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Beach to ‘Burg Bus Rapid Transit to Be Called ‘SunRunner’

SunRunner | PSTA | Bus Rapit Transit

Some SunRunner stations will feature public art.

ST.  PETERSBURG – Anchored by the Sunshine City on one end, and a beach community known as the sunset capital of Florida on the other end, officials said, it should be no surprise that the new bus rapid transit line connecting the two, will be called the “SunRunner.”

Local officials unveiled the new name and logo during a news conference this morning (July 8).

“The name, design and colors are symbolic of the local flare and fittingly the SunRunner will operate from where the sun rises to where the sun sets,” said Brad Miller, chief executive officer of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

“I cannot wait to see and ride the SunRunner being the first transit project of it’s kind in the entire region. Passengers will be able to ride the service to the Sunshine city to watch a Rays game, eat at local restaurants or shop.” added PSTA Board Chair Joe Barkley.

The SunRunner will be the first BRT project in Tampa Bay.  In May, President Donald Trump announced PSTA would be awarded $21.8 million in federal grants for construction of the BRT project.

In addition to the SunRunner name and logo, officials also revealed today that some station designs will incorporate public art by local artist Catherine Woods. The art glass will function as a visual “love letter” to St Petersburg, using artist’s images of the flora and fauna, the unique architecture and the landscape. The SunRunner 40-foot buses will also feature artwork by Chad Mize and include an iconic Mr. Sun image.

“Incorporating art into this project was both important and fitting given St. Petersburg’s connection and support of the arts,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “This area is also known for its vibrant, colorful street art, from murals to sculptures. The art scene is alive and well in our community and the locals are proud of it and I’m glad it’s reflected in this critical project.”

Miller says officials expect to break ground on the BRT line in late summer, with buses arriving in 2021 and completion of the project in early 2022.

The BRT line will feature semi-dedicated lanes, limited stops and safety enhancements for riders including level boarding platforms. The 10.3-mile line will include 16 stops with buses running every 15 minutes taking riders from downtown to the beach or vice versa in less than 35 minutes.

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