Friday, January 19, 2018

Trolley to shuttle visitors to St. Pete's Beach Drive

It's almost impossible to find a weekend parking spot on St. Petersburg's Beach Drive.

City and business leaders think they've found a creative solution in the now defunct Pier, where the parking lots are almost always empty.

Starting next month, free trolleys will shuttle folks to and from Beach Drive. Pickup and drop-off will be at the Dolphin Parking Lot along the Pier approach, which will be renamed the Beach Drive Parking Lot.

"Beach Drive has just gotten so popular and that's a wonderful thing," said Eric Carlson, director of transportation for the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. "When you've got a popular destination and a finite number of parking spots, what can you do? ... If I'm driving along Beach Drive and the meters are full, now what?"

Hopefully, instead of getting frustrated or turning away, people will drive to the Pier parking lot and hop on a shuttle, said Joe Kubicki, the city's transportation director.

The current all-day flat parking fee at the lot is $3. That won't change, Kubicki said, and the shuttle ride will be free.

Once on board, people will be taken in a loop that stops at the Vinoy, the Birchwood and the Museum of Fine Arts before returning to the lot.

If they want to go beyond Beach Drive, to other spots downtown, they can pay $0.50 to follow the larger loop that the existing downtown trolley takes.

"I think it'll be very cool and catch on," Kubicki said.

The Dolphin parking lot has 320 spaces. The other lot, called the Pelican, has 253 spots.

Carlson said the new route shouldn't trigger huge cost increases for the downtown partnership, which administers the city's trolleys.

"We've still got some details to work out," Carlson said. "But we're looking forward to it."

Comments
Russia exhorts Trump to counter 'Russo-phobic' intrigues

Russia exhorts Trump to counter 'Russo-phobic' intrigues

Russia's top diplomat is exhorting President Donald Trump to counter what he calls "Russo-phobic" intrigues against him in the United States in order to improve ties between Washington and Moscow
Updated: 3 minutes ago

Lawyer: Condemned Alabama inmate doesn't remember crime

Lawyers for Alabama inmate scheduled to be executed next week say multiple strokes and dementia have left him unable to remember his crime or able to understand his looming execution
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Sen. Rand Paul's alleged attacker charged with federal crime

Sen. Rand Paul's alleged attacker charged with federal crime

The man accused of tackling U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the Republican lawmaker's yard in Kentucky has been charged with assaulting a member of Congress as part of a federal plea agreement
Updated: 8 minutes ago
What matters more than a good QB in these playoffs? A good D

What matters more than a good QB in these playoffs? A good D

Four of the five teams hardest to score on during the NFL's regular season made it to the conference title games
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Power Five conferences approve medical benefits extension

Power Five conferences approve medical benefits extension

The five biggest conferences in the NCAA have approved a measure requiring their schools to extend medical coverage for two years after student-athletes leave campus
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Power Five conferences approve medical benefits extension

Power Five conferences approve medical benefits extension

The five biggest conferences in the NCAA have approved a measure requiring their schools to extend medical coverage for two years after student-athletes leave campus
Updated: 15 minutes ago
St. Petersburg — right there with luxury in New York

St. Petersburg — right there with luxury in New York

What do Coney Island, Brooklyn and downtown St. Petersburg have in common? All three were featured in a full-page color ad in a New York Times real estate supplement this week touting projects by billionaire John Catsimatidis and his company, Red App...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

AP Top News at 6:41 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 6:41 p.m. EST
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Governor took 15 minutes to announce missile alert was false

Governor took 15 minutes to announce missile alert was false

State lawmakers will hold a hearing to find out why Hawaii emergency officials mistakenly sent an alert warning of a ballistic missile attack
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 21 minutes ago