Ditching its reputation as the exclusive domain of seniors and retirees, Pinellas County now looks to a younger generation of residents to help promote Greenlight Pinellas, the proposal that could assist the future of mass transit countywide.
Darnell Grisby, Director of Policy Development and Research at American Public Transportation Associationis one of the nation’s leading authorities on the subject of the relationship between younger people and public transportation. He will visit Pinellas County Suncoast Authority on Wednesday to help explain how improved transit is in the hands of people aged 18 to 34, better known as Millennials.
“Millennials and Mobility,” a survey published by the APTA, found that they are the key demographic leading the charge for more walkable cities and suburbs that offer several transportation options, including public transit.
Grisby is the featured speaker at a presentation titled “America’s Future is Riding on Public Transit” on Wednesday, April 23 beginning at 5 p.m. in the PSTA Administration and Operations Facilities, 3201 Scherer Drive in St. Petersburg.
“This information is critical to future of Pinellas County and entire Tampa Bay region,” according to PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “The implementation of the Greenlight Pinellas Plan is on the horizon, and this information will ensure we are on the right track with our efforts.”
Greenlight Pinellas is the educational campaign to help residents learn more about the November ballot measure asking voters to approve a once-cent sales tax increase.
The additional tax, equaling a 14 percent increase from 7 to 8 percent, will be used to pay for expanded bus service countywide, as well as the construction of a light-rail corridor between St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach.
If passed, the goal of Greenlight is to help the PSTA develop a public transportation system that supporters say will be attractive to Millennials, a group living much of their lives online and through social media, as well as eschewing cars for buses, bikes and trains to get around.
“Now is the time to be pro-active in creating a multi-modal transportation system to address this generation’s demands and lifestyles,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.
“Public transportation is the backbone of a multi-modal transportation system because it provides the opportunity to multi-task and socialize online while traveling,” added APTA Chair Peter Varga. “We should encourage the creation of digital tools.”
Additional information is available at www.PSTA.net or by calling the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900.
Details of the Greenlight Pinellas Plan are online at www.greenlightpinellas.com.