Congressman Charlie Crist will showcase $21.8 million for the SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit project today.

St. Petersburg, FL – Today is a big day for many in St. Petersburg who has wanted mass transit for years. Well, today that wish will begin the process becoming reality.

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) will present a symbolic $21.8 million check to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority at the groundbreaking of the SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit project, slated to be completed in 2022. The SunRunner will feature 9 buses and 31 stations and will transport people from downtown St. Petersburg to St. Pete Beach in just under 35 minutes. From his position on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, this $21.8 million from the Federal Transportation Administration is one of several grants Crist has been able to support for PSTA just this year. Crist previously announced $40.3 million in CARES Act funding for coronavirus response in August, as well as $1.2 million for bus fleet upgrades earlier this month and $720,000 for the Bus Rapid Transit Line in June.

After, Crist will visit Kozuba & Sons Distillery in St. Petersburg to tour this locally owned business and learn about their efforts to switch production to hand sanitizer to support first responders, non-profits, and health care workers. Crist will also visit St. Pete City Refuge to discuss COVID-19 impacts on residents experiencing homelessness and/or recovering from addiction.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.