SCAT

A Sarasota County Area Transit bus drives through the region.

VENICE — Today is the last of four open houses being hosted by Sarasota County to allow residents and patrons of the Sarasota County Area Transit system a chance to share ideas about a redesign of SCAT services.

The county has been exploring SCAT mobility redesign concepts — like “direct response” service similar to Uber or Lyft — in order to better meet the needs and expectations of the community.

Previous open houses were held Monday at the Selby Public Library and Gulf Gate Library in Sarasota and Tuesday at the Shanon Staub Library in North Port.

Today’s open house in Venice will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the William H. Jervey Jr. Venice Public Library, 300 S. Nokomis Ave.

The SCAT transit network needs to keep pace with the county’s changing landscape and traffic patterns, say SCAT officials, as well as with rapidly evolving mobility technology.

Uber announced last year it was expanding its agreement with Pinellas Park’s Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to provide trips to and from bus stops.

Partnerships with companies like Uber and Lyft are another tool in the transit agency tool chest to make bus ridership more attractive and affordable. Privatizing service or portions of service is still an option.

Consultants hope to learn more from bus riders at the workshops to better craft potential solutions.

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