PSTA launched the Essential Workers Program for essential businesses with employees who rely on the bus for their commutes. With expanded hours for essential businesses in operation, less span of PSTA bus service, or discontinuation of select PSTA routes, some essential employees are no longer able to get to and from work while taking the bus. As a solution, PSTA will provide curb to curb rides so these employees can commute to work on either Uber, United Taxi, or Care Ride.
How the PSTA Essential Workers Program works:
- Employers and employees of essential businesses start by contacting PSTA through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PSTA staff will contact the business and employees to gather initial data, and let the business and employees know about existing service options – PSTA fixed route bus, Direct Connect, TD Direct Connect.
- If the business cannot get all employees to and from work with existing service options, PSTA staff will collect more information such as:
- Number of employees who need additional service
- Service hours needed
- Shift start and end times
- How many employees already have a TD bus pass
- Any employee who is currently not in the TD program will be given a TD application to complete. Applications must be returned to PSTA within 2 weeks. Individual employees who contact PSTA for service must also provide proof of their employment.
- PSTA staff will talk with the business and employees about service set up.
- PSTA will then work with employers (or employees directly) to identify which provider (United Taxi, Uber, Care Ride) the employee would like to use for their trips to and from work.
- PSTA will set up employees with their chosen provider and send employees instructions on how to take trips. Our staff will answer questions and concerns from employees regarding the service.
- The Essential Workers Program service is free to essential businesses and employees in April. In subsequent months (while bus service is reduced), the copay for each employee will be $20, which can be paid by the business or employee. Employees who are TD eligible will pay $9 for the service. Copays can be paid over the phone by credit card to PSTA by calling the Infoline (727-540-1900) , or at customer service terminals.
- The PSTA Essential Workers Program will operate while bus service is reduced and will be suspended once PSTA is able to resume regularly scheduled bus service.
Current PSTA Essential Workers Program Setup:
- Hours of service for each employer and employee are determined on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the business
- Riders receive up to 25 trips per calendar month
- Trips must be to and from work
- Providers are Uber, United Taxi, Care Ride
To all the essential workers out there, thank you for your bravery while facing this pandemic and for serving the community when needed most. Essential transit employees at PSTA are dedicated to helping you commute to work, and we will keep #movingthefrontline.