Free Fares on Election Day

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 and Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Manatee County Area Transit offers free ride on Try Transit Day, April 21

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 5, 2017) – Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) will offer free service on Friday, April 21, as part of Try Transit Day, a regional campaign to promote public transit throughout the area. More information.

MCAT Service Changes
Effective: April 15, 2017

Route 6 (Cortez Road): A new 7:05pm westbound (WB) trip from DeSoto Station will be added.

  • WB 7:05pm trip will end at 75th Street West
  • NO service to Blake Hospital on the 7:05pm trip

Route 12 (State Road 70): Later schedule times for all late afternoon eastbound (EB) and westbound (WB) trips.

  • Late afternoon trips will depart DeSoto Station EB at 3:15pm, 4:25pm, 5:25pm, 6:25pm, and 7:20pm.
  • EB Service ends on 53rd Avenue East and US 301 on the 7:20pm trip.

Longboat Key Shuttle: New curb-to curb, on-demand pick up service will be implemented on April 15th between Bay Isles and Coquina Beach.

  • Longboat Key Trolley Fixed Route service between Bay Isles and Coquine Beach will be discontinued after Friday, April 14, 2017.
  • SCAT Route 18 will continue to operate between Bay Isles and Downtown Sarasota.
  • Longboat Key Trolley service will be replaced by the Longboat Key Shuttle, a new curb-to-curb on-demand pick up service.
  • To schedule a trip on the Longboat Key Shuttle, please call MCAT’s Reservation Line at (941) 748-2317.

MCAT to launch new customer service technology in April

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 31, 2017) – The Manatee County Transit Division will roll out a new interactive communication system that gives Handy Bus passengers the option to receive updates and reminders regarding their scheduled trips via phone, email or text. Read more.

Regional Bus Roadeo Challenges Bus Operators’ Driving Skills

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) Bus Operators will compete with Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) Operators in a series of competitions around a test road course set up with cones, barrels and bus stops. The Regional Bus Roadeo is free and open to the public. Read more.

When: Sunday, March 26 beginning 8 a.m.
Where: MCAT Transit Fleet Facility
2411 Tallevast Road

MCAT installs technology to assist wheelchair passengers on popular local route

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Jan. 30, 2017) – Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) recently installed new state-of-the art equipment to assist wheelchair passengers on one of the County’s most popular fixed routes.

One bus on MCAT’s Route 3 – which offers passengers 30-minute service frequency along the Manatee Avenue corridor from I-75 to Manatee County Public Beach – now has QUANTUM wheelchair securement technology. The device enables passengers that utilize wheelchairs or powered scooters to independently activate a securement device that secures their mobility equipment in less than 25 seconds by simply pushing a button.

The new technology allows for the quick, effective, and safe securement of wheelchairs and scooters without the Transit Operator securing every wheelchair device with old-fashioned securement straps and four-point tie-downs.

“This technology is greatly benefiting wheelchair riders, and allows them to board, ride, and disembark the bus, and enjoy complete independence while riding the bus,” said MCAT Manager William Steele. “As the QAUNTUM pilot continues to be successful, this new technology garners the momentum necessary for inclusion in the next statewide bus procurement contract in Florida. As transit agencies replace their transit coaches and include the QUANTUM technology in replacement bus buys, the wheelchair securement process significantly improves over time, and thereby enhances the transit experience for wheelchair passengers across the state.”

For more information, contact William Steele at (941) 747-8621.

Additional information about the QUANTUM wheelchair securement technology is available in this brochure and video.

Congratulations! Stacy Meeth named Florida’s 2016 Transit Operator of the Year

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Dec. 20, 2016) – For the second year in a row a Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) driver has been named the industry’s Transit Operator of the Year in a competitive selection process involving transit agencies from around the State of Florida. Read more.

Stacy Meeth named Florida's 2016 Transit Operator of the Year

MCAT’s Stacy Meeth named 2016 Transit Operator of the Year


New MCAT route to St. Petersburg begins April 1

Skyway ConneXion offers express route for passengers from downtown Bradenton to St. Petersburg

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 18, 2016) – Next month for the first time ever Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) will launch a route to St. Petersburg marking the first time MCAT passengers can use public transit to cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The new route, called the Skyway ConneXion, will connect MCAT riders to St. Petersburg and Pinellas County for the first time. The route will begin at DeSoto Station, but Manatee riders can also hop on the bus at the downtown Bradenton transfer station and at the Palmetto station (see attached map). The route makes three stops in Pinellas County before terminating at Bay Pines VA Hospital, including stops adjacent to major transfer stops in for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority passengers.

The fare to go over the Skyway Bridge is $5 for one-way or $10 for round trip. Passengers can also purchase a $10 one-day unlimited pass for all MCAT local routes and the Skyway ConneXion route. Riders can also purchase a $3 fare for express service within either county, but the fare becomes $5 if they cross the Skyway. The $5 ConneXion fare is the same fare veterans currently pay for rides to Bay Pines.

MCAT Manager Bill Steele said the idea for the new route began last fall when MCAT began using a full-size MCAT bus to transport veterans to Bay Pines rather than a smaller paratransit vehicle. Since the previous paratransit VA service was already part of MCAT’s operating budget, the new ConneXion route will operate with no additional expense.

“Veterans will be able to continue to receive medical transportation to the VA and we’ll be filling a void in regional connectivity that will benefit the general public,” Steele said. “We’re using existing resources, so there are no additional costs. It’s really a win-win-win proposition.

For more information on Manatee County Area Transit, visit and follow them on Facebook at

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.

New MCAT route to St. Petersburg begins April 1