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PSTA Receives Grant from FTA to Integrate Direct Connect into Transit app

August 31, 2020

PSTA Receives Grant from FTA to Integrate Direct Connect into Transit app


St. Petersburg, Fla – The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) received a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) initiative to support mobility and innovation in the transit industry.

The funds will help integrate PSTA’s Direct Connect program, which connects riders in areas with low-frequency transit service to subsidized on-demand trips, into the Transit app. This project will offer riders a simple way to plan and book trips.

Since July 2019, Transit has displayed PSTA Direct Connect locations in the app and linked to more info about the program. With the AIM grant, PSTA will build on that work to make the innovative PSTA Direct Connect program fully accessible from within Transit, PSTA’s official app. PSTA Direct Connect multimodal trips will appear as an option in Transit’s trip planner alongside fixed route bus service and other shared mobility options, and riders will be able to hail their Direct Connect ride from within Transit and make a seamless connection to fixed-route service.

“Being the first transit agency to create the first mile - last mile program, we are excited to be able to further improve Direct Connect.” said Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of PSTA. “Like why my favorite Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich is better than a Turkey sandwich-this new initiative will completely integrate/“squish” your Uber ride together with your transit ride rather than the current, more complex layering of the bus ride on top but separately from your Uber Ride.”

“During the pandemic, if we can make it easier for our community to get to work, medical appointments or grocery stores, it creates less of a burden for them. With this new grant we are able to achieve a seamless way for our riders to get from point A to point B,” said Joe Barkley, Chairman of PSTA’s Board of Directors.
"We love making delicious concoctions with PSTA. Direct Connect is a delectable blend of sweet on-demand trips combined with savory fixed-route service," said David Block-Schachter, Transit's Chief Business Officer. "The key is having a trusty blender to bring it all together, and that's what Transit does, making getting around Pinellas County as refreshing as a perfectly blended multimodal smoothie."

PSTA was one of 25 other projects that received federal funding through this grant. To see the official press release from the FTA, click here.




Stephanie Weaver

PSTA Communications & Public Relations Manager

O: (727) 540-1853 | C: (727) 249-6542


PSTA: The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is the public transit provider for Pinellas County, providing more than 12.1 million rides per year. PSTA operates 40 bus and trolley routes with a fleet of 210 vehicles.