StarMetro

Introduction

StarMetro is the public transit district in Tallahassee, FL – operated and funded by the City of Tallahassee. The service originally began some time in the 1970s* as TalTran and was re-branded as StarMetro in 2005. The system currently comprises of roughly 21 fixed local, express, and trolley bus routes, 2 flex-route neighborhood connectors, and paratransit services (Dial-A-Ride).

* I’m not entirely sure when the bus system was established, as there is no mention on the StarMetro website, or really anywhere else online.


Current Ongoing and Long-Term Detours


System Overview

The remainder of this page will go through a general overview of the StarMetro bus system; including the structure by which StarMetro bus routes operate on, transit centers and other major bus transfer points, and practical information such as current fares.


Transit Network Structure and Transit Centers

Like many transit districts; StarMetro operates on a hub-spoke system by which routes travel out of a centralized transfer point – the C.K. Steele Plaza. The plaza is a full-service transit center that include a staffed customer service window, restrooms, sheltered bus loading bays, and vending machines.

The C.K. Steele Plaza in Downtown Tallahassee.

The plaza currently serves Routes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, K, M, P, S, T, and W (with the L and R being the only two routes that do not serve the plaza), as well as both the seasonal Lunch Trolley, the year-round Dinner Trolley, Night Routes 1, 2, 3, and 5, the Florida State University Seminole Express shuttle Heritage Route, and Megabus service. Although there was a previous effort (called Nova2010) that was aimed at decentralizing the network by eliminating unproductive routes and create a more gridded network that promotes street-side transfers, the long-term execution of the initiative was met with financial hurdles and some rider confusion (since the changes were implemented all at once, instead of in phases). This in-turn ultimately led StarMetro to re-institute a hub-spoke system, though many gridded transfers are still available throughout the network.

Span of operating service

All of the lettered routes (A, B, C, etc.) operate from 6:00am until about 7:30pm, Monday through Friday, with many routes operating every 30 to 60 minutes. The P only operates during the midday and afternoon and the W operates only during peak hours and has limited trips. On Saturdays, all lettered routes (except the C, P, and W) operate from about 7:30am until about 7:30pm, with routes operating every 40 to 60 minutes. To provide basic evening and Sunday services, four routes (numbered 1, 2, 3, and 5) operate from 7:00pm until 10:00pm Monday through Saturday evenings and from roughly 11:00am until roughly 7:00pm on Sundays.  Trolley routes have their own schedules.

Holiday Service Schedule

On the following major holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day; StarMetro operates on a Sunday-level schedule, with buses operating on a Saturday-level schedule for MLK Day and Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). No service is provided on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

I usually try to blog about upcoming holiday service schedules approximately 2 weeks prior to the upcoming holiday. Please keep in mind that routes that normally do not operate on Sundays will not operate on the selected holidays above either, regardless of the day of the week that the holiday falls upon.


Current Fares

Below is the current fare structure for the StarMetro system, as of 2/18/2018.

  • One-Way Cash Fare# (Exact change is required)
    • $1.25 (Discount is 60 cents^)
  • Transit Passes
    • One-Day Unlimited Pass: $3.00 (No discount category is available)
    • Seven-Day Unlimited Pass: $10.00
      • Discount: $7.50^
    • Monthly Pass: $38.00
      • Discount: $19.00^
  • Dial-A-Ride (Paratransit) Fare
    • $2.50

Children under 5 years of age, as well as Leon County K-12 students with a school ID, can ride the buses for free. Universal Pass Agreements (U-Pass) are in place for Florida State University (FSU) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where students can ride the buses for free with a valid student ID.

^ Reduced fares are issued to seniors (60 years of age or older), people with disabilities, and people with a Medicare card. Proper ID is required to have the reduced fare honored. Children under 48″ must be accompanied by an adult.

# StarMetro does issue a free transfer pass for those paying a one-way cash fare. Transfer passes are valid for up to 90 minutes and only on travels by which the bus is travelling to a customer’s point of origin. Up to two transfers can be made within the 90 minute period and may be used at any gridded (street-side) transfer point in the network.

Until recently, StarMetro issued a plastic reloadable 31-Day “StarCard” by which customers could purchase at either the C.K. Steele Plaza or the StarMetro Administrative/Operations Center and reload using any monetary amount desired. Since the agency is no longer issuing this card, customers who lose their previously purchased card would have to purchase a monthly mag-stripe card pass. Customers who still have their existing card may continue to use it. FAQs are located on the StarMetro website.

Like many transit agencies, StarMetro is exploring smartphone and smartcard payment.


Take your bike with you!

All StarMetro transit vehicles are equipped with bike racks. No permit is required, but if you’re a first-time user, you can contact StarMetro at (850)-891-5200 or by visiting the StarMetro website.


Disclaimer

Please keep in mind that information on this page is subject to change, especially things like schedules and fares. I do try my best to keep things as accurate as possible, but sometimes things change without notice. To obtain the latest information, please call (850)-891-5200 or visit the StarMetro website.

Please be patient as I continue to work on this portal. I will have much more to come soon!