Despite lots of free rides, Pinellas transit ridership plunge continues – down 7% year over year

Multiple and extensive free ridership programs across PSTA’s network in April failed to stem the the ridership plunge at this beleaguered Pinellas transit agency. As the Guardian reported last month, PSTA ridership for its fiscal year is at a 10-year low.

PSTA offered “free rides to the beach” from downtown Clearwater during all of April, free rides on PSTA’s entire network on Earth Day (April 22nd), and also free rides from the ferry to Ray’s games. But PSTA’s free routes didn’t make up for their bad stuff (to coin a phrase), and there is no indication that PSTA’s feckless board would ever find any reason to cut any non-performing routes.

PSTA CEO Brad Miller in a Rays Craze (picture from his Twitter feed)

PSTA’s April ridership report shows that a 22,448 passenger rise in “other passenger trips” (which includes the free rides) was dwarfed by the 75,736 passenger decline in PSTA’s “revenue passenger trips” compared to the same month last year. The net effect was a 5% drop in fixed route passenger trips for April, year over year.

Other numbers may also be set to plunge at PSTA, namely the number of website visitors. PSTA launched a new website in April that failed to insure that people seeking information on the old site were properly redirected to the new pages. This caused clicks on many links from PSTA’s Facebook page to be met with the message “Ooops! Something went wrong…”

As an example, a PSTA Facebook post on May 2nd advertised a survey that they said ran through “mid-May”. The survey link given was “”. That link ceased to work when the new website launched on May 10th. A search for the word “survey” on the new website doesn’t pull up the survey.

Below is an image of the now most frequently displayed page on PSTA new website, as seen on a mobile phone. Yes, most assuredly “something went wrong” with the politicians on the PSTA board ever since they corruptly went “rail crazy” a few years ago.

As always, the Guardian reports and the readers decide. Please like our Facebook page to find out when we publish new stories.

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