Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), October 31, 2016

After the success of the first partnership of its kind between Uber and a public transit system, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is expanding that partnership from the initial small pilot area to span across Pinellas County.

Wednesday, the PSTA Board of Directors unanimously approved new contracts with Uber and United Taxi, and for the first time with the ridesharing service Lyft.

Branded as Direct Connect, the second pilot program is designed to give low-cost Uber, Lyft, or taxi rides to designated bus stops to allow more citizens access to PSTA’s primary bus lines.

“It’s really impressive that PSTA has been in the forefront of the transit industry in launching the first true first-mile/last-mile program and we’re proud to partner with PSTA,” said Danielle Sipf, senior operations manager with Uber Inc.

“The national recognition we received as being one of the most innovative transit systems with our Uber partnership has been great,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “Our real focus continues to be how we can use these new technologies to benefit our thousands of transit customers. By providing $1 rides to and from our bus lines, we hope to attract an even wider customer base to use public transportation as their preferred mode. This is the future of transportation and we’re happy to be the leaders as it benefits our community.”

The 6-month program will officially launch in mid-December. Riders will pay an average of $1 to use the program to travel to the nearest designated bus stop where they’ll continue to their destinations on the bus. PSTA is providing a $5 discount per trip under the program.

”It’s exciting to work with our partners like Uber and taxis on this innovative program that benefits our customers,” said PSTA Board Chair Darden Rice.