Direct Connect Program, Pinellas County Florida, 2016
5 minutes Date Launched: Feb 22, 2016
PSTA (Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority) has partnered with Uber to launch the “Direct Connect” program. The program is aimed at providing access to public transit network in underserved areas. PSTA is committed to subsidizing up to $3 per ride to and from designated stops within the zone. Passengers need to apply a promo code in the Uber app, then slide to the “PSTA” option to request a ride. There are two service zones (Pinellas Park and East Lake) and each have two designated stops totaling four stops. The subsidies are applied to rides that meet the following criteria: trips must begin or end at the designated stop; trips must be in the zone; and trips must take place between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Saturday. A local taxi company, United Taxi is partnered with PSTA through Direct Connect in the same way as Uber. In July 2016, PSTA shared plans of expanding the program to span across the entire county offering unlimited, on-demand Uber and Taxi rides for approximately $1.
UPDATE: On January 19, 2017, the Direct Connect program has expanded to span across Pinellas County to include eight bus stops. The second phase of Direct Connect is a 6-month pilot program. The second phase of the program allows riders to travel to the nearest designated bus stop where they will continue to their destinations on the bus for an average of $1 as PSTA will provide a $5 discount per trip under the program. Lyft is anticipated to join the program in a future date.