The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights.
On this episode of Chamber Coronavirus Impact Insights, Brad Miller, CEO of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to talk about how Pinellas’ public transportation system has been impacted by Covid-19.
Miller, who has served as the CEO of PSTA for nine years, steers the ship for 650 employees, most of which are out driving PSTA buses. It continues to move Pinellas residents throughout the county during the pandemic.
While ridership has declined, due to “Safer At Home” orders and a lack of tourism during busy seasons, drivers are still driving essential workers to their jobs and car-less residents to essential services. PSTA is still finding the balance of buses, ridership and routes. They’re following CDC social distancing guidelines and enforcing distance between drivers and riders. Currently, only 10 riders are allowed on the bus at a time, and PSTA is encouraging riders to wear face masks.
Still, PSTA is seeing morning and afternoon rush times, and keeps back-up drivers on call throughout the county for stops where more than 10 people are attempting to get on the bus.
Miller explains that PSTA is known as one of the most innovative transit systems nationwide. It was one of the first transit organizations to partner with Uber for first mile, last mile rides and late shift workers. PSTA has provided Uber rides for multiple manufacturing companies in Pinellas, including one that makes parts for ventilators and another that manufactures components for Covid-19 testing. PSTA also supplies Lyft rides for residents with disabilities in need of healthcare and other essential services.