It’s a good day for public transportation in the Sunshine City. The new Bus Rapid Transit program will connect downtown St. Petersburg to the popular beaches just outside the Sunshine City. Now, the bus has a name. Introducing the SunRunner. The new bus design is by prolific local artist Chad Mize.
9 specially designed busses will be arriving this month. New pay stations will be located at the bus stops, as opposed to on the bus. They will also soon offer level entry to the busses, rather than steps. Bikes will also have space to be stored on the bus, as opposed to strapped to the front.
Rapid transit is at the heart of economic development and improving the quality of life in the region. This new service will help cut down on overall congestion, and assist in getting more residents to lessen their use of cars.
The BRT plan is a specialized, train-like transit service with frequently arriving buses – often running in their own specially dedicated lane.
BRT features specially branded buses and stations that give riders the look, feel and experience of rail transit. The vessels also feature WiFi for added customer experience.
According to PSTA, BRT will offer an unprecedented affordable commute option for the 50,000 jobs that are located within a half mile of the project corridor.
The 20-mile roundtrip service will feature 31 stations with a proposed pickup frequency of every 15 minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes in the evening.
A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it will allocate $21.8 million for transportation project. BRT’s total projected cost is a little more than $43M.
You can see a full outline of the plan on PSTA’s website. The projected debut of BRT could be sometime in mid to late 2021.