Page updated on 3/4/17
Information on SCAT transfer centers has been updated.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) is the primary public transit operator in Sarasota County, Florida. SCAT was established in 1979 and operates a fixed-route local bus system, as well as a door-to-door paratransit system (known as SCAT Plus). Because Sarasota is a much smaller municipality, the bus system is also smaller, but no less very important to the citizens of Sarasota County. SCAT currently operates over 20 bus routes throughout Sarasota County, including Venice. During the past decade, SCAT has gradually added in Sunday and Cross-County Express services to their lineup.
Information regarding ongoing detours can be found on the SCAT website.
The remainder of this page will go through a general overview of the SCAT bus system; including the structure by which SCAT 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
The SCAT system comprises of three main transfer centers, as well as several smaller transfer points. The network is somewhat of a hub-spoke system, but routes are more concentrated around the municipalities of Sarasota and Venice with several routes serving the beaches and outlying areas such as Lakewood Ranch and North Port.
Constructed in 2007, the Downtown Sarasota Transfer Center serves as the main bus hub for the SCAT system and is served by Routes 1, 1A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 18/LBK Trolley, 40, 99, and 100X. The center is equipped with seven bus bays, customer and operator restrooms, an operator lounge, and a customer service window.
Current Bus Boarding Locations (As of January, 2016)
Bay A: Routes 12 & 99, Bay B: Routes 2, 5, 12, 2/15 (Sunday), Bay C: Routes 1A, 5 (Selected Trips), 18/LBK Trolley, 40, Bay D: 17 & 17/13 (Sunday).
Bay E: Routes 7 & 8, Bay F: Routes 4 & 11, Bay G: Routes 1 (including Sunday service), 3, 6 (including Sunday service)
Please note that due to the station not being equipped to handle 40-foot transit buses, Route 100X buses must stage along Lemon Ave between 2nd St and Fruitville Rd.
Opening to customers in 2012, the Cattlemen Transfer Center serves as the eastern Sarasota County transfer hub and was built with express and intercity bus services in mind (yes, it can handle a 40-foot transit bus). Its innovative design earned it a finalist spot in the People’s Choice Award sponsored by the Florida Foundation for Architecture. The center is equipped with six bus bays, customer and operator restrooms, and an operator lounge, and serves routes 1, 1A, 10, 15. There is also a small building towards the center’s eastern end that serves as a check-in booth for Greyhound intercity bus services.
Current Bus Boarding Locations (As of November, 2016)
From West to East
Bay A: Route 15, Bay B: Route 10, Bay C: Route 1 Eastbound, Bay D: Route 1 Westbound & Route 1A, Bay E: Greyhound Intercity Bus Services, Bay F: Not in use.
Situated behind the Sarasota Pavilion Shopping Center, this station provides a convenient transfer point for those wishing to connect to Routes 5, 11, 15, and 17. On Sundays, Routes 11 and 15 serve the station, as well as the combined Route 17/13.
There are no assigned bus bays at this station.
Opening to customers in 2017, the Benderson Park/Mall at University Town Center Transfer Center serves as the transit focal point for the rapidly growing University Town Center area of Sarasota County, and allows for future expansion into Lakewood Ranch and other parts of eastern Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The facility is equipped with eight bus bays (though less than half are currently in use), customer and employee restrooms, and an employee lounge.
Current Bus Boarding Locations (As of January, 2017)
Bay A: Not in use, Bay B: Route 15 Northbound & Route 15 Sunday, Bay C: Not in use, Bay D: Route 30 & Combined Route 215 Sunday, Bay E: Not in use, Bay F: Route 15 Southbound, Bays G & H: Not in use
Opening to passengers in 1927, the Venice Train Depot was an integral part of the former Seaboard Air Line Railway, which carried passengers and freight throughout Florida and much of the southeastern United States. When Amtrak was formed in 1971, many passenger railway services were consolidated, resulting in many rail lines and their corresponding depots and stations to be closed and dismantled/demolished. The Venice Depot was among many train stations across the US that were able to be saved from the wrecking ball during this time, and the entire complex was acquired by Sarasota County in 1998. Since then, the building has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the depot serves as a multipurpose center that can be rented out for events, as well as the home of the Venice Area Historical Society Museum. The southern wing of the complex serves as a transfer hub for SCAT Routes 9, 13, 16, & 17.
There are no assigned bus bays at this transfer center. Buses will pull alongside the south wing of the depot as they arrive on site. Also, Route 17/13 does not pull into the depot on Sundays, buses instead remain on Venice Ave.
In addition to these transit centers, SCAT has several unified transfer points by which several routes will converge at to allow seamless transfers throughout Sarasota County.
Westfield Southgate Mall serves Routes 5, 10, 11, 14, 17, & 40. Route 17/13 also serves the mall on Sundays, along with Routes 10, 11, & 14. Route 100X DOES NOT stop here.
Westfield Sarasota Square Mall serves Routes 5, 6, & 17. Route 17/13 serves the mall on Sundays.
WalMart Supercenter on US 41 & Jacaranda Blvd serves Routes 9, 13, 16. Route 17/13 serves the center on Sundays.
Shoppes of North Port & Cocoplum Village Shoppes are both served by Routes 20, 28, & 29. Both centers are served by Route 17/13 on Sundays. Route 9 serves the Shoppes of North Port.
Routes 2, 15, 30, and 99 serve Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Monday through Saturday, with Route 100X serving the airport Monday through Saturday. Buses layover at the dedicated SCAT transfer point that is located on airport property. On Sundays, the airport is served by the combined Route 2/15.
Span of Operating Service
Most local bus routes operate on a Monday through Saturday basis from approximately 5:00am through 6:00/7:00/8:00pm, though some routes run as late as 9:00/10:00pm. Express routes run Monday through Friday during peak hours only. Sunday routes operate from approximately 6:00/7:00am through 9:00/10:00pm.
SCAT does NOT operate on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day
- One-Way Cash Fares
- Regular Fare: $1.25
- Discount: 60 cents*
- Unlimited Ride Passes
- 1-Day Pass: $4.00
- 7-Day Pass: $20.00
- Discount: $10.00*
- 30-Day Pass: $50.00
- Discount: $25.00*
- R-Card Passes for those who use both MCAT and SCAT.
- 30-Day R-Card: $60.00
- Discount: $30.00*
- 30-Day R-Card: $60.00
- Express Routes 80X, 90X, and 100X
(unlimited rides only on SCAT bus in Sarasota County)
- Express One-Way Cash Fare: $2.50
- Express Discounted One-Way Cash Fare: $1.25*
- 30-Day Express Pass: $85.00
- 30-Day Discounted Fare Express Pass: $42.50*
- Regional Fares
- 1-Way Cash Fare: $3.00, with a reduced fare of $1.50*.
- 1-Day Category: $6.00.
- 3-Day Category: $18.00.
- 7-Day Category: $30.00.
- 31-Day Category: $85.00.
* Proper ID is required to qualify for reduced fares.
Please note that the implementation of the Regional Fare System is dependent on participating agencies receiving required state funding. Participating agencies will announce when these new fares will be implemented.
Additional fare information can be found on the SCAT website.
Please be patient as I continue to work on this portal. I will have much more to come soon!