In the third part of this series, I will take a look at the changes being proposed for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) route 74, the Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector, the Dunedin/Palm Harbor Flex Connector, and the Jolley Trolley Coastal Route. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not had a chance to do so.
Documents from PSTA
My Google Maps
Map Showing Routes 4, 9, 16, 19, 34, & 59. Map does not show Route 18 because its routing is not being drastically changed.
Map Showing Routes 61, 62, 65, 66, & 74. Map does not show Route 67 because its routing is not being drastically changed.
Overview: Route 74 currently travels from Downtown St. Pete to Indian Rocks Shopping Center via 16th St N, Gateway Mall, Gandy/Park Blvd, Shoppes at Park Place (Pinellas Park Transit Center), Seminole Mall, and Oakhurst Rd. Buses operate every 20 to 30 minutes Monday through Friday and roughly every hour on weekends. The 74 is one of several notoriously long routes in Pinellas and construction along Gandy Blvd in the Gateway area has caused buses to be delayed at times.
What does PSTA want to do?: PSTA is proposing splitting the route into three segments. Route 74 would remain in operation between Gateway Mall and Seminole Mall, while the St. Pete portion becomes Route 16 and the Indian Rocks portion Route 65. Both of these new routes I have mentioned in my previous post.
My opinion: I support the splitting of Route 74 because it is very long. However, I am concerned with how early the current route ends and hope that service will extend past 9pm one day.
Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector
Overview: The Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector was established in 2012 and has seen modest ridership. The route currently operates Monday through Saturday between Westfield Countryside and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART)’s Northwest Transfer Center via Boot Ranch.
What does PSTA want to do?: Instead of running service along Countryside Blvd, which has seen few to no riders schedule deviation pickups, PSTA wants to re-align the route to run along Belcher Rd between Westfield Countryside and Tampa Rd, where demand for the route has been higher.
My opinion: I support this change because it makes no sense to run a route where there is little to no demand for it.
Dunedin/Palm Harbor Flex Connector
Overview: The Dunedin/Palm Harbor Flex Connector was established in 2012 and has seen modest ridership. The route currently operates Monday through Saturday between Westfield Countryside and the Palm Harbor WalMart (on Alderman Rd).
What does PSTA want to do?: PSTA wants to expand coverage of the Connector to cover areas in Dunedin and Safety Harbor that would be lost by the re-alignment of Routes 61 and 62.
My opinion: I support this change because it would allow basic bus service to be maintained in the affected areas.
Jolley Trolley Coastal Route
Overview: The Jolley Trolley is a PSTA-supported trolley system in Northern Pinellas that is operated by a non-profit company. The Coastal Route provides service between Downtown Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.
What does PSTA want to do?: PSTA wants to combine this route with the northern section of Route 66 to reduce duplication and optimize/expand service along the Clearwater/Tarpon Springs gulf coast. Highlights include the following (from the PSTA service change descriptions page).
1) 7 day service between Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and Clearwater Beach (the southwest terminus will be moved from Island Estates to Clearwater Beach)
2) Sunday thru Thursday service operating 10:00a.m. to 10:00p.m.
3) Friday and Saturday service operating 10:00a.m. to midnight
4) Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday service to Ozona
Any Questions? Concerns?
Please refer to PSTA’s documents provided in this post for a full overview of the proposals. The proposals will be voted on this upcoming Wednesday, June 22, 2016 during the 9:00AM June Board Meeting. The meeting will be held at the PSTA Facility Boardroom – 3201 Scherer Dr, St. Petersburg, FL 33716. If you are unable to attend, you can send an email with your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, you can call PSTA at (727) 540-1900.