PSTA falsely reports bus ridership for year 15% higher than actual

PSTA staff have provided its board with inflated year to date bus ridership data two months in a row. Seven months in to its current fiscal year, PSTA’s official report for April shows a 52% decline in ridership on PSTA’s network of routes compared to last year, yet the same document reports ridership increased 2.3%…

All other employees had to submit job applications, but not HART & PSTA chiefs

Neither recently fired HART CEO Ben Limmer or current PSTA CEO Brad Miller ever submitted employment applications for their jobs, public records obtained by The Guardian show. All other employees, including the lowest paid ones, are required to submit signed employment applications in which they must certify that the information they provide about themselves is…

PSTA didn’t tell its board BRT project not in next federal budget

PSTA’s Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (CABRT) project has received another setback. The project will not be funded in the federal FY2020 budget. That information reached PSTA in March, yet no mention of it was made in a “Central Ave BRT Funding Plan” presentation given by PSTA’s Chief Development Officer Cassandra Borchers at last month’s…

PSTA misleads the Feds, misleads the Tampa Bay Times, annoys beach city

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is once again attracting negative press. The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that PSTA misled the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) about local financial support for the so-called Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (CABRT) project. Specifically, PSTA put forth a financial plan to the FTA which included the City…

PSTA ridership now 13% lower than a decade ago

In its fiscal year which ended September 30th, so-called revenue passenger trips on PSTA’s network of buses dropped 4.5% compared to the previous year. PSTA’s ridership is thus now 13% lower than it was 10 years ago. Despite a $100 million per year budget, a 34% increase in the tax rate levied on real property,…

Depression! Politicians ponder PSTA passenger plunge, then laugh it off

The mood was somber at the  Finance Committee meeting at PSTA headquarters on January 18th. As the Guardian previously reported, ridership in the just completed fiscal year is down 15% in two years. The plunge continues in the new fiscal year, and is headed for a 22% ridership decline over three years. Passenger revenue is also…

Despite 50%+ discounts, PSTA’s core paying ridership plunges 40%

PSTA’s 2017 fiscal year (FY17) ended with a whimper on September 30th. In one year, ridership declined 7%, passenger revenue declined 10%, and the number of so-called “Transportation Disadvantaged” (TD) riders rose 26%. To call TD riders “paying customers” is questionable since they pay only $11 for a monthly pass. That’s an 85% discount off the full…

PSTA top attorney & staff embarrass themselves, board willfully asleep

At today’s monthly PSTA board meeting, a flawed resolution that was “approved in form” by its top attorney was before the board for approval. The flawed resolution passed unanimously, as written. As explained below, there are also signs that efforts are underway to inpose light rail against the clearly and repeatedly stated will of the…