The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will provide an update on its community outreach study to unveil what transit-oriented development residents would like to see at the SunRunner stations.
The PSTA board will discuss the summary of findings on Wednesday during its board meeting.
The $44 million SunRunner, PSTA’s bus-rapid transit project, is thought to be a catalyst, as it would be the first-ever mass transit option in the Tampa Bay area and would also spur transit-oriented development along its 30 planned stations.
The 10.3-mile line will connect through St. Petersburg, South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach and is expected to be completed by summer 2022. Concrete platforms at 17 of the 30 planned stations have already been completed. The stations will have boarding-leveled platforms, technology to quickly purchase tickets and will have a higher pickup-frequency rate than standard buses.
Transit-oriented development can be anything from affordable housing to offices or hotels that would complement the stations. Such mixed-use developments can be found in urban cities in South Florida where Brightline, a high-speed rail train, is surrounded by apartments and offices at several of its stations.
As part of the project, the PSTA staff has worked diligently to engage local developers, business interests, neighborhoods and the general public about local land use vision and key policy decision-making. The project team has held over 30 stakeholder and community influencer listening sessions and several public workshops, according to PSTA documents.
Following on the public workshops, the team held an equity forum focused on the engagement of a diverse community. The discussion included how to make any new development attainable for the local community while also ensuring that the minority business community is aware and included in any business opportunities with PSTA, including contracting processes and business assistance.
One of the most significant corridors in the BRT project is 22nd Street in South St. Pete that has multiple mixed-use projects in development and is an area the city has sought to revitalize.
Residents can still weigh in.
The summary findings of the study will also be presented to the St. Pete City Council in October.