Pinellas executives push for new transit center in Clearwater

Plans to build a new transit center in Clearwater have hit a snag, but local leaders are still pushing for it to happen. They hope the USDOT will help them.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority executives say a new transit hub in Clearwater is long overdue. Plans are underway to build a $34 million high-tech facility that will replace the dilapidated 40-year-old Park Street station.

The problem is finding the money to pay. PSTA applied for the US Department of Transportation’s RAISE grant last year, but did not win any money. This month, they’re applying for the grant again, working hard to prove to the USDOT why the transit center is needed.

Abhishek Dayal from the transportation agency says he thinks they have a better chance of getting around.

“We absolutely need this grant. All of our stakeholders contribute their funds to help us reach this finish line. It’s FDOT, Forward Pinellas and City of Clearwater. They are all ready to help us get to that finish line,” he said. “Our facility is used by over 700,000 cyclists every year, and it just doesn’t meet the needs of our cyclists today.”

The “multimodal” facility will be equipped with hybrid and electric cars and buses. It will also have a solar panel roof, charging stations, bike/scooter storage, carpool connections, light rail capability and more.

In addition to providing directions to and from our award-winning beaches, the Transit Center is expected to have a direct connection to Tampa International Airport, creating an easier way for travelers to enjoy all that Pinellas has to offer. to offer.

If the grant is awarded, PSTA hopes to begin work next year. “Only one in 10 applications are funded through this, so it’s a very competitive grant application,” Dayal said.

PSTA has also started a change.org petition that they are asking people to sign. They hope that many members of the community who know the need will help mobilize to secure the necessary funds.