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A new transit center for Clearwater is finally moving forward

rednering of the clearwater transit center, shows the outside of the structure
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
The new location will be about two acres, as opposed to the current station on Park Street, which is about half an acre.

Clearwater officials have long been discussing the need for a new center, which will cost $45 million and is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

A new transit center in Clearwater is closer than ever to becoming a reality following a land swap between the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and the city.

Clearwater officials have been discussing the need for a new center for over a decade.

David Allbritton, Clearwater's vice mayor and a PSTA board member, said the new transit station is crucial as the current one on Park Street is one of the busiest public transportation hubs in Pinellas County.

"This new bus station will give us the expansion we've needed for a long time,” Allbritton said. “And we're building it with charging stations for buses and cars, solar panels on the roof. I mean, we're going all out on it."

The current station has eight bus bays and can't fit the newer eco-friendly bus models under its current roofing.

top-down view of the location of the new site for the Clearwater Transit Center on Myrtle Avenue and Court Street
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
The new station will be located not far from the old one, on the corner of Court Street and Myrtle Avenue.

Riders that want to get on the buses need to walk out to the street, since they can’t dock under the roof structures.

“If we have bad weather there, they've got to run out in the rain to get on the bus, which is not good,” Allbritton said.

The PSTA planning committee previously discussed retrofitting the current station to fit the buses, but decided a new center was needed.

It will be located not far from the old one, on the corner of Court Street and Myrtle Avenue.

It'll be right along some of the county's busiest corridors, including Alternate U.S. 19 and State Road 60. It will also support several modes of transportation, including bus transit, biking and scooting, and electric vehicles. And there will be space to add on.

"There may be some other modes of transportation that maybe that we're not even thinking about now,” Allbritton said. “And then in 10 years, there may be manned drones that could come into this site as well. And I think we've got room for it."

It will include connections to any potential light rail that could come to the area in the future.

The new location will be about two acres, as opposed to the current station, which is about half an acre.

It will cost $45 million to complete. It’ll be paid for with a mix of federal and state funding, along with revenue generated from a county sales tax.

The expectation from officials is that construction will begin in 2025 and completed by 2026.

Allbritton said he'd like to see the current station combine with the other plots of land along Park Street to build new retail, residential and parking developments.

The city also has plans to build a new city hall, which has similarly been discussed for years, along with renovations to its municipal services building. Both will be located next to the new transit center site, and they’ll all run along the Pinellas Trail.

“I was worried in my first term, because COVID hit the second half of my term and everything stopped,” Allbritton said. “But this term, I think, in the next two years, I'm going to see a lot of the things that I dreamed about actually happening before I leave office, which is great.”

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