Getting to and from the bus stop can be a challenge – especially if the stop is quite a distance away from your home, school, or place of employment. While many don’t mind walking or biking to and from the stop, there are circumstances (such as weather) where you probably won’t want to do that. And what about those who aren’t physically able to get to the bus stop? Those individuals are among many who decide that transit isn’t the way to go because they can’t find ways to get from their originating point to the bus stop and/or from the bus stop to their final destination. This is often times known as the “First-Mile, Last-Mile” gap, and it has long been a problem with many transit agencies.
In 2015, PSTA came up with an innovative solution to this problem called Direct Connect. Direct Connect allows riders to summon a taxi or rideshare vehicle for as low as $1.00 (regular bus fare is NOT INCLUDED). Participating partners include Uber, United Taxi, and Wheelchair Transport. Plans are also in the works for Lyft to join at a later date. To use the Direct Connect service, simply select the service partner you wish to use, then call or visit the partner’s website or app to make your reservation. You will need to make sure that you mention or enter the PSTA promotion code to receive the Direct Connect discount on your trip. Also, your origin or destination must be a designated PSTA stop within one of eight zones within Pinellas County. For complete instructions on how to summon your Direct Connect ride, zones/stops, and current incentives for using the service (yes, you may be able to get a FREE one-day bus pass for using Direct Connect), please visit PSTA’s website or call (727)-540-1900.