PSTA extends fare-free period for SunRunner BRT service
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority extends the fare-free period for the SunRunner BRT, celebrating its remarkable success with over 260,000 passengers in just three months.
In response to overwhelming community support and surging ridership numbers, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Board of Directors has approved the extension of the fare-free period for the SunRunner, the Tampa Bay region’s ground-breaking bus rapid transit (BRT) service. Initially scheduled to conclude on 30 April 2023, the fare-free period will now be extended until November 2023.
Since its launch just three months ago, the SunRunner has enjoyed resounding success, attracting 260,000 passengers and consistently growing ridership figures each month. Commuters and residents alike have embraced the service, recognising it as a vital addition to the Tampa Bay transportation network.
One of the highlights of this extension is PSTA’s plan to expand its new contactless fare payment system over the summer. This expansion will include recognition of various payment options, such as VISA, Mastercard and other contactless credit and debit cards, for riders of all fare categories, including seniors and individuals with disabilities. This initiative aims to ensure a seamless transition when the SunRunner eventually resumes fare collection.
Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of PSTA, said: “We have seen an amazing response from the community regarding the SunRunner; it now boasts the highest ridership in our system. Riders have been using the service to get to work, medical appointments and our award-winning beaches. By continuing to offer the SunRunner free of charge, we aim to attract even more passengers to enjoy our easy and convenient service.”
Alia Smith, a frequent SunRunner rider, voiced her support on social media, saying: “I love the SunRunner and take it to and from work. I use the Grand Central station to go home at around 17:30. That bus is often standing-room only at that time, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings.”
The extension of the fare-free period for the SunRunner reflects PSTA’s commitment to making public transportation accessible and attractive to the Tampa Bay community while fostering a culture of sustainable and convenient mobility options.