In the past six months, the Guardian has reported on PSTA’s plummeting ridership and its declining farebox recovery, We’ve also reported on PSTA’s increased reliance on free parking shuttles and free special events shuttles to boost ridership. PSTA’s soluiton? Don’t provide the troublesome data to its politician-packed board anymore.
In the agenda and meeting packet for next Wednesday’s board meeting, PSTA for the first time does not include the so-called “Operating Statistics” report. That report shows total ridership, how many of those were paid rides, discounted rides, ridership change year over year, and much more information.
However, there is some news in the agenda: PSTA is now proposing a new 5 cent Pinellas County gas tax (see page 2) to pay for even more transit. The very transit which there is no demand for.
Specifically, PSTA is proposing several Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes, ignoring the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected both light rail and expanded bus service in a 2014 referendum (62% NO).
PSTA is also proposing using some bed tax dollars for transit, for example a bus between Tampa Airport and Clearwater Beach. However, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported today that PSTA CEO Brad Miller told them that “the Clearwater Beach business community is pushing back against the route that would connect their area to the beaches.”
For some government agencies, the best defense is to be offensive.
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One thought on “PSTA proposes NEW five cent gas tax to pay for more transit, hides bus ridership from own board”
Thank YOU, another great article.