St. Petersburg, FL- Late Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. Department of Transportation’s commitment of $21.8 million to fund the first Bus Rapid Transit project in the Tampa Bay region. This project has been a major St. Pete Chamber of Commerce policy priority since 2018.
The project, spearheaded by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, will operate premium mass transit service between St. Pete Beach and Downtown St. Petersburg utilizing 1st Avenues North and South as well as Pasadena and Gulf Boulevards.
“This catalyst project will help transform our transportation network in the St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa area,” explained Chamber President and CEO, Chris Steinocher. “From meetings at the White House to joining PSTA and local transportation advocates on Capitol Hill, the Chamber Advocacy Team has been fighting for this funding for over 2 years and we could not be more excited for today’s announcement!”
In March 2017, Chamber representatives accompanied PSTA leadership, County Commissioner Janet Long, St. Pete City Council Members Darden Rice and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, and other area transportation advocates to Washington, DC for meetings with the Federal Transit Authority and members of the Florida Congressional Delegation. Additionally, Chamber staff met with West Wing policy aides to discuss the project during the trip and continued to push for funding since.
Construction has already begun on the route including a terminal on St. Pete Beach and the procurement of the state of the art busses that will move residents and visitors between Pinellas’ beautiful southern beaches and Downtown St. Petersburg. The project is slated to be completed in 2021.