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SunRunner may add stop near St. Pete Pier

Veronica Brezina

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PSTA's SunRunner. Image provided.

Residents may be able to hitch a ride on the SunRunner to connect to the St. Pete Pier District. 

Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s SunRunner, the region’s first bus rapid transit line, potentially could add a stop along its route that’s near the Pier as the overall project came in at 12.3% under budget, meaning PSTA has $5.3 million remaining in federal funds that it must spend. 

On Wednesday, the majority of the PSTA board approved hiring Tampa-based design firm H.W. Lochner to design the new station, if the Federal Transit Administration approves PSTA’s plan of the new station. H.W. Lochner is the same group that designed the other existing 30 stations and will replicate the current design. 

The SunRunner, which debuted in October, operates on a 10.3-mile route; the bus pulls flush against the curb at its stations connecting downtown St. Petersburg, South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach riders.

The new station would be located on 1st Avenue N., near the Social Roost restaurant, a PSTA spokeswoman said. 

However, the cost for a new station will not require the full $5.3 million. The spokeswoman said the board is considering additional options that would absorb the funds, including purchasing additional SunRunner buses or improving the communication tech at the stations. 

The PSTA board plans to pen a letter to the FTA outlining how it proposes to utilize the remaining funds. If unspent, the funds will be returned to the FTA. 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rebecca Richardson

    January 25, 2023at10:21 pm

    Wondering why the SunRunner is seen on Central Ave. so often?
    I see it going into Treasure Island. Perhaps St. Petersburg could be a little more transparent.

  2. Avatar

    Willi Gordon

    January 26, 2023at11:26 am

    I would love to have a parking area to park my car and use the sunrunner as I dont like to park the car on a public street or at a business.

  3. Avatar

    Michael C

    January 26, 2023at1:10 pm

    Have there been any ridership stats released on this service? Are people actually using this?

  4. Avatar

    Mike

    January 27, 2023at11:58 am

    @michael believe it or not — it does appear people are using it. Of course, it’s not the promised number.

    It’s also currently free. I would also point out this line cannibalized other bus routes, leaving existing riders with no other choice.

    But yeah, there are people riding. Enough people that I’ve stopped talking vehement trash against this. I still don’t like it. But I’m not in charge so…

  5. Avatar

    Rebecca Richardson

    January 28, 2023at1:37 pm

    Apparently my comments have been censored.
    No foul language, etc. Just facts.
    I would like to know why the SunRunner is going down
    Central Ave. towards Treasure Island?

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