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Calling all riders: Pasco bus system seeks suggestions

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 esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229.

Time for your two cents

Pasco County Public Transportation will host public workshops in the coming weeks to find out what citizens want. More bus routes? Longer hours? Officials want to hear your ideas.

The following workshops will be held:

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Shops at Wiregrass, center court, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel.

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the West Pasco Government Center courtyard, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey.

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12 at Hugh Embry Library, 14215 N Fourth St., Dade City.

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 23 at the West Pasco Government Center lobby, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey.

For information, or if you can't attend a meeting and want to relay your comments, send a message to info@ridepcpt.com or call (727) 834-3200. You can also mail your comments to Pasco County Public Transportation, Attn: Thelma Williams, 8620 Galen Wilson Blvd., Port Richey, FL 34668

The hearing-impaired can call 1-800-955-8771 for assistance. Those who need disability assistance are asked to contact the agency at least five business days in advance of a workshop, at (727) 847-8110 in New Port Richey or at (352) 521-4272, ext. 8110, in Dade City.

Calling all riders: Pasco bus system seeks suggestions 02/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:30pm]
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