St. Pete businesses see increased business with bus rapid transit route | Business Observer

Businesses in St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach are attracting new customers with the launch of the region’s first bus rapid transit route, the $44 million SunRunner, on Oct. 21.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, in a press release, says more than 63,000 people have taken at least one ride on the SunRunner since its debut, and businesses along the route, which features dedicated bus lanes on a much of its 10-mile length, are reaping the benefits.

As part of the launch of SunRunner, PSTA distributed SunRunner Gold Cards to the first 500 runners. The cards are good for discounts at participating local businesses, which signal that customers who might typically avoid the busy east-west corridor due to lack of parking are now visiting restaurants, shops and bars in the area.

“Our bookstore is right next to the 22nd Street station,” Alsace Walentine, co-owner of Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, said in the statement. “As part of the Gold Card promotion, we are giving a free gift with purchase, so we have met a lot of new customers and shared our love of reading and books with more people.”

PSTA, the statement said, conducted a survey of SunRunner users which found that 50% of respondents would have taken a personal vehicle to get to their chosen destination along the route, while 15% would not. at all made the trip.

“To see how well received the SunRunner has been in our community after one month of service is truly amazing,” said Brad Miller, CEO of PSTA, in the release. “So many people choose the SunRunner to get to their destination because it’s fast, easy and convenient.”

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