What kind of public transportation services do you want in Pasco County? A new bus route? More frequent bus stops? Longer hours?
Residents will soon have a chance to voice their opinions at public forums to help shape the next decade of public transportation, said Nina Stampfli, program coordinator for Pasco County Public Transportation.
The first workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the center court of the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. Other meetings are slated for New Port Richey and Dade City.
"We want to gather information not only from the riders, but the residents of Pasco County to see what they want — to identify the needs and develop a plan," Stampfli said.
There were 975,534 rides taken on Pasco's 10 bus routes in 2012, Stampfli said. Last year was a banner year as communities in east and west Pasco were finally joined by a State Road 54 bus route, which goes from the Medical Center of Trinity to Zephyrhills City Hall. Stampfli said the route has seen an increase in ridership, especially with commuters and bicyclists who use it to get to a Hillsborough Area Regional Transit stop so that they can commute to downtown Tampa.
Suggestions for service improvements are always welcome — not just during the 10-year-plan focus. Stampfli said the guide for the county's development in the next decade depends heavily on what residents say they need. A few things she expects to have in the plan, though, are implementing new bus routes in Moon Lake and increasing the frequency of service on the State Road 54 bus route from every two hours to every hour.
"This is important because, based on their input, we can plan ahead and say, 'Where is the need?' " Stampfli said.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.