The added volume of people in Pasco County is putting a lot more cars on the road, tying up traffic. To help people get around easier, the county is now expanding its public bus service.
Katherine Smith is learning to enjoy riding the bus in Pasco County.
"It's kind of fun to get out and be able to go places," said Smith.
Her car quit on her a few months ago, sot the bus is now her primary way of getting around. But living in Moon Lake, even getting to the nearest bus stop takes work.
"My niece picks me up or drops me off on the Little Road station, then I catch the bus to go to different routes, like doctors appointments and stuff like that," Smith said.
But soon, Pasco County Public Transportation will extend its routes to include stops in Moon Lake and Land O Lakes. The new Route 54 connector is much easier to use. You can catch a bus every hour, instead of every two hours, and buses will now run on Saturdays.
"There's a greater demand for transit in Pasco County, and this is an important economic corridor that the expansion of the service will enable us to get people to more educational, shopping and employment opportunities through the west and east part of the county," said Phil Pumphery, Pasco County Transportation Director.
The buses are now also running from US 19 to the Shops at Wiregrass and Tampa Premium Outlets, with connections to the city coming on board.
"It's going to be huge because HART is going to be expanding service to Wesley Chapel in the near future, and we'll be there ready to meet their bus taking people to Tampa," said Pumphery.
Major Pasco employers like Trinity Medical Center are thrilled.
"Transportation for both our employees and for our patients has become more and more challenging. So, the increase in routes and buses and frequency is incredible," said Trinity Medical Center CEO Leigh Massengill.
And with Pasco County expected to keep growing at record pace, people like Katherine Smith look forward to seeing the bus service grow, too.
You can view the full route schedules and maps here.
You can get a monthly bus pass for around $30, and there are discounted rates for seniors and low-income riders.