The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video. Video coming soon.
On this episode, Brad Miller, CEO of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to celebrate the $21.8 million awarded by the Federal Transit Authority for the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit project.
But first, as usual, Steinocher takes listeners through the Florida Chamber Scorecard for Pinellas County, which he says is continuing to improve as reopening moves forward.
Miller shares the announcement, which PSTA first learned from President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. After months and years of advocacy, the Central Avenue BRT project has finally received full funding.
Steinocher and Miller discuss the many years of efforts that have led to the final step of securing the Central Avenue BRT project’s funding, as well as the many projects that never made it this far.
The Central Avenue BRT will be the first rapid transit line in Tampa Bay’s history. The rapid line will run from downtown St. Petersburg to the Gulf Beaches. The 10.3 mile corridor will be the fastest transit line in the entire region, run in a dedicated right-of-way with signal priority. It will featured raised entrance and exit platforms and pre-paid boarding. It is meant to be the first in a series of transit corridors stretching from the Gulf Beaches to Hillsborough County’s Wesley Chapel.
Miller says the BRT line will function like a train, with stops every mile or so, and that the the Central Avenue Trolley will continue to run, allowing for more frequent stops at bars and restaurants throughout the corridor. Miller says PSTA plans to award construction of the project next month and will get started with the building process in early July. He says construction of the line should take about 18 months, which would set the open date between late 2021 and early 2022.
A branding effort is also underway for the Central Avenue BRT project, Miller explains, and a new name that will capture the key differences in service of this line, compared to other PSTA bus services, will be revealed soon.
For more information on the Central Avenue BRT project, visit St. Pete Catalyst’s previous coverage here.