Despite signs proclaiming it would begin service in summer 2022, the $44 million SunRunner bus rapid transit route, linking downtown St. Petersburg to Pinellas County beaches, will welcome riders beginning Oct. 21, according to a news release from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.
The 10.3-mile bus rapid transit route, the release states, will feature 30 stations, semi-dedicated lanes, limited stops and safety enhancements for passengers, including level boarding platforms and crosswalks. Buses will run every 15 minutes during daytime hours and every 30 minutes in the evening. The service will operate free of charge during its first six months.
“I am excited to officially announce the grand opening of the SunRunner, a project that will truly transform the Tampa Bay region,” PSTA CEO Brad Miller states in the release. “As our area’s first rapid transit system, the SunRunner will introduce enhanced customer service and connectivity, and encourage new economic growth for the region.”
PSTA broke ground on the SunRunner project in August 2020, despite opposition from residents and business in the city of St. Pete Beach.
The Federal Transit Administration allocated $28.1 million for the SunRunner route. The Florida Department of Transportation, PSTA and the city of St. Petersburg also contributed funds.