Sarasota County Area Transit launches online survey

Public comments sought through Aug. 9 as county staff works to improve public transportation

A SCAT bus makes its way through Siesta Village. File photo

In an effort improve public transportation in the community, Sarasota County staff is gathering comments from residents, businesses, employers, agencies, and patrons of the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) system through an online survey, the county has announced.

“The public survey provides an opportunity for SCAT patrons to share comments about their transportation needs related to SCAT services,” a news release explains. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, “this public engagement is being conducted through online tools instead of regular in-person sessions,” the release adds.

The initiative will continue through Sunday, Aug. 9, the release points out.

Interim SCAT Director Jane Grogg is reminding community members to visit the SCAT website, scgov.net/SCAT, to participate in the survey and to stay informed about proposed changes to the SCAT system.

“Your input is valuable. Your thoughts and suggestions will help inform the recommendations developed for consideration by county commissioners,” Grogg added in the release.

The SCAT website will be updated with new information as it becomes available, the release notes.

A second survey has been planned in August, though the dates have not been determined, the release adds.

Comments from both online surveys will be used later this summer to develop recommendations for the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners, the release says.

Sarasota County staff has been exploring SCAT mobility redesign concepts in an effort to better meet the needs, demands and expectations of the public, the release adds. SCAT staff members are evaluating mobility concepts such as replacing lower-performing, fixed-route buses with general-public, on-demand, curb-to-curb and other types of transportation services, such as “vanpooling,” carpooling, and bike sharing, the release explains. Service changes resulting from this initiative would begin in early 2021, the release adds.

To learn more about the SCAT network and services, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit scgov.net (keywords Sarasota County Area Transit).

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