Pinellas County’s PSTA buses are free to ride during the coronavirus pandemic

It hopes to limit driver-rider interaction on its busiest routes.

click to enlarge Pinellas County’s PSTA buses are free to ride during the coronavirus pandemic

In an effort to keep its drivers and riders safe during the global coronavirus pandemic, the The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is going fare-free until further notice starting today.

PSTA hopes that the move will reduce congestion at the fare box where passengers and drivers are in close proximity to each other—especially on the service’s busiest routes. Riders with mobility devices should still use the bus’ front doors, but all other riders are being asked to enter and exit buses through the back door.

PSTA Public Relations Coordinator Stephanie Rank told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that PSTA saw an increase in rider numbers last week when compared to 2019. That’s despite concerns over the coronavirus leading to less travel in general elsewhere. She thinks the ridership could be lower this week.

“We are asking our riders to once on board to distance themselves appropriately,” Rank told CL, adding that PSTA is looking into what it can do to limit riders on an individual bus to 10 or fewer to comply with suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control.

“We are doing whatever we can to clean and sanitize the buses 3X more than previously so we can get people to medical appointments, nurses to the hospital to work.”

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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