St. Pete Beach officials against rapid bus system, despite federal funds

You may have heard President Trump was tweeting about St. Petersburg last night.

He was announcing good news for the region – $21.8 million for a new, rapid bus service that runs from downtown St. Pete along the Central Avenue Corridor, through South Pasadena, to St. Pete Beach.

“Our Tampa Bay region is starved for this kind of investment,” and officials with Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority said Friday. “It is the largest single capital investment of public transportation in Pinellas County history.”

The federal money has the blessing of President Donald Trump who announced the grant on Twitter Thursday evening.

DETAILS: President announces funding for transit system connecting downtown St. Pete to beaches

The bus service is promised to be a low-cost, fast service. Most are on board -- but the city of St. Pete Beach has made it known it’s against the project.

“It’s a small island. A 60-foot articulated bus just doesn’t fit,” St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson said.

He says he has not hear heard of a single citizen in St. Pete Beach who likes the idea, but they’ll still come to the table.

“We are still talking to them,” Johnson said. “I think we’ve made some great progress with the city.”

Leaders say the transit line will also offer an affordable transportation option for as many as 50,000 residents who live along the Central Ave Corridor.