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PSTA staffers to dress up like a gas pump and get dunked to support transit

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Tuesday is National Dump the Pump Day. Traditionally that means local transit agencies would encourage residents to use public transit instead of their cars for the day.

That’s what the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is doing. Sort of.

PSTA is teaming up with Ferg’s to celebrate the day with a “Dunk the Pump” event at Ferg’s sports bar across from Tropicana Field.

PSTA officials and staff members will dress up like a gas pump, sit in a dunk tank and let passers-by try to sink them into the cold water below.

The idea is to “encourage people to hang up their keys and ride public transportation,” according to a PSTA press release.

The agency sought to find a creative new way to do that.

PSTA is inviting members of the media to join in and take the plunge. Patrons at Ferg’s can choose to either dunk someone else or hop in the tank themselves.

Those who “dump the pump” will win a free bus pass. Though the pass isn’t specified for a specific day, winners are encouraged to use it this Thursday, the day of the national event.

The dunking will ensue Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. before the Rays take the field against the Washington Nationals.

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 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

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