After a decade in the making, the Clearwater City Council will cast a vote Thursday evening for a land agreement that will determine the future of the new transit hub.
The land swap deal with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority would allow PSTA to build the high-tech transit center on a vacant city-owned lot at the corner of Court Street and Myrtle Avenue. If passed, the agreement will be signed in person during a ceremony Friday morning, according to PSTA.
The new $44.5 million Clearwater Transit Center would replace the aging Park Street Terminal and serve as a hub for more than 700,000 people who use buses, rideshares, bikes and scooters to get to and from Downtown Clearwater.
The new Clearwater hub could accommodate up to 16 bus bays, which is twice the capacity at the existing Park Street Terminal. The transit hub would also be outfitted with solar panels and electric bus-charging stations – meeting PSTA’s plans to have a fully electric fleet by 2050. The green energy-powered facility would also have enhanced connections for ride-hailing taxis such as Uber and Lyft, and autonomous vehicles.
“This facility is at a great location for us. It fronts two major streets and there’s a CSX line right next to it, which provides us opportunities for maybe a future passenger rail service,” Abhishek Dayal, PSTA’s director of project management, said during PSTA’s Wednesday meeting. The site also connects with the Pinellas Trail.
PSTA was recently awarded $20 million in federal grants by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, which will fund the majority of the project. The remainder of the project would be funded by contributions from the City of Clearwater, Florida Department of Transportation, Forward Pinellas and PSTA.
PSTA representative said they are also in discussions with Pinellas County regarding closing the funding gap.
Construction for the new transit hub is set to begin next year.
PSTA would lease back the Park Street Terminal property from the city until the new facility is completed.