Shorter wait times at bus stops on State Road 54 and a new Land O’ Lakes connector bus route are ready for a roll-out.
Effective Aug. 15, riders on Bus Route 54, known as the Cross County Connector, will have new Saturday service, a new route pattern with a bus stop on U.S. 19, and buses that run every hour, not every two hours.
The route will stretch from U.S. 19 to City Hall in Zephyrhills, with stops in between at The Shops at Wiregrass and Tampa Premium Outlets.
To ensure the shorter waits, some bus stops with low ridership along Duck Slough Boulevard and within the Trinity area served by Bus Route 23-Little Road will be discontinued.
“It’s going to make our routes more efficient,” said Philip Pumphrey, Pasco County’s public transportation director.
Riders also will get an upgrade with two new 40-foot buses with plush seats, reading lights and luggage racks.
The goal is to give riders more commuting options and a better ride, Pumphrey said.
The Pasco County Commission approved the new service route on State Road 54 at its July 26 meeting in New Port Richey.
The Land O’ Lakes bus service is scheduled for March 18, pending approval of Pasco County’s proposed 2017 budget.
The route will move north on U.S. 41 with bus stops that include the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce, the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, post office, Land O’ Lakes High School and the detention center.
A loop eastward along State Road 54 will have stops at Collier Commons and the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library.
The new bus routes and shorter time waits were among recommendations in a report from Tindale Oliver & Associates. The consulting firm completed a study of the county’s transportation needs into 2040.
By extending Bus Route 54 to U.S. 19, county officials anticipate riders can transfer directly to Bus Route 14-Madison Street; Bus Route 18-Tarpon Springs/Grand Boulevard; Bus Route 25-Rowan Road, and Bus Route 23-Little Road.
There will be fewer transfers overall for riders trying to connect with the cross-county connector and destinations to the east or to board Bus Route 19 for destinations south, and from there to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority system (PSTA).
Future improvements recommended by Tindale Oliver’s consultants include bus service until 11 :30 p.m., cutting wait times to 30 minutes on all routes and adding Sunday service. The consultants also recommended adding 30-minute local and express bus routes in future, and providing a 15-minute rapid bus service.
Published August 3, 2016