St. Petersburg, Fla. - The conversation between Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) has been rekindled.
It is no coincidence that this comes at a time when PSTA is looking at new ways to maintain most of its public transit services through cutting overhead expenses, increasing advertising, fare and other revenues, and renewing partnerships locally, as well as with State and Federal Governments.
As part of PSTA’s Path Forward, a strategic direction approved in concept by the PSTA Board of Directors on Wednesday, the transit agency will be looking at ways to become more financially balanced, and one of those ways will be through an innovative, collaborative fare-collection project with HART.
This multi-agency project will allow riders to use a mobile-device app or reloadable card to pay fares when boarding any bus in the Tampa Bay region. Technology is just one of many ways where PSTA and HART will look for opportunities to work more closely together, as are procurements and joint grant applications.
“There’s certainly been coordination between our two transit systems in the past but it is important that we do all we can to grow an even stronger relationship that ensures we have a Tampa Bay-wide transit system our customers deserve,” said PSTA Chair Bill Jonson.
The Path Forward plan, to be finalized in a Board workshop scheduled for May 22 2015, calls for high-level policy direction to govern a customer-oriented focus while reducing costs, increasing fare revenue, and redesigning PSTA bus routes to be more productive. The deliberate process will examine all sources of revenue in an effort to avoid the projected 30% cut in services if no changes are made. These changes will include seeking external partnerships, cutting overhead costs, and maximizing current revenue streams.
Final decisions on fare and new service adjustments as well as joint HART-PSTA meetings are expected for this coming summer.
About PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 14.4 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 203 vehicles. More information is available at .