In a unanimous vote, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Board of Directors has put its public transit initiative on the ballot for county residents to decide in the November 2014 election. “Greenlight Pinellas” is a comprehensive transportation plan, including enhanced bus service and light rail, which would be funded by a 1 percent increase in the sales tax—from 7 percent to 8 percent.
Proponents of the initiative cite the lack of a mass transit system as putting Pinellas and the region at a significant disadvantage when it competes for new business. This long-range, methodical effort to build a transit system that more effectively moves consumers and workers will be a direct and indirect economic driver for decades that creates jobs and encourages smart development, according to proponents.
“Greenlight Pinellas is all about giving people a feasible choice—spending $65 a month for a bus pass instead of hundreds of dollars a month for a second car. They would then have a lot more disposable income in their pockets to support their families,” comments Clearwater Council member Bill Jonson.