New SCAT 90x Express route debuts Jan. 21

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SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) will debut its much-anticipated second Express bus service on Monday, Jan. 21.

The new Route 90X (North Port-Venice-Sarasota Express) will offer weekday service with two stops on the island of Venice -- at U.S. 41 and Palermo Place and at U.S. 41 and Miami Avenue. The 90X will operate two inbound trips in the morning, departing North Port City Hall at 5:40 and 9:31 a.m., and two outbound trips in the evening, departing downtown Sarasota at 6:20 and 7:37 p.m. There also will be a single outbound trip in the morning, departing downtown Sarasota at 7:37 a.m.

SCAT has arranged with the city of Venice to provide all-day, on-street parking for 90X passengers on the island of Venice. For the Miami Avenue stop, parking is allowed under the Venice Avenue Bridge, east of Tamiami Trail. For the Palermo Place stop, on-street parking is available in the vicinity of Venezia Park by St. Mark's Church.

The approximately 85-minute, one-way trip with limited stops will be on SCAT's largest buses designed for commuters. The 40-foot-long Express buses have seats for 40 passengers, compared to SCAT's regular fleet of 35-foot bu

ses with 32 seats.

SCAT's first Express bus service, Route 100X (North Port-Sarasota Express), began in April 2011. It has been popular with commuters who need to travel across the county and want an affordable transportation option, especially with high gasoline prices.

The cost of the Express service is only $2.50 one way or $5 round trip. A 30-day pass is $85 and a discounted half-fare pass of $42.50 is available for persons 65 years or older and eligible persons with disabilities. The average daily ridership on the 100X is more than 100 passenger trips. It takes about 70 minutes for a one-way trip on 100X.

For more information, visit www.scgov.net or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.