The Downtown Looper, operated by the Downtown Partnership in partnership with PSTA, has served over 36,000 riders since the route was changed in October 2018.
From October 2017 through March 2018, the service boasted a ridership of 25,120, with March of 2018 seeing 5,837 passengers. This year, March had 11,065 riders – an 89% increase!
The numbers for April are expected to keep to this trend, especially with the introduction of the “Car Free St. Pete” campaign. This program is designed to spread the word on all the different options (Coast Bike Share, Nickle Ride, Cross Bay Ferry, etc.) available to visitors looking to traverse downtown without using their personal vehicle.
In an effort to improve reliability and service locations, the Downtown Looper worked with the City of St. Petersburg to alter the route of the Downtown Looper. No longer running along Beach Drive, the Looper has 20 stops on the 30 minute tour, including the Vinoy, City Hall, Florida Holocaust Museum, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, USFSP, the Dali Museum, the St. Pete Chamber Visitor Center/St. Pete Store, and the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
Along with the route improvements, PSTA introduced the first all electric bus in Tampa Bay to the service. A zero-emissions vehicle, the bus is expected to recharge near USFSP.
With the season coming to an end and the Cross Bay Ferry leaving until November, ridership is expected to drop but still stay above prior year levels.