PSTA Fall, 2019 Service Changes

It’s that time again…


The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is enacting its fall, 2019 service changes on Sunday, October 20, 2019. While most of the changes comprise of minor scheduling adjustments, some big changes are coming to Routes 18, 73, the Central Ave Trolley, & the North County Connector network. In this post, I’ll first highlight these four significant changes & what they mean for riders, then briefly highlight which routes will see the minor changes. Such minor changes include running time &/or time point changes.


Route 18

# 2629 at the Park St Terminal in Clearwater.

For many years, Route 18 has made several trip deviations off Seminole Blvd in the northern Seminole/south Largo area to serve the Heritage Presbyterian Apartments complex – a low income senior living apartment complex on 122nd Ave. These trip deviations are currently made 6 times a day Monday through Saturday & 5 times a day on Sundays. While these trips allow apartment residents to catch the 18 during these selected trips, the deviations often cause buses to run well behind schedule – especially during weekday rush hours. On top of this, overall boardings/de-boardings along the deviation have been rather low. I’ve witnessed this for myself while riding the 18 through one of these deviated trips & noticed that no one had gotten on or off the bus at the Heritage stop. Because of the overall low usage of this deviation, along with the need to keep buses running on time, PSTA has proposed eliminating the deviation several times over the past decade, but ran into opposition from apartment residents.

A Direct Connect sign at the Pinellas Park Transit Center. A new Direct Connect stop will be added as part of the Route 18 changes.

Since the Direct Connect partnership between PSTA, Uber, United Taxi, & Wheelchair Transport went countywide a couple years ago, many customers like myself have been able to enjoy a seamless first-mile/last-mile link that we previously did not have. In order to compensate for the removal of the Route 18 deviation, PSTA has been working very closely with residents & staff at Heritage, as well as with United Taxi, to come up with a solution. That solution is a new Direct Connect stop located near the intersection of Seminole Blvd & Walsingham Rd, which would allow residents to summon a United Taxi cab & traverse to or from the stop at little to no out-of-pocket cost to them. To me, this is definitely a huge win-win for both PSTA & the residents at Heritage.

In addition to this major change, many bus stops along the Route 18 corridor will be balanced out as part of a systemwide effort to consolidate & balance out bus stops. As a result of this, some closely spaced stops may be combined & others with very low usage may be removed entirely. This will in-turn allow for faster travel along the already very long route. In conjunction with the overall bus stop balancing, the three stops currently in place at the Largo Mall complex will be consolidated. Stop #’s 3634 (Dollar Tree) & 3667 (Bealls/Rue 21) will be eliminated, while Stop # 3651 (Target) will remain active. Routing within the mall’s parking lot will also change as a result. Finally, as a result to both of these changes, scheduling changes will be enacted with more uniform frequencies throughout the day.


Route 73

# 2655 leaving the Park St Terminal.

While on the subject of bus stop balancing, Route 73 will be seeing faster travel times & a scheduling adjustment due to these changes.


Central Ave Trolley

# 922 approaching Grand Central Station.

The Central Ave Trolley (CAT) will also undergo some bus stop balancing, but the biggest change will take place in St. Pete Beach.

If you reside in Pinellas County, then chances are, you’re already aware of the discord between PSTA & the community of St. Pete Beach. I won’t go into details as to what it’s all about, but to give a brief synopsis for those who aren’t familiar with the situation; St. Pete Beach is NOT a member city of the PSTA network. They’ve simply paid PSTA an “a-la-carte” fee every year to have CAT service provided to Pass-A-Grille beach. This agreement remained intact with few (if any) changes for many years until the Central Ave Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project came to light.

With the BRT project, there have been some miscommunication between PSTA & St. Pete Beach leaders by which have resulted in not only these leaders not supporting the BRT project wholeheartedly, but also effectively ending the prospect of CAT service serving Pass-A-Grille for at least the foreseeable future. Instead, city leaders have signed an agreement with a microtransit provider that will be running electric golf cart-like vehicles (you may have seen these in Downtown Tampa & Downtown St. Pete previously) through the community.

With these changes come the loss of what was a very convenient one-seat ride for those who wanted to visit Pass-A-Grille, which is often times far less congested than Clearwater Beach. In my personal opinion however, if St. Pete Beach is unwilling to work with PSTA & would rather play blame games & spew misinformation about the BRT, then I’d say, let these leaders do what they wish & see who suffers later. Because it won’t be these elected leaders who feel negative repercussions later on, it’s the countless number of residents & workers who rely on the CAT each day to get to & from work, school, & other necessary places.

Commentary aside, here’s what to expect over the next couple of months.

  • Sunday, October 20, 2019:
    • CAT service will begin to be phased out of the Pass-A-Grille area of St. Pete Beach. New schedules & maps reflect this change.
    • An 8-week transition period will take place between CAT service ending & the start of the new St. Pete Beach microtransit service.
  • Sometime in December, 2019:
    • The St. Pete Beach microtransit service, provided by BeeFree, will begin. An exact date is yet to be determined.
  • Sometime in February, 2020:
    • Very likely during the February, 2020 service change cycle – depending on when modifications to the Pinellas County beach access at 4600 Gulf Blvd can be completed, CAT service will begin truncating here & will no longer proceed south of 46th Ave on Gulf Blvd.
    • Changes to Route 90 may also be enacted during this time. Right now, it’s business as usual for the 90 (no changes will be enacted on 10/20/19).
  • View my Google Map showing these changes.

North County Connector

You may still see these vans around the Countryside & Dunedin areas, but for how much longer remains a question. # 1805 is pictured here.

Due to current ridership patterns, PSTA has decided to convert all three North County Connector flex routes into standard fixed routes. Few people were making flex reservations & when such reservations were made, vans were often thrown behind schedule – despite several efforts to try & build such time into account. The new routes will go by the current internal numbering for the flex routes – which are 812 (Tampa/Oldsmar), 813 (Dunedin/Palm Harbor), & 814 (Safety Harbor). Additionally, the 812 & 813 will see a shift back to their pre-2018 routings in the Countryside & Dunedin areas respectively. During the past year, the 812 was removed from Countryside Blvd in favor of Belcher Rd & the 813 was shifted off Alderman Rd in favor of Nebraska Ave.

A lot of questions have been raised as far as how much longer these routes would remain in operation due to the overall low usage. In my opinion, I can see the 813 & 814 being combined into one fixed route in the next couple of years that would run limited Monday through Saturday trips. For the 812, once the All For Transportation money in Hillsborough is available & transit system improvements are able to kick into high gear, that route will be eventually replaced by a HART-operated limited express service. Both changes would allow for the current line of vans to be used elsewhere in the PSTA network – for maybe circulator shuttles or special events.


Other Changes

# 17101 on the 100X. The 100X will not change this time around, but the 300X will see some minor scheduling adjustments.

Minor scheduling changes will be made to Routes 9, 14, 20, 52, 52LX, 59 (Largo Mall routing/stop consolidation), 62, & 300X.


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2020 Art on HART

Art is Important

Within many transit agencies, you’re often times going to find some sort of artistic display catching your eye – whether it be a mural at a transit station, a neatly decorated bus stop, or a special vehicle wrap. In the case at Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, it’s the vehicle wrap that catches the eye.

“Soundwaves” by Michael O’Connell. Credit: HART.

Thanks to a partnership between HART & the Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture & Design (TBFAD), the Art on HART program was launched, allowing one of the transit agency’s buses to be transformed into a moving artistic canvas for a year. For the inaugural 2019 selection, bus #1018 featured a wrapping called Soundwaves, which depicted a variety of individuals playing various musical instruments in front of a festive background that included the downtown Tampa skyline. It was truly a beautiful wrap & I had hoped to be able to catch the bus myself – & almost did too.

# 1018 was selected as the first bus to don the artistic wrapping.

As of Tuesday, September 17, 2019, HART & TBFAD officially opened up the process to allow interested artists to convey their desire to participate in the 2020 selection. HART’s In Transit blog has more information on how to do just that. Entries will be accepted up until Friday, November 15, 2019 @ 5:00pm ET.


Quick Note (Off-Route)

Some of my readers may have heard of the horrific events that unfolded on May 18, 2019 & understand that seeing the various photography of bus # 1018 may revive unpleasant memories of what happened that day. I was actually en-route to Hillsborough from Pinellas when the incident that claimed the life of HART bus operator Thomas Dunn occurred. As I rode HART Route 35 from the Northwest Transfer Center to the Tampa International Airport bus hub, I noticed that the two 2012-series buses that HART acquired from Sarasota County Area Transit (#’s 1217 & 1218 – both operating on Route 275LX) were swapped out for 2013-series buses.

My original plan was to take either 1217 or 1218 to Marion Transit Center & catch 1018 on the MetroRapid route from there. When the bus swap out occurred, something told me to abandon my plans to hop on MetroRapid & instead head to Britton Plaza. Thus, I did just that, catching a Route 30 bus to the intersection of Dale Mabry Hwy & Kennedy Blvd, where I then caught a Route 36 bus to Britton, then a Route 17 bus to my final destination. It was not until that evening that I had heard about the incident on the MetroRapid route.

Mr. Dunn was assigned # 1018 for his final run down the MetroRapid route on Nebraska Ave when the incident happened. Based on what I’ve understood from several HART staff members, # 1018 was not put out to service anymore following the incident. The bus was completely stripped of its electronics (radio, surveillance cameras, farebox, etc.) & the Soundwaves wrapping. The bus was then repainted & eventually put up for auction.

In reading HART’s blog post about the 2020 Art on HART selection process, I noticed that they laid out a specific theme.

This year’s theme touches on how music influences the world around us while encouraging respect for others. Artists are encouraged to incorporate Tampa Bay’s wide diversity of design, architecture, and musical culture into their submission.

HART In Transit blog.

Seeing this theme noted in the post really stuck out because it conveys to everyone that the horrible incident has not been forgotten & that we all need to continue what we can do to be respectful to others while using public transportation. At the same time, the theme allows for the continuation to express the utmost artistic & musical talent, as well as the wide variety of architecture & design elements that exists in our region. In my eyes, this theme is bound to produce something visually stunning while bringing the main messages home.


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HART July 4th Holiday Service & July Service Changes

Plus holiday schedules for other selected transit agencies

This combined post will cover special holiday service that Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) will be launching for the July 4th holiday, holiday schedules for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) & a few others, plus go over approved service changes for HART that will take place on Sunday, July 14, 2019.


So what exactly is HART doing for July 4?

Generally, HART has provided some form of extra transit service for the July 4th evening festivities – including extended streetcar service. However this year, they will be running two special complimentary shuttles in the downtown Tampa area to help shuttle people between points in downtown & the Marion Transit Center. This will make it convenient for those who don’t want to hassle with parking in downtown.

A map of the complimentary HART services during July 4th holiday festivities. Click on the image to view the full PDF file.

In addition to the above services, HART will operate its entire system FARE FREE that day. Just keep in mind that all routes will operate on a Sunday schedule & not all routes operate through 12-midnight. Below is a quick rundown of what times the last buses depart the Marion Transit Center.

  • Route 1 – Florida Ave Corridor: 10:05pm
  • Route 5 – 40th St Corridor: 10:00pm
  • Route 6 – 56th St Corridor: 11:00pm
  • Route 7 – West Tampa: 10:00pm
  • Route 9 – 15th/30th Streets: 10:00pm
  • Route 12 – 22nd St Corridor: 10:00pm
  • Route 19 – South Tampa: 10:00pm
  • Route 30 – Kennedy Blvd Corridor/TPA Airport: 12:05am
  • Route 60LX – TPA Airport: 10:00pm
  • MetroRapid Nebraska: 12:00am
  • Routes 8 & 275LX end prior to 9:30pm & thus aren’t listed here.

For schedule information, visit the HART website.
For information on the July 4th festivities – Boom by the Bay, visit the City of Tampa website.


July 4th holiday transit schedules elsewhere

Many transit agencies across the nation will operate limited to no service due to the holiday. Please be sure to plan accordingly if using transit.

  • Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), StarMetro, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), & Miami-Dade Transit will also operate a Sunday schedule.
  • Votran will operate on a special holiday schedule. Please view the website for details.
  • Many other agencies – such as Pasco County Public Transportation & Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) will not operate. SunRail in Orlando will also not operate.

HART July Service Changes

Finally, I’d like to quickly highlight some of the system changes that HART will be rolling out on Sunday, July 14, 2019. These changes will mostly comprise of minor scheduling/time point changes, but three routes will be changed to help restore service lost during the Mission MAX system restructuring in 2017.

Schedules can be viewed on the HART website by selecting the menu button on the upper-right-hand corner, then selecting “Maps & Schedules”, then selecting “System Map & Schedules”, then selecting the routes drop-down box, & then scrolling down to the bottom listing within the drop-down that reads “HART Service Changes, Effective 7/14/19 – Coming Soon”.

  • Route 16 – Waters Ave: Will continue to serve the Rowlett Park loop on eastbound trips. However, buses will travel to the Yukon Transfer Center via Florida Ave after completing the loop & layover at the transfer facility. Buses will then travel straight to Northwest Transfer Center going westbound.
  • Route 30 – Kennedy Blvd/TPA Airport: Service in the WestShore Business District will be altered to restore fixed transit service to Cypress Point Park & the Social Security Administration offices off Cypress St. This area used to be served by Route 10 prior to its elimination during Mission MAX.
  • Route 39 – Busch Blvd: After completing the southbound/eastbound jog on Puritan Rd, 50th St, & Sligh Ave, buses will terminate at the NetPark Transfer Center. Westbound buses will not service 50th St & will continue directly to Northwest Transfer Center. Service to Yukon Transfer Center will NOT be restored at this time. It is unclear what HART may do in the future.
  • Routes 7, 8, 35, 37, and 38 will see minor scheduling changes during the weekdays, with Routes 14, 16, 30, 39, 45, and 46 seeing minor scheduling changes during the entire week.

I will begin updating my HART section here on the Global Transit Guidebook website soon. This will include a brand new route listing, an expanded transit vehicle photo gallery, & updated customer information.


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Friday Rewind – 2008 HART Fleet Repainting

Out with the old & in with the new.



In this month’s Friday Rewind, I take a look back at when Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) began repainting their bus fleet. When I began riding HART in 2006, most of their buses still donned the late 90’s era “HARTline” white with red/blue/green ribbons scheme. The only exception was the 2005 & 2006-series buses which had the same scheme that is used today, but in a purple/gray tone. The latter buses signified the overall transition from the “HARTline” days to the modern era, but that transition – little known to me at the time – was not yet complete.

Now retired bus # 2015 at Britton Plaza. This was a 2000-series bus that had been involved in an accident a few months prior to this sighting & was repainted as part of work done to repair the damage from the accident.

Here’s what I wrote in my original post back on August 13, 2008.

Some of you may have noticed in recent weeks that many of HART’s buses look like they’re literally going to the dogs. Especially in respects to the exterior paint being scratched away in some areas.

Rest assured; the entire fleet is in good hands. In fact, a couple buses rolled out this week with a fresh coat of paint. The blue, navy, and white livery matches the style of the purple, violet, and white livery that is already seen on Commuter Express buses. However, I assume that HART chose the color scheme to better match the buses to the agency’s logo, which is also navy and blue.

The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012 –
https://globaltransitguidebook.com/2008/08/13/hart-rolls-out-repainted-buses-for-local-routes-amid-reporting-record-ridership-levels/

The new livery is only a part of the many changes that HART’s fleet of buses are going through at the present time. You may have read the post regarding the installation of GPS and automated annunciation systems, as well as security cameras, on all buses. Well those systems seem to be fully functional since my last ride on the Route 19 in late July. I don’t know how extensive the GPS system operates, but I’m sure we will be seeing real-time message boards at some transfer centers in the not too distant future, so that patrons will be able to know exactly when the next bus departs.

The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012 –
https://globaltransitguidebook.com/2008/08/13/hart-rolls-out-repainted-buses-for-local-routes-amid-reporting-record-ridership-levels/

As mentioned above, other changes were occurring with HART’s fleet at the time, including installation of GPS, surveillance, and automated announcement systems – all of which are still in use but are slated for upgrades in the coming months. There was also a short-lived trial of having LCD screens at the Marion Transit Center that displayed real-time departure information. This project eventually went to the wayside in favor of the OneBusAway app.


Wondering how HART’s livery has evolved over the years? Simply view the gallery below:


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HART, JTA, & LYNX Spring Service Changes

It’s that time again…


…time for several transit agencies to enact service changes.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit will be enacting several routing &/or scheduling changes to improve efficiency. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will do the same on Monday, April 1, 2019, followed by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (d.b.a. LYNX) on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Service changes are summarized below by transit agency:


Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
Tampa, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 7: Running time changes on weekdays to reflect travel patterns.
  • Route 14: One-way looping at the northern end of the line will cease. Buses will travel bi-directionally from the Yukon Transfer Center to Florida Ave, Linebaugh Ave, and then down Armenia Ave.
  • Route 31: Service along Duncan Rd will cease. Buses will travel along US 301 between Duncan and Bloomingdale Ave, then use Bloomingdale between US 301 & Providence Rd. Southbound running times in SouthShore will also be adjusted.
  • Routes 37 & 38: Running time changes during weekday PM rush to reflect travel patterns.
  • Route 400 – MetroRapid North-South: Minor routing change in Downtown Tampa. Northbound buses will use Florida Ave instead of Morgan St to approach the Marion Transit Center. There will be no stops added. Customers can use Routes 1 or 19 along Florida Ave to get to the MTC.

Where can I get more information?

On the HART website, or by calling (813)-254-4278.


Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Jacksonville, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 13: Running time changes.
  • Route 15: Running time changes.
  • Route 21: Running time changes.
  • Route 25: Running time changes.
  • Route 32: Southern terminus will shift to Rosa Parks Transit Station in Downtown Jacksonville. Direct service to St. Vincent’s Memorial Hospital in Riverside will cease.
  • Route 33: Running time changes. Saturday frequency will change from 1 hour/20 minutes to 1 hour/30 minutes. Routes 32 & 33 will become interlined.
  • Route 53: Running time changes.
  • Route 84: Running time changes.
  • First Coast Flyer Lines (102/Green, 107/Blue, 109/Red): Running time changes.

Where can I get more information?

On the JTA website, or by calling (904) 630-3100.


Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
Orlando, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 15: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • LYMMO Services (Routes 60, 61, 62, & 63): Route 61 will have a new stop at Amelia St @ Terry Ave. All four LYMMO routes will see frequency & service span changes.
  • Route 155: Buses will travel between Greenwald Way & Centerview Blvd via Osceola Pkwy.
  • Routes 301 & 304: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 407 (FastLink): During the morning peak, trips to Lake Nona will first serve the VA Medical Center. Morning peak inbound trips to Kissimmee will serve Nemours Children’s Hospital and the USTA National Campus. Midday and afternoon peak service will remain unchanged, except for minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 441 (FastLink): Northbound & Southbound trips will begin serving the bus stop on S. Orange Blossom Trl & Centerview Blvd.
  • Flex (NeighborLink) Route 613: Zone will be extended northward to include the Park Promenade Plaza.

Where can I get more information?

On the LYNX website, or by calling (407)-841-5969.


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Sarasota County Area Transit Social Media Channel Notice

Change & Consolidation


At first glance, you’d think it was some sort of April Fool’s joke, but it’s not. Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) announced on March 18, 2019 that they are taking part in an effort by Sarasota County Government to consolidate social media channels into unified accounts. This means that each county department that currently has its own Facebook or Twitter account will discontinue their respective accounts & instead feed information into one of the county’s unified accounts. The aim appears to be to allow residents & tourists a single source to locate information on social media instead of having to jump from one place to another.

SCAT’s Facebook Post.

As the Facebook post implies, the stand-alone social channels will be rendered inactive on April 1, 2019. I’m guessing that the channels will still be visible for another few weeks thereafter before being taken down entirely. The same message was also posted to SCAT’s Twitter feed.

SCAT’s Twitter Post.

You may be able to view the above existing feeds for a short period of time after the transition, but expect them to be fully deactivated thereafter. In the event that the accounts become deactivated, please see the listing below for the consolidated channels.


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Getting Around Pinellas During Spring Break 2019

Avoid parking & traffic hassles, use transit this Spring Break!



It’s hard to believe that March is just around the corner, and with that comes the rush of college students and families from all across Pinellas County and beyond to enjoy the county’s award-winning beaches. Also along with that, comes a lot of traffic and parking headaches. In this post, I will break down some of the alternatives available to you should you join in on the Spring Break hustle and bustle.


Extra Transportation Options in Clearwater Beach

Looking towards Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach, a hotspot of tourist activity during Spring Break.

Let’s begin with the award-winning Clearwater Beach, which is a consistent hotspot for tourists & residents alike. Because of the immense amount of people who visit Clearwater throughout the year, peak tourist seasons always bring forth massive amounts of traffic across the Memorial Causeway bridge, & this year will certainly be no exception.

To help alleviate some of the congestion and to promote an alternative option to get to and from Clearwater Beach, the City of Clearwater and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) collaborated last year to provide additional bus trips between the beach and designated park-and-ride lots in downtown Clearwater. While the initiative was considered a success, it was met with many challenges – including where to let customers on and off at once at Clearwater Beach.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Clearwater Beach Transit Center – which was constructed last year – will once again become the focal point of beachside transit operations in Clearwater Beach. While this facility provides a safe avenue for tourists & residents to board or de-board a bus on the westbound side of the causeway, the eastbound side has remained a challenge. This year, the agency – with its partners at the City of Clearwater – has constructed a second transit platform by the Clearwater Beach Marina to allow those heading back to Downtown Clearwater a safe avenue to board without having to circle the roundabout.

Whether you’re driving into the Clearwater area, or using a PSTA bus route to connect to the trolleys, you can leave the driving to your bus operator and not have to worry about changing lanes or battling other visitors to find a parking space. I will tell you right now that finding parking in Clearwater Beach is extremely difficult during the peak tourist season, and you could be waiting over 15 minutes in some cases just to find a parking space.

For the Spring Break 2019 season, PSTA has created a page on its website where you can learn more about the expanded trolley service and park-and-ride lot locations. Buses will depart the park-and-ride lots every 15 minutes (with PSTA and Jolley Trolley vehicles alternating trips) and customers will be able to park at the lots for free. Once at Clearwater Beach, you will be able to exit at the Clearwater Beach Transit Center and will only need to walk a short distance to get to the powder white sand of the beach, or other nearby shopping and dining destinations.

Please keep peeled to the PSTA website for special Spring Break transit promotions!


The Clearwater Ferry

For those who enjoy being out on the water, the Clearwater Ferry is a fun & convenient alternative to crossing the Memorial Causeway. Ferry landings are located alongside Downtown Clearwater, the Clearwater Beach Marina, Island Estates, and the northern end of Clearwater. There’s also a separate route that serves Dunedin, so you can take advantage of that avenue as well! Further information regarding the ferry, including current fares, are available through their website.


Transportation Options to St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is another tourist hotspot during Spring Break, but isn’t as congested as Clearwater Beach. Nonetheless, roadways can get jammed at times and parking can be a hassle. Additionally, roadway construction around Pass-A-Grille is making getting around a headache of its own.

PSTA provides trolley service to St. Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grille via the Central Avenue Trolley. The trolley operates every 20 minutes during the day on weekdays and every 30 minutes during the evening and all day on weekends. Please note that some trips may be delayed or rerouted due to construction in Pass-A-Grille. PSTA is currently exploring the possibility of truncating Central Avenue Trolley service at the Don Cesar Beach Resort stop, and having customers transfer to a shuttle bus or van to complete their trip to Pass-A-Grille.

St. Pete Beach also serves as the southern terminus for the Suncoast Beach Trolley – which departs every 30 minutes. You can catch either trolley at the Gulf Blvd/75th Ave transfer point and quickly get to and from the beaches – whether you’re coming from St. Pete, Clearwater, or somewhere in between.


What if I’m going to another beach?

Most of Pinellas’ award-winning beaches are served by either a PSTA bus or trolley, or the Jolley Trolley lines. The only exceptions are Fort Desoto Park/Beach, Honeymoon Island, Sunset Beach, and Fred Howard Park, as there is no transit service to these destinations. However, bicyclists can ride to these areas without having to venture too far off from a bus route or The Pinellas Trail system.

The Central Avenue Trolley serves the following destinations:

  • Pass-A-Grille Beach
  • St. Pete Beach (transfer point to the Suncoast Beach Trolley is at 75th Ave @ Gulf Blvd)
  • South Pasadena
  • Central Avenue Corridor & the historic Grand Central District
  • PSTA Grand Central Station
  • The Edge (Arts & Entertainment) District
  • Downtown St. Petersburg (including Beach Dr, Sundial Shoppes, and The Pier District)

The Suncoast Beach Trolley serves the following destinations:

  • St. Pete Beach
  • Treasure Island
  • Madeira Beach (including the John’s Pass Shopping District & Boardwalk)
    • Connection to Route 68 is available at John’s Pass. Simply exit the trolley at the stops across from the shopping district and board Route 68 at the northbound-facing stop along Gulf Blvd. You may also transfer by exiting the trolley at any stop along Gulf Blvd between the shopping district & 150th Ave (Tom Stuart Causeway).
  • Reddington Beaches (including Reddington Shores)
    Indian Shores
  • Indian Rocks Beach
    • Connection to Route 59 is available at 4th Ave. Simply exit the trolley at the Gulf Blvd stop by the CVS Pharmacy at 4th Ave & walk one block east to the stop on 4th Ave @ 1st St.
  • There are no stops in the Belleair Beach or Belleair Shores areas.
    • Unfortunately, these communities are not very friendly to transit and do not wish to place any funding towards transit service, so thus there are no trolley stops in these communities.
  • Sand Key Beach
  • Clearwater Beach (including dining and entertainment)
  • PSTA Clearwater Beach Transit Center
  • Island Estates (early morning trips only)
  • PSTA Park St Terminal
  • Downtown Clearwater dining and entertainment
    • The Jolley Trolley Beach Route serves Island Estates after 10:00am. The route also serves many popular Clearwater Beach destinations throughout the day. Departure times are staggered so that you don’t have to wait too long for either a PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley or a Jolley Trolley vehicle to arrive if you’re traversing the island.

The Jolley Trolley Coastal Route serves the following destinations:

  • Sand Key Beach
  • Clearwater Beach (including dining and entertainment)
  • PSTA Clearwater Beach Transit Center
  • Island Estates
  • PSTA Park St Terminal
  • Downtown Clearwater dining and entertainment
  • Various coastal destinations throughout Dunedin, Ozona, and Tarpon Springs – including the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

Regardless of where you venture off to via PSTA, be sure to download the Transit App before you go!


What other transportation options are available?

For those who aren’t using transit to get around, but still don’t want to rent a vehicle, you can utilize Uber and Lyft. Just keep in mind that surge pricing may be in effect during periods of high demand. Taxicab companies will also be busy shutting people around the area.

If you’re visiting Downtown St. Petersburg, you can also take advantage of Coast Bike Share. Fees are affordable and there are numerous hubs located throughout the city.

Going into other counties?

If you plan to visit Hillsborough, Pasco, or Manatee County, please see the resources below for further information.


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Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Transportation

Park for free, Ride for free…


Baseball Spring Training is back, which means heading out to the stadium, fighting traffic, battling to find a good parking spot, & maybe having to pay to get into the lot in the process.

It doesn’t have to be that way if you’re heading to Dunedin Stadium to watch the Toronto Blue Jays though. The city of Dunedin, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), & the Clearwater Jolley Trolley, have teamed up to provide a free Park-N-Ride lot in downtown Dunedin, along with free Jolley Trolley service to and from the stadium. The promotion begins Saturday, February 23, 2019 & runs until Friday, March 22, 2019.

For further information, please select from one of the following links. Please be advised that game dates & times are subject to change.


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PSTA Express Routes Revisited

Moving Towards Better Express Bus Service In Tampa Bay



Post was updated on 03/03/2019.
Information has been added regarding the planned start of the PSTA/FDOT shoulder-running pilot project on I-275.


The last time I wrote a post on my experiences on Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Routes 100X & 300X was way back in 2012. Lots have changed since that time – including me moving over to Pinellas County & PSTA changing the routing and schedules for both routes. In this post, I will provide an update on where these routes are now and where we’re heading.


Route 100X

Ever since it was established, the 100X has always traveled between Downtown Tampa & Gateway Mall in St. Petersburg. Originally, the route was operated by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), but was handed over to PSTA in 1990. Frequency has greatly varied over the years, with departures ranging between 30 minute peak headways and 60 minute off-peak headways, with limited midday service. However, the biggest limitation of the 100X is that current funding levels do not allow it to run on weekends – creating a large void for those who want to cross into Hillsborough County and vice versa all week long.

PSTA Route 100X map. Select the image to view the current schedule.

While the map can look a bit intimidating, one thing to note is that only certain marked stops are served. In some areas, the bus will serve nearly all localized stops, while in other areas, buses will only serve selected intersections. It is important to know which stops serve the 100X so that you can properly catch the bus.

You’ll be able to spot a 100X stop by the two above indicators: GREEN – the 100X label on the standard PSTA bus stop & RED: a special designation sign indicating that the 100X bus stop here.
  • Downtown St. Petersburg
    • A vast majority of designated PSTA stops along portions of 1st Ave N & 1st Ave S are served, as well as selected stops along other downtown corridors. Buses use I-275 & I-375 to traverse between 54th Ave N & Downtown St. Pete. Please note that there are currently no stops along 54th Ave N.
  • Fossil Park
    • Buses travel northbound only on 4th St N between 54th Ave N & 77th Ave N & southbound only on MLK St N between 77th Ave N & 54th Ave N. Only selected stops at selected intersections are served.
  • Gateway Mall Transfer Center: Connections are available to Routes 4, 9, 16, 58, 74, & 75.
  • South Gateway
    • From the Gateway Mall Transfer Center stop to Gandy Blvd via MLK St N, 83rd Ave N, & 4th St N, almost all designated PSTA stops are served.
    • On Gandy Blvd, all designated PSTA stops are served, but stops are limited along the corridor approaching the Gandy Bridge.
  • South Tampa
    • Once in Hillsborough County, buses traverse Gandy Blvd from the bridge to Dale Mabry Hwy with localized stops available. Customers can connect with HART Route 17 at Manhattan Ave.
    • Buses then travel on Dale Mabry Hwy between Gandy and the Britton Plaza Transfer Center, with localized stops available. Customers can connect with HART Route 360LX anywhere along the corridor.
  • HART Britton Plaza Transfer Center: Connections are available to HART Routes 17, 19, 36, 360LX, & the South Tampa Flex route.
  • Downtown Tampa
    • After leaving Britton Plaza, buses go non-stop again, but via the Selmon Expressway, to travel to Downtown Tampa. Those wishing to access points along Dale Mabry Hwy between Britton Plaza & Bay to Bay Blvd, or Bay to Bay Blvd between Dale Mabry Hwy & MacDill Ave will need to use HART Route 360LX instead.
    • Once in Downtown Tampa, buses serve all stops along the Marion St Transitway & terminate at the HART Marion Transit Center North Platform. Customers can connect to either PSTA Route 300X, or a variety of HART services – including MetroRapid. Connections with MegaBus & RedCoach services are also available at the North Platform. Please visit www.gohart.org for a current listing of connections at the Marion Transit Center, as routes & boarding locations can change.

Route 300X

Route 300X was established in 2003 to allow customers in central Pinellas direct limited-stop access to Downtown Tampa. A Park-N-Ride lot (originally a KFC) is situated near the corner of Ulmerton Rd & Starkey Rd for customers who wish to leave their vehicles instead of crossing the Howard Frankland Bridge. Customers from Routes 59 & 73 are also able to easily access the facility. In 2016, the lot received a much-needed facelift that included lot resurfacing, bus lane redesign, a new green space, & shelters.

Like the 100X, overall frequency on the 300X has varied since its 2003 launch, with initial frequency being every 30 minutes during peak hours & limited midday service. Over time, peak frequency has been cut back to every hour due to ridership pattern changes & funding constraints. Also like the 100X, there is also no weekend service. However, unlike the 100X, the 300X has always had limited stops throughout its entire journey (see the route map below).

In 2018, PSTA restructured & re-branded the 300X to serve Tampa International Airport’s public bus hub, located adjacent to its rental car center. This allows customers to leave their vehicles at home or park conveniently at the Ulmerton Park-N-Ride lot & catch a bus to the airport. To address rider concerns about connecting between the lot & Downtown Tampa (including HART’s Marion Transit Center) directly, one AM trip & one PM trip skips the airport.

As a result of the restructuring, the 300X is now referred to as the “Airport Express” & buses # 16101, 16103, & 16106 (all 2016 40-foot Gillig Low Floor hybrids) have sported special wrapping for the service. Additionally, some seating on these buses have been removed to accommodate luggage racks.

PSTA Route 300X map. Notice the limited number of designated stops? Select the image to view the current schedule.

What does the future hold?

Unless PSTA is able to locate additional funding avenues, such as the passage of a county-wide sales tax referendum, don’t expect too much to change with either express route. However, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently working with PSTA on two projects that will affect the 100X.

The first is a shoulder-running pilot by which when congestion on I-275 becomes bad, buses will be allowed to run along a hardened outer shoulder to bypass traffic. The second is the redesign and usage of an FDOT-owned lot on 22nd Ave N by the interstate that is currently used for Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) sponsored carpools & vanpools. PSTA would be able to use the redesigned lot for Park-N-Ride operations for the 100X. Both projects are connected to the broader, yet controversial plan to bring variable toll lanes to I-275 and other thoroughfares throughout the region. FDOT also continues to provide funding support for both routes via its Urban Corridor Project.

On February 26, 2019, FDOT announced that construction of the revised shoulders on I-275 between Gandy Blvd & 5th Ave N will begin this fall, with scheduled completion & operation in early 2020. It is not clear when the Park-N-Ride project will commence.


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No New Funding Equals; Transit in Crisis Mode

Not having funds is not fun.

With the upcoming service changes, one would think that the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (which does business under the banner of LYNX) wouldn’t be under any sort of financial distress. However, it became clear this month that the situation is otherwise.

Note: I originally planned to only talk about LYNX’s situation in this post. However, because the ongoing federal government shutdown is affecting virtually every transit agency in the US, I decided to combine topics into one post. The first section will discuss LYNX’s situation in specific, but then broaden out to the government shutdown is affecting transit nationwide.

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