Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

Welcome aboard PSTA!


Page was last updated on 12/18/2018


Introduction

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is the public transit district in Pinellas County, Florida, covering the municipalities of St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater, and numerous smaller cities and towns within the county. PSTA was established by an act of the Florida Legislature in 1982 and simultaneously resulted from the merger of the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System and the Central Pinellas Transit Authority.

The PSTA system comprises of roughly 40 fixed route local, express, and trolley bus routes, and several flex-route neighborhood connectors (PSTA Connector). The agency also partners with the city of St. Petersburg and other mutual parties to support the St. Petersburg Downtown Looper Trolley, and has a similar partnership with the Clearwater Jolley Trolley. Paratransit services (also known as Demand Response Transportation, or simply DART) are contracted out to Care Ride.


Current Ongoing Detour Information (less than 2 weeks in duration) can be viewed at PSTA.net.


System Overview

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

New to the PSTA system? Please visit the “How To Ride” and FAQ pages on PSTA.net.


System Structure & Transit Centers

PSTA currently operates on a hybrid network; comprising of elements of a true grid – where transfers are done at key intersections, and traditional hub-spoke – where multiple routes converge on a single hub to allow for seamless transfer. Like many transit agencies across the US, PSTA is slowly evolving into a more grid-like system so some transfer hubs that were prominent back in the 1980s and 90s are slowly being phased out.

There are a total of 42 routes in the PSTA network – with 39 fixed routes & 3 flex van (Connector) routes. Out of the 39 fixed routes, there are two trolley services that are solely operated by PSTA, with a third that is jointly operated between PSTA and its partners (the Downtown St. Pete Looper), one limited-run weekday-only local route (the 66L), one limited express route (the 52LX), and two cross-bay regional express routes (the 100X & 300X).

Additionally, PSTA operates the East Lake Shuttle, provides support to the Clearwater Jolley Trolley, operates Direct Connect (First Mile-Last Mile Program) & TD Late Shift (Transportation Disadvantaged Late-Night/Overnight Transportation Program) with its partners, & even recently launched a pilot microtransit program with its partners in Tarpon Springs (Healthy HOP). Together, all of these services provide vital transportation to all residents and visitors of Pinellas.


On February 14, 2016, PSTA shifted all of its Downtown St. Petersburg originating bus routes from a transfer hub at Williams Park to a grid system where transfers are made street-side. This allows for better flowing of routes while maintaining close proximity to various downtown attractions.

The Customer Service Center on the northern end of Williams Park (on 2nd Ave N) will be maintained until further notice.

You can see above the differences between when bus routes hubbed out of Williams Park versus the network today. The use of Williams Park as a bus hub dates back to when SPMTS was still in existence.


Situated along Central Ave by US Highway 19 is the Grand Central Station (originally called the Central Plaza Terminal), serving the needs of the Grand Central District. This circular intermodal hub opened in 2002 and comprises of 12 bus loading bays, restrooms, real-time information displays, and a dual-window Customer Service Center. The hub currently serves Routes 5, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18, 34, 52, 52LX, 79, 90, & the Central Ave Trolley.

On April 1, 2016, Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) began its Skyway ConneXion express route into Pinellas. While buses traverse US 19 (34th St N) adjacent to Grand Central Station, MCAT buses do not enter the terminal. Below is a diagram of where PSTA customers can board the MCAT route.

Illustration showing where to catch MCAT Route 203.

Located in the heart of downtown Clearwater, the Park Street Terminal has been serving the needs of northwest Pinellas transit customers since 1983. The hub has seen several upgrades over the years, including the installation of real-time information displays, roofing and cement slab work, and the addition of a modernized Customer Service Center. The hub is currently home to Routes 18, 52, 52LX, 60, 61, 65, 66L, 67, 73, 76, 78, & the Suncoast Beach Trolley. The facility is also a pick-up/drop-off point for Direct Connect.

While the facility will be around for at least a couple more years, there are long-term plans to replace it with a larger and more modern facility that can better serve the transit needs of Clearwater going into 2025 and beyond. Additionally, PSTA’s newest buses cannot serve the existing facility due to its lower clearance.


Located behind the Shoppes at Park Place, the Pinellas Park Transfer Center serves Routes 11, 19, 52, 52LX, 74, & 75.
The facility is also a pick-up/drop-off point for Direct Connect. In January, 2015, a new Customer Service Center building opened, equipped with customer and operator restrooms. This center allows Central Pinellas transit customers to seek transit information more quickly and efficiently.


Located on the east side of the WalMart SuperCenter on US Hwy 19 and Roosevelt Blvd (where Roosevelt turns into East Bay Dr on the west side of 19), the Largo Transfer Center serves Routes 19, 34, 52, 52LX, & 79. The facility is equipped with a spacious boarding platform and four shelters, and replaces the transfer point at Tri-City Plaza, which is currently undergoing redevelopment. Stops by the plaza will continue to be served, but the routes have been re-aligned to service the new facility.


In addition to these transit centers, PSTA has several unified transfer points by which several routes will converge at to allow seamless transfers throughout Pinellas County.

All bus boarding location charts from PSTA.net are included in the list as applicable. Please note that smaller transfer points do not have bus bay or lineup assignments.

  • 34th St N (PSTA Facility) Transfer Center: Central platform located adjacent to the PSTA Facility. Serving Routes 4, 11, 52, 52LX, & 59.
  • Tyrone Square Mall: Two platforms are situated along the westbound lanes of 22nd Ave N, on the south side of Tyrone Square Mall. Shelters A and B are situated west of 68th St N, while Shelters C, D, and E are east of 68th St N. Serving Routes 5, 7, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 38, 62, 68, 73, 75, & 79.
  • Westfield Countryside: Singular sheltered street-side platform along SR 580, just east of Summerdale Dr. Serving Routes 19, 61, 62, 67, 76, 78, & the North County Connector services.
  • Tarpon Mall: Serving Routes 19, 66L, & the Jolley Trolley Coastal Route (as well as PCPT Route 19 on Mondays through Saturdays). The singular sheltered platform is located behind the mall at Tarpon Ave & Huey Ave.
  • The Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks: Serving Route 66L & the Jolley Trolley Coastal Route, (as well as PCPT Route 18 on Mondays through Saturdays).
  • The Shoppes at Boot Ranch: Serving Route 62, the Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector, & shuttle service to parts of East Lake.
  • Clearwater Mall: Singular sheltered platform on mall property ,near Target. Serving Routes 19 and 60.
  • Largo Mall: Three stops on mall property – next to Target, Dollar Tree, and Bealls respectively. Serving Route 18 and 59.
  • Indian Rocks Shopping Center: This singular sheltered platform used to serve up to five PSTA bus routes. However, due to reconstruction of Ulmerton Rd, and the overall shift of the PSTA network towards street-side transfers, the shelter only serves Route 61. Streetside stops available for Routes 59 (on Ulmerton Rd) & 65 (on Indian Rocks Rd).
  • Indian Rocks Beach: Singular sheltered platform at 1st St & 4th Ave for Route 59. This allows Route 59 customers to take a short walk to Gulf Blvd to connect to the Suncoast Beach Trolley.
  • Seminole City Center: Singular sheltered platform on Johnson Blvd, adjacent to the southeast corner of the shopping center. Serving Routes 18, 58, 65, & 74.
  • Gateway Shopping Center (still referred to as Gateway Mall): Quad sheltered platform along the westbound lanes of 77th Ave N continues to serve as vital transfer point to those in east-central Pinellas. Serving Routes 4, 9, 16, 58, 59, 74, 75, & 100X.
  • The John’s Pass Boardwalk and Shopping Plaza: A stop at the plaza serves Route 68, allowing customers to connect to the Suncoast Beach Trolley.
  • Gulf Blvd and 75th Ave in St. Pete Beach: Dual sheltered platform serves as a transfer point for the Suncoast Beach Trolley & the Central Ave Trolley.
  • Roy Hanna Dr and 25th Way S: Street-side stops along 25th Way S serve as a transfer point for Routes 4, 11, 20, & 90.

Span of Operating Service

Service schedules vary throughout the PSTA system. While most routes operate 7 days a week, some lesser-used suburban routes do not have Sunday service. Routes 52LX, 58, 66L, 100X, & 300X only operate on weekdays – primarily during peak hours. Please visit PSTA.net to see which days of the week your particular route operates and to see route frequency. I hope to have a route matrix posted here in the  distant future.

Holiday Schedule

On the following major holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, PSTA will operate a Sunday-level schedule. On all other holidays, as well as Black Friday and Christmas Eve, buses will operate a normal Weekday schedule – though exceptions may apply in the form that PSTA will dictate as far ahead as possible as to whether or not to operate Routes 100X and 300X.

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.


Fares

The basic one-way cash fare on board PSTA local, trolley, flex, and limited express routes is $2.25. This fare also applies to Route 90 service, the East Lake Shuttle, & the Jolley Trolley. The Central Ave Trolley follows a zone fare protocol – meaning that the $2.25 regular fare applies to the route west of Grand Central Station. For those traveling between the Pier District of Downtown St. Pete and Grand Central, the fare is 50 cents one-way. Those who board and de-board the trolley within the Pier District (from Beach Dr NE and eastward) are not charged a fare. The Downtown St. Petersburg Looper is entirely fare-free.

For those who qualify for discount fare, the discounted one-way fare is $1.10. Qualified parties must have their proper valid ID to be able to pay the discounted fares. Participating educational institutions & businesses within Pinellas county may partake in a Universal Pass Agreement (U-Pass) or Corporate Pass Program (C-Pass). Please visit PSTA.net for further information on these programs.

The one-way fare for the 100X & 300X is $3.00. Most 100X trips and some midday 300X trips will accept a discounted fare of $1.50 from qualified parties (see ID link above).

For a complete listing of current fares and applicable promotions, please visit PSTA.net.


Bikes on Transit

All PSTA-owned vehicles (including Connector vans) are equipped with bike racks (can accommodate a maximum of two bikes, Looper replica trolleys are currently not equipped with racks). Additionally, folding bikes are allowed on board, given that they are properly packed/folded and are not blocking aisles. Please see my Transit 101 blog post regarding Bikes on Transit to learn how to use the on-board bike rack. You can also contact PSTA at 727-540-1900 to set up a demonstration.


Transportation Alternatives

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (or TBARTA) provides alternative transportation solutions to help ease congestion along Bay Area roadways. These services include carpooling/vanpooling services, a bike buddy service, and the Emergency Ride Home program. Visit the TBARTA Commuter Services Website, or call 1-800-998-RIDE for further information. USF Tampa students can also take part in these wonderful services, including Emergency Ride Home!


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 visit PSTA.net, or call (727)-540-1900.

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

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