The St. Petersburg City Council has funded free bus rides specifically for work, healthcare, and other life-sustaining trips by eligible low-income residents, according to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s news release.
Beginning Nov. 1, all St. Petersburg residents eligible for the PSTA's Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) program will be able to ride PSTA bus services for free.
More About PSTA's TD Program
While the TD program currently offers reduced-cost bus rides to eligible people across Pinellas County, the new funding from the City of St. Petersburg lowers the cost to zero for eligible city residents.
“We are extremely thankful for the City of St. Petersburg for giving its low-income residents access to not only transportation, but to everything transportation represents—essentials like healthcare, education, and work—so they can provide for their families,” said Brad Miller, CEO of PSTA.
The TD program is a state-funded effort that helps with life-sustaining trips for residents whose gross household income is at or below 200% of poverty and who do not have alternative forms of transportation, such as automobile ownership, rides from household members, or free bus passes through the PSTA’s U-Pass and C-Pass Programs. In 2023, 200% of poverty equates to $60,000 per year for a four-person household.
The TD program assists eligible low-income residents across Pinellas County through multiple options:
- Reduced-cost bus passes for between $5 and $11 per month (which will be free for eligible St. Petersburg residents starting Nov. 1)
- Door-to-door service if bus service will not meet a TD customer’s trip needs for $3 per trip
- TD Late Shift service for an overnight job when bus service is not available for $9 per month
- TD Tampa Bay, a regional on-demand service in partnership with Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties
To be eligible for the new free fares, residents of the City of St. Petersburg must live within city limits and complete the application for the TD program.
Council members unanimously voted to approve the three-year agreement, which will end on September 30, 2026, and includes one two-year renewal option not to exceed $175,000 per year.