PSTA Trolleybus Services

Page Updated On 11/14/2018

PSTA operates two trolleybus services that are primarily aimed at tourists, though many residents use the routes each day as well. In addition, PSTA lends its support to two other trolleybus services; one in downtown St. Pete, and the other in northern Pinellas. This page will go through each of the services in detail; the PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley, the PSTA Central Ave Trolley, the St. Petersburg Downtown “Looper” Trolley, and the Clearwater Jolley Trolley.

The PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley

Launched in 2001, the Suncoast Beach Trolley (or SBT) travels almost the entire gulfside corridor from downtown Clearwater to St. Pete Beach. This route originally used replica trolleybuses that were manufactured by either Optima/Chance, Cable Car Concepts, Trolley Enterprises, or Supreme Corp, but today use Gillig Low Floor replica trolleys. The SBT provides easy, convenient, and reliable service to those wanting to explore the Gulf Beaches. The route’s internal number is 777.

#824 at the Park St Terminal. Taken 9/30/17.

Routing & Frequency

The SBT runs from Downtown Clearwater’s Park Street Terminal to St. Pete Beach (at 75th Ave and Gulf Blvd) via the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, Clearwater Beach (stopping at the Clearwater Beach Transit Center), and Gulf Blvd from Sand Key to Treasure Island. From Treasure Island, buses follow Blind Pass Rd to enter northern St. Pete Beach, where transfers to the Central Ave Trolley are available. The route also passes connection points to local routes 59 (at Indian Rocks Beach – 4th Ave) and 68 (at John’s Pass Village). Until the introduction of the Central Ave Trolley in 2011, buses traveled all the way to Pass-A-Grille, the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach.

Buses operate 7-days a week from 5:05am through 10:00pm, with departures roughly every 30 minutes. On Fridays & Saturdays, buses operate as late as 12-midnight. Please visit the PSTA website for updated schedule information.

Fares

Fares for the SBT are the same as the rest of the PSTA bus system. There are no special fare categories for the route.

The PSTA Central Ave Trolley

Originally beginning in the 1990s (possibly earlier) as a city-operated shuttle only going along portions of Central Ave in St. Petersburg, the service morphed into the current Central Ave Trolley (or CAT) in 2011 to serve all of the Central Ave corridor from downtown St. Pete (near the Pier) to St. Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grille (taking over the Pass-A-Grille segment of the Suncoast Beach Trolley). The original shuttle service utilized replica trolleybuses that were manufactured by either Optima/Chance, Cable Car Concepts, Trolley Enterprises, or Supreme Corp, while the current trolley route uses Gillig Low Floor Replica Trolleybuses. The creation of the Central Ave Trolley allows for a one-seat trip between downtown St. Pete and Pass-A-Grille, as opposed to the prior setup where customers would have to transfer between the original Central Ave shuttle and PSTA Routes 3 or 35 in the Grand Central District or Downtown St. Pete. While the Central Ave Trolley technically replaced Route 35 service after its creation, the route number is still used internally for the trolley.

A Central Ave Trolley vehicle at Pass-A-Grille. Taken 8/12/15.

Routing & Frequency

The CAT begins near the St. Pete Pier in downtown St. Pete. Trolleybuses will stage on Bayshore Dr NE just south of 2nd Ave NE, then travel through Downtown St. Pete, near the Sundial Shops, eventually merging onto Central Ave. A layover stop is made at the Grand Central Station near US Hwy 19 (34th St N), before continuing on Central Ave to Pasadena Ave S. Buses then proceed to the Corey Causeway into St. Pete Beach, and then meet with the Suncoast Beach Trolley at the 75th Ave/Gulf Blvd transfer point. After layover, the bus makes its journey to Pass-A-Grille, where it alternates with 8th Ave and 1st Ave, then terminates just outside of the Hurricane Restaurant on Gulf Way.

Buses operate 7-days a week, with weekday daytime service beginning at 6:05am and departing every 20 minutes until about 7:00pm. From there, frequency reduces to every 30 minutes until about 10:00pm. On Fridays, service runs until about 12-midnight. Saturday service operates from 6:10am until 12-midnight with 30 minute frequency. Sunday service operates from 6:10am until about 10:00pm. Please visit the PSTA website for updated schedule information.

Fares

Unlike the rest of the PSTA system, the CAT utilizes a zone fare system. Customers will pay as they board going eastbound and pay as they exit going westbound. A fare-free zone is in effect east of Beach Dr NE, while customers traveling between Beach Dr NE and Grand Central Station pay only 50 cents. Customers originating at or traveling to points west of Grand Central will pay the normal $2.25 base one-way fare. All other PSTA fare rules apply (including Go Cards and the Flamingo Fares program).

The Downtown St. Petersburg “Looper” Trolley

The “Looper” is a circulator bus route that traverses key points and corridors throughout downtown St. Petersburg. Service is administered by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, with operational aspects handled by The Looper Group Inc. (a private non-profit entity). Various downtown businesses, the City of St. Petersburg, PSTA, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) all lend support to the Looper. Additionally, PSTA assists with providing a revenue service vehicle to the route in the form of either a replica trolley or electric bus (the latter of which PSTA dubs as the “eLooper”). The internal route number for the “Looper” is 711.

A "Looper" trolleybus at 2nd Ave N and 2nd St N, across from the Sundial Shoppes at St. Pete.
One of the city-operated replica trolley vehicles on 2nd Ave N in Downtown St. Pete.
New 35′ BYD K9 battery electric bus #18110 at the PSTA Facility. These will also be assigned to the “Looper” beginning in December, 2018.

Routing & Frequency

The “Looper” begins at the Bayshore Dr/2nd Ave NE staging point, then circulates throughout the city, serving destinations such as the Sundial shops, The Pier District, the Dali Museum (during museum hours), the University of South Florida (USF) St. Pete campus, and The Mahaffey Theatre.

Service operates 7 days a week, with weekday service operating from 7:00am until 10:00pm (12-midnight on Fridays). Saturday service begins at 8:00am and runs through 12-midnight. Sunday service begins at 8:00am and runs through 10:00pm. Departures are roughly every 15 minutes. Please visit the PSTA website for updated schedule information.

Fares

Thanks to FDOT funding support, the “Looper” is able to currently operate fare-free!

The Clearwater Jolley Trolley

The Clearwater Jolley Trolley is a circulator trolley that travels through various points throughout Clearwater (both downtown and Clearwater Beach), Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, and Safety Harbor. The trolley service began in 1982 as a city-run service. Then, for several years, PSTA operated the service, before a non-profit company was formed to take over day-to-day operations. However, PSTA continues to support the trolley, and its Go Cards are interchangeable with Jolley Trolley passes. By mid 2019, the Jolley Trolley will be on board the Flamingo Fares program.

Jolley Trolley vehicle #18 passing the PSTA Park St Terminal in downtown Clearwater.

Routing & Frequency

The Jolley Trolley is split into two routes; the Clearwater Beach Route and the Clearwater Coastal Route (which includes Dunedin and Tarpon Springs). Operating times and frequencies between the two routes vary, so it is best to check the Jolley Trolley website for the latest information, as schedules can change. Maps of each of the routes, as well as additional trolley information can be found on the Jolley Trolley website as well.

Fares

The one-way cash fare is $2.25, with the reduced fare of $1.10 for Seniors and persons with disabilities. These cash fares, as well as the cost of the daily, weekly, and monthly passes are the same costs as their respective PSTA Go Cards. Additionally, passes on either system are interchangeable with one another, meaning that you can seamlessly connect from the Jolley Trolley to the PSTA system, and vice-versa. Childen under 5 years of age (with a parent) can ride the trolley for free.

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