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.