PSTA, Clearwater land swap will give downtown a modern transit hub

Thanks to a long-discussed land swap, a modern transit hub is coming to downtown Clearwater.

After a decade of talks and planning, the City of Clearwater and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) have finalized a deal that will allow PSTA to design and build the Clearwater Multimodal Transit Center on former city-owned property off Court Street and Myrtle Avenue. When complete, the modern facility will have 16 bus bays, bicycle and scooter storage, ride-sharing connections and a “green” design including solar panels and electric bus charging stations. The site also offers an opportunity to develop a true multimodal hub.

“This facility is at a great location for us,” PSTA  Director of Project Management Abhishek Dayal said during a presentation at the October 5th PSTA meeting. “It fronts two major streets. There's a CSX line right next to it, which provides opportunity for potential future passenger rail service. There is also the Pinellas Trail, a regional trail connection that can allow for a lot of bike connections to the facility. It’s a great facility for us to make use of the multimodal elements of this project.”

The new transit center will replace PSTA’s 40-year-old Park Street center downtown, where new hybrid and all-electric buses cannot fit under the aged, leaking roof. 

“This has been an ongoing, collaborative effort with the city of Clearwater for more than 10 years and I’m honored to have had a helping hand in making these plans a reality,” PSTA CEO Brad Miller says in a press statement. 

After the Clearwater City Council approved the land swap on October 6th, Councilman David Allbritton, who is also on the PSTA board, said the transit agency has funding for the project in place and is set to start design.
PSTA has approval for $20 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. The multimodal center will also receive funding contributions from the City of Clearwater, the Florida Department of Transportation, Forward Pinellas and PSTA. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.