Anchored by the Sunshine City on one end, and a community known as the sunset capital of Florida on the other end, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) named its new bus rapid transit (BRT) line connecting the two, will be called the “SunRunner.” Local officials unveiled the new name and logo during a news conference.
“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, PSTA’s CEO.
The SunRunner will be the first BRT project in Tampa Bay. In May, it was 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 that some station designs will incorporate public art by local artist Catherine Woods. The art glass will function as a visual “love letter” to beautiful St Petersburg, utilizing 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.
Miller said they 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 going from downtown to the beach or vice versa in less than 35 minutes.