Happy new year transit fans!
Let's take a quick look back at 12 great things that happened in 2012 at PSTA:
1. Record Annual Ridership - Annual ridership passed 14 million for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30.
2. TSA Gold Standard Security Award - The Transportation Security Administration chose PSTA as one of only 17 transit agencies in the U.S. to earn this coveted security award.
3. Record Monthly Ridership - A whole year full of monthly ridership records means that PSTA buses are hopping. Each month we're carrying more riders than the same month in the year before.
4. Real Time Bus Information - Now passengers can use state-of-the-art technology to find out exactly when the bus is serving their stop. Text, web, and phone, we’ve got them all covered.
5. Dolphin Shuttle - PSTA and the Clearwater Jolley Trolley partner to provide shuttle service between the Clearwater Marine Aquarium - home to movie star Winter the Dolphin - and the Dolphin Tale exhibit in downtown Clearwater.
6. North County Connectors - PSTA launched new specialized service in northern Pinellas County. The three Connector routes, with their ability to travel off the preset route to serve custom stops, is proving to be an extremely popular transportation option.
7. Community Transportation Manager - PSTA became county's Community Transportation Manager which brought the Transportation Disadvantaged Program administration in house allowing for a more thorough, streamlined process for passengers.
8. Pinellas Community Bus Plan - The Plan is an in-depth study of the PSTA bus system that will identify strengths, areas for improvement, and make suggestions to improve efficiency and increase ridership. It will look at the changing mobility needs of the county's residents, workers, and visitors. The result is not just a document but improved transit service on the street.
9. Pinellas County Alternatives Analysis - One of the components that will be part of the Pinellas Community Bus Plan, the Alternatives Analysis was an 18 month technical evaluation, agency coordination, and public participation effort that looked at the feasibility of light rail service in Pinellas.
10. New Buses - The Connector Service is using "mini" buses that are able to navigate through the narrow roads within neighborhood. And, we added more hybrid buses to the fleet thanks to a federal "State of Good Repair" grant (they're here, being outfitted with all the electronics and whatnot that they need prior to going into service).
11. Benchmarking Group - PSTA recently joined the American Bus Benchmarking Group. This group of 15 transit agencies across the U.S. share data in order to continuously measure, compare, and understand performance in key areas. The idea is to compare ourselves to other similar agencies with the goal of finding ways to improve our operations, and help others do the same.
12. Bus Buzz - PSTA introduced a new communication tool called Bus Buzz. These short video vignettes are a low-budget, contemporary means of communicating with riders and all residents about how PSTA is a community partner working to improve the quality of life in Pinellas County. There are now two episodes of Bus Buzz on our You Tube channel for your enjoyment.
2012 was a great year for PSTA... 2013 is going to be even better!