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Pinellas Bus-on-Shoulder to begin Sunday

June 4, 2021

Pinellas Bus-on-Shoulder to begin Sunday
The I-275 service will be Florida’s first Bus-on-Shoulder Interstate project


St. Petersburg, FL – Service for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)’s first Bus-on-Shoulder program will begin on Sunday, June 6th. The innovative transit project on Interstate 275, will also be the state’s first on an Interstate (click here for photos/video).

“This enhancement will help riders safely arrive at their destinations on time, even during heavy traffic,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “Bottom line, this will improve the reliability of travel times for PSTA riders on I-275, especially those on Route 100x and this will make transit more appealing.”

“This is the first interstate highway bus on shoulder project in Florida and an outstanding collaboration with PSTA to improve the travel time and reliability of taking transit from St. Pete to Tampa. This will enhance safety and mobility for our region,” said FDOT0 District Seven Secretary David Gwynn.

Already used in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Raleigh, Bus-on-Shoulder is a quick, cost-effective way to provide premium service. It also makes transit more attractive, especially during rush hours.

“PSTA continues to work in innovative ways to make sure our riders get to their destinations on time,” said Pat Gerard, Chair of PSTA Board of Directors. “No one likes to sit in traffic, especially on I-275, so this is a great way to entice new passengers to take the bus.”

As part of the FDOT/PSTA program, specially wrapped PSTA buses will be allowed to drive on the shoulders of I-275 between 5th Avenue North to Gandy Blvd in St. Petersburg when traffic speeds drop below 35 miles per hour. In order to accommodate the program, northbound and southbound shoulders along the I-275 route were widened and hardened.

Buses using the shoulder will travel at a maximum speed of 35mph and will never travel at a speed higher than 15mph over general traffic. Officials warn vehicles entering, I-275 via on-ramps will need to yield to the bus if it is riding on the shoulder.

To ensure safety and help alert drivers of oncoming buses on shoulder, Bus on Shoulder Signals (BOSS) have been installed at the 38th Avenue and 54th Avenue interchange on-ramps in the northbound and southbound directions. These are similar to traditional signals at an intersection; however, BOSS have a red light only. When a bus is approaching on the shoulder, the BOSS will turn red, stopping oncoming ramp traffic for a few seconds. Once the bus safely passes the on ramp, the BOSS will go dark (i.e., turn off), and traffic can proceed as normal.

Private vehicles, including privately owned over-the-road-coaches, and school buses will still not be permitted to drive on any shoulder. However, the shoulders remain available for emergency use during and outside of bus-on-shoulder operations.




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.