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PSTA-Uber Pilot Provides Connections to Jobs

As Passenger Transport went to press, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), St. Petersburg,FL, was preparing to introduce TD Late Shift, a collaboration with Uber that will provide free, on-demand rides to low-income residents to and from work during hours when PSTA buses do not run.

“We are solving age-old transportation barriers with technology, innovation and Uber,” PSTA Chief Executive Officer Brad Miller said of the one-year pilot program, funded with a $300,000 grant from the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (TD). “This is what the future of transportation in Pinellas County looks like. It’s multimodal, high-tech and on-demand,” he added.

TD Late Shift will allow riders to request up to 23 free rides per month between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

PSTA first announced its relationship with Uber earlier this year when the two transportation providers launched Direct Connect, a six-month pilot program that connects people to bus stops for a subsidized rate. Now PSTA is expanding that program to span the entire county, offering unlimited, on-demand Uber and taxi rides for approximately $1.

Other recent recipients of TD grants include Manatee County Area Transit in Bradenton, which received $90,000 to provide daily bus passes to qualified low-income transportation disadvantaged riders to help them access medical services, in partnership with the county’s Department of Community Services and certain medical facilities, and MV Transportation in Alachua County, which along with other organizations received $55,350 to provide 31-day reduced fare bus passes in the Gainesville area for eligible transportation disadvantaged riders receiving services through the local homeless shelter.
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