If light rail comes to Pinellas, how will it serve St. Pete?
Whether to run light rail in a ring around St. Petersburg's downtown, or to send it farther south, delivering workers to the hospitals' and the university's doorsteps, that is the question.
Or, rather, one of the questions.
It will be another year before voters decide whether to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund light rail and expand bus service, but conversations already are taking place about what shape the route should take if residents agree to pay for it.
In St. Petersburg, early talks center on the route looping around the city's core, running east on First Avenue S until Second Street then heading west on First Avenue N until it ultimately joins the CSX corridor just after passing 14th Street. It's a tentative proposal that could be a boon for restaurants and shops on Central Avenue, but one that is also prompting some to ask whether it could do more for the hundreds of people commuting to work farther south.
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