PSTA posts record ridership for June

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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority gave nearly 1.2 million rides in June.

That’s the busiest June on record for the transit agency.

The 1,188,625 rides represents a 4.4% increase over the same month last year and is another in a line of shattered records.

2013 was also a record year for the PSTA with nearly 14.5 million rides given.

“PSTA is one of the few transit systems to see continual ridership growth over the last five years including the recession, despite service cuts due to a major loss of property tax revenue,” PSTA CEO Brad Miller said in a press release. “We thank the nearly 1.2 million Pinellas County residents, visitors, tourists and workers who made the choice to ride PSTA, and we look forward to offering them expanded service and new options through Greenlight Pinellas.”

One of the PSTA’s busiest routes, #19 which runs from Gulfport to Tarpon Springs, has seen a 20% increase in ridership over the last three years.

The agency is highlighting increased need as a reason to support a transit referendum that would fund increased bus service and bus rapid transit. The Greenlight Pinellas plan would also incorporate passenger rail connecting St. Pete to Clearwater.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.