover.

Any questions or concerns regarding the upcoming changes should be directed to PSTA. Please do not post comments to my blog or social media channels if you have questions about the service changes. I do not work for PSTA, nor do I have the most current information about the changes.

You may contact PSTA by calling (727) 540-1900, by visiting, by visiting one of four customer service centers located throughout the county, or by asking one of the on-site staff members at Williams Park during the period of January 31 through February 17.

Gasparilla 2016

Side angle of #1506.
Beat the parking and traffic hassles this Gasparilla parade by using HART!

Pirates, and Beads, and Transit…oh my!

Yep, it’s that time again, for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival! The Parade of the Pirates brings in hundreds of revelers each year, and along with that…tons and tons of roadway closures. So here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending the parade on Saturday, January 30, starting at 2:00pm.

Roadway Closures and Parking Info

On Friday, January 29, the day before the parade (that is TODAY as of the publishing of this post), many area roadways will begin to shut down. A complete list of closures has been provided through local media outlets (for this post, I’ve used the ABC Action News article) and I strongly suggest that you go through this list so that you’re not caught in unnecessary traffic congestion. Because of the parade route and disbursement of the floats at the end of the parade, the Platt, Brorein, and Kennedy bridges will all be closed. That means your only points of egress into downtown Tampa will be the Cass St bridge, the Selmon Expressway, and I-275. If you don’t need to be in downtown Tampa, please do not enter the area! I cannot stress this enough.

For those traveling to Davis Island and Tampa General Hospital, access will be maintained to the island, but the on/off-ramps to/from Bayshore will all be closed. Please be sure to plan ahead for this, as shuttle service may not be available during the parade.

If you plan to park in one of the parking garages in either Downtown Tampa, Channelside, Hyde Park, or Ybor City, please make sure you remember where you parked. Also, keep in mind that many streets will be closed throughout the area. Please also be sure to bring cash, because some lots may only accept cash as payment. Additionally, please be aware that the City of Tampa prohibits parking on some streets.

Escape the parking and traffic hassles, use transit!

Select HART bus routes and the TECOline Streetcar Line will operate on a modified schedule on Saturday, and some bus routes will be detoured due to road closures. I’ll go through a brief rundown of what to expect if you’re using transit to get to and from the parade. For detailed information – including routes that serve the Downtown Tampa area – please visit the HART website, as information can change between now and the day of the parade.

Routes 7, 8, 14, 19, & 30 will be detoured! Please plan your trip accordingly! Below is a listing of how buses will be detoured, along with respective route maps. OneBusAway WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ROUTES AFFECTED, SO PLEASE REFER TO POSTED SCHEDULES FOR DEPARTURE TIMES!!!

  • Routes 7 & 14 WILL NOT SERVE CASS ST. Instead, both routes will travel along Palm Ave from N. Boulevard and then follow Tampa St/Scott St into downtown (outbound will use Marion St/Henderson Ave/Florida Ave to Palm Ave).
  • Route 8 will be detoured via Nuccio Pkwy & Cass St. The normal route through Channelside and southern Downtown WILL NOT BE SERVED.
  • Routes 19 & 30 will be detoured via Howard/Armenia and I-275. The Platt/Cleveland/Brorien/Davis Island segments of Route 19 & the Kennedy Blvd segment of Route 30 east of Armenia/Howard WILL NOT BE SERVED.
    • Please make alternate arrangements if you are needing to get to/from Tampa General Hospital, as shuttle service may not be available.
    • If you reside in the Town-N-Country area, you can park your car at the Northwest Transfer Center and use Route 30 to connect to the Gasparilla festivities!
  • The TECOline Streetcar will run a modified schedule from 9:00am through 1:30am Sunday morning, and will only serve selected stations during selected times of the day. However, the Dick Greco Plaza, Centro Ybor, and Centennial Park stations will be served all day. The Whiting station will be CLOSED all day. Please read carefully through HART’s blog post for a complete listing of stations that will be closed throughout the day.
  • Feeder bus shuttles will pick up passengers at the Tampa Port Authority Garage, Dick Greco Plaza, Cumberland Ave, Cadrecha Plaza, and Streetcar Society stations to help get customers between various parking venues and the parade route. Service will commence at 9:30am and run through 7:00pm.
  • The In-Towner will offer trolley service from Dick Greco Plaza to the Marion Transit Center to allow for speedy travel between northern Downtown and the parade route. Service will commence at 9:00am and run roughly every 15 to 20 minutes through 6:00pm.

And remember, please party responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t text and drive.