We Are St. Pete: City news

Effective Nov. 1, all persons living in St. Petersburg who are enrolled in the Transportation Disadvantaged fare reduction program through the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will now have the remainder of their monthly bus fare fully covered.


City council approves free public transit for low-income riders

ST. PETERSBURG — The City of St. Petersburg is pleased to announce that, effective Nov. 1, all persons living in St. Petersburg who are enrolled in the Transportation Disadvantaged fare reduction program through the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will now have the remainder of their monthly bus fare fully covered.

Anyone who qualifies will have equal access to all PSTA routes and services, including all services in Pinellas County and service to Tampa.

This initiative results from the city’s Fiscal Year 2024 recommended budget proposed by Mayor Ken Welch, which was approved by the city council on Sept. 28 and is now in effect.

“Transportation access to healthy food, one’s job, school, vocational training and medical appointments is a basic necessity that, when fulfilled, leads to overall, better outcomes for the entire community,” said Mayor Welch. “This opportunity was made possible because of our strong partnership with PSTA. I’m also grateful to city council for their unanimous support for this new program, which helps our neighbors in the most need have access to reliable transportation.”

This positive step forward ensures everyone has equitable access to the city’s vast network of public transportation. The city works diligently with PSTA and other partners to continue growing support and assistance for the community and is proud to be able to provide transportation on a larger scale.

More information about PSTA’s services, routes and the Transportation Disadvantaged program can be found at www.psta.net.

New utility rates in effect

City of St. Petersburg utility rates and charges are evaluated yearly and updated annually per city council adoption. Between July and September 2023, St. Petersburg City Council considered adjustments to water, wastewater, reclaimed water, stormwater, and sanitation utility rates and charges for Fiscal Year 2024, which got underway Oct. 1. Final adoption was approved at a Public Hearing on Sept. 7, 2023.

Utility fees support the continued efforts to increase the capacity and reliability of St. Pete’s water resources, sanitation, and stormwater utilities. Fees also support the operations, maintenance and infrastructure of those utilities.

Utility fees are vital in supporting St. Pete’s aging infrastructure, most of which has reached or exceeded its design lifespan. The city is currently working on existing projects within St. Pete’s Water Plan, a multi-year capital improvements master plan, and continues to work on other master plans to make improvements and plans for the future to ensure safe, reliable service.

To maintain and preserve our infrastructure, continued investment is required. Utility fees will continue to be evaluated yearly to support the continued investment in these capital infrastructure projects and overall operations and maintenance to ensure safe, reliable service.

Of utmost importance to the city is affordability and assistance for utility customers. Extended payment arrangements are available for customers having trouble paying their utility bills, allowing them to pay their current monthly bill and a series of 6 monthly installments on their outstanding balance.

Customers are encouraged to make payment arrangements by calling the Utility Customer Service Call Center at 727-893-7341 or emailing Utility.Bill@stpete.org as soon as possible to avoid associated fees or termination of service. The Utility Customer Service Call Center is open 8-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additional assistance resources can be found at 211tampabay.org or by calling 211.

Conserving water use is an excellent way for utility customers to save money on their utility bills. Programs, rebates and resources can be found at stpete.org/WaterConservation.

More information can be found at stpete.org/rates. Questions can be directed to 727-893-7280.

Get involved: Available seats on city boards and committees

The City of St. Petersburg has multiple boards and committees with vacancies that are seeking residents to serve.

Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund – two vacancies

The Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund is responsible for the administration, operation, and investments of the Police Pension Plan. More information: www.stpete.org/ppb

Code Enforcement Board – four vacancies

The Code Enforcement Board conducts hearings related to the enforcement of any codes or ordinances of the city. The board consists of seven members, and appointments to the board are approved by the city council. More information: www.stpete.org/ceb

Investment Oversight Committee – multiple vacancies

The Investment Oversight Committee meets to discuss prior investment activities, recommend changes in investment strategies, and make suggestions on portfolio management and internal controls. More information: www.stpete.org/ioc

Nuisance Abatement Board – five vacancies

The Nuisance Abatement Board hears and decides cases involving properties in the city allegedly being used for illegal activity. This board is essential in reducing crime and improving the safety and welfare of St. Petersburg citizens and visitors by encouraging property owners to take responsibility for preventing their properties from becoming the site of ongoing nuisance activities. More information: www.stpete.org/nab

For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.stpete.org/getinvolved.

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