Downtown-beach connector bus route may be too expensive

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A proposed plan for a transit bus connecting downtown St. Petersburg, near Central Avenue, to the city of St. Pete Beach looks to be great for the area – but there’s a hang-up.

The proposed route from the Pinellas Sun-Coast Transit Authority (PSTA) has a lot of support from the City of St. Petersburg, but has received an icy reception from St. Pete Beach officials.

Wayne Saunders, city manager, wouldn’t comment on whether St. Pete Beach is for or against the proposal – saying they’ve tabled it.

Heather Sobush with the Pinellas Sun-Coast Transit Authority says St. Pete beach would have to pitch in about $700,000.

Sobush says they’re continuing to talk with the city on the cost of the proposal but says the city doesn’t seem too interested.

“The discussions have been that they have other high priority projects,” Sobush said.

Transit officials say the shuttle bus could bring as much as a 10 percent boost in the value of properties along the route.  Sobush says the PSTA says they are prepared to take the proposal to other beach communities – if St. Pete Beach ultimately rejects it.