St. Petersburg, Fla. – A first look at the FY 2016 draft budget shows financial stability for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) over the next six years.
“It’s really important that we have a solid multi-year sustainable plan,” said PSTA Board Chair Bill Jonson. “It’s the first step of many on our Path Forward.”
A decision was made last month by the PSTA board to approve a five-year budget for a capital improvement plan that included using local revenue rather than federal funds for the first time ever to shore up needed bus replacement plans. Now, the FY 2016 draft operating budget the Board discussed Thursday outlines several cost cuts and strategic plans that will set PSTA on solid financial ground.
“It shows strong financial management and the health of PSTA to go from the adopted current budget’s plan relying on more than $2 million in reserves to now predicting a surplus of nearly half a million dollars,” said PSTA Executive Committee member Darden Rice.
The Path Forward plan, the strategic direction adopted by PSTA last month, remains the guiding principle for the FY 2016 draft budget. A customer-oriented approach remains the base of the hierarchy, and has been implemented through the budget.
“In remaining committed to exploring all options, we have come up with five target areas that we feel will both lower our expenses and increase revenues,” said PSTA Chief Executive Officer Brad Miller. “Above all we want to provide good service to our customers, and that will not be compromised.”
The PSTA Board will now focus on proposed route changes in East Lake, Pinellas Park, Seminole and St. Petersburg that will reduce costs and transfer resources to more productive services. These plans will be presented in July followed by adjustments in PSTA’s Fare Structure on the August Board agenda.
About PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 14.5 million rides per year. PSTA operates nearly 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 203 vehicles. To learn more about the services offered by PSTA, or for schedule and fare information, passengers are invited to call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900, or visit . PSTA is an equal opportunity employer.