Faster, easier travel to Clearwater Beach debuts Spring Break 2018
St. Petersburg, Fla. — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) broke ground Thursday on a new transit center on Clearwater Beach.
The Clearwater Beach Transit Center will consist of a bus bay, covered pedestrian waiting areas, and pick-up/drop-off areas for riders making transportation connections.
“The City of Clearwater recognizes the economic growth that stems from having strong public transportation in any community,” said Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos. “This new transit center is an investment in Clearwater and an investment in the hundreds of thousands of visitors who are attracted every year to Clearwater Beach.”
The city of Clearwater partnered with PSTA to contribute $250,000 towards the capital construction cost of the center and to provide ongoing maintenance. The remaining cost of the project will be funded by PSTA’s capital reserves.
“Any transportation project takes collaboration, innovation, and strong partnerships,” said PSTA Board Chair Darden Rice. “PSTA’s mission is to expand our partnerships within the community, respond to their needs, and work together to facilitate innovative transportation solutions for everyone.”
The Clearwater Beach Transit Center will also introduce the county’s first queue-jump, signal prioritization which will allow buses to pull ahead of traffic to shorten travel times.
“This new transit center brings important benefits to both visitors and beach employees,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “Rather than make multiple bus and trolley transfers, everyone now can get a car-free ride directly to where they want to go, the beach without having to find or pay for a parking spot. Longer term, this transit center is a key foundation block to a future with an express service to the Tampa International Airport maybe in an express lane over the causeway bridge."
The transit center will immediately serve four routes including all three of the Jolley Trolley routes and the Suncoast Beach Trolley route. Currently, more than 800,000 trips are taken on PSTA’s trolley routes a year.
Bandes Construction, Inc is set to complete the transit center by Spring Break next year.