Getting To & Around Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater
Hillsborough and Pinellas counties lie midway down the west coast of Florida, a region that boasts a growing a population of millions. This bustling area is popular with visitors and residents alike with its abundant sunshine, attractions, public gardens and miles of white sand beaches. With all that activity and a rebounding economy, there are times when things can get a little crowded. But the region offers plenty of transportation solutions to help commuters, tourists and residents get where they need to go, including major interstates, U.S. highways and an international airport. Additionally, the area has a regional transit authority for commuters, and street cars and trolleys for more leisurely travel. Whether you’re going by car, bus, plane or train, there’s an easy way to get you from A to B.
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority manages four airports within the greater Tampa Bay Area: Tampa International Airport, Peter O. Knight Airport, Plant City Airport and Tampa Executive Airport.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport
6000 Airport Circle
Sarasota, FL 34243 941-359-2770
Nearly 55 miles south of Tampa and 5 miles from downtown Sarasota, this airport has two levels: the lower contains baggage claim and ticketing, and the upper the departure gates. Major airlines arrive and depart from 13 gates, including JetBlue, American, Delta, United, Air Canada and Elite. On-site rental car agencies, taxi, limo and shuttle services, and public transit offer ample ground transportation.
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport
4700 Terminal Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33762 727-453-7800
The Pinellas County airport provides direct service throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean as well as charter services. The airport’s main airline is Allegiant Air; it is also served by Sun Country and Sunwing Airlines. The airport is also home to Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, the largest and busiest Coast Guard air station in the United States.
Tampa International Airport
4160 George J. Bean Parkway
Tampa, FL 33607 813-870-8700
Tampa International is the area’s largest and primary commercial airport. It lies 5 miles west of downtown Tampa and is easily accessed via Interstate 275. Four airside terminals with 62 gates serve most of the major airlines including American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa and US Airways.
Ground transportation is readily available, with on-site rental car agencies across the walkways in both the red and blue baggage claim areas. Courtesy transport to off-site rental agencies is available from the commercial ground transportation quadrants in the four corners of the baggage claim level.
Cab service, shared passenger vans and airport limos are also available from the commercial ground transportation quadrants. Yellow Cab and United Cab serve the airport, and both companies charge similar fares. Bus and public transportation are also available. Find Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) route maps and schedules at the east end of the red baggage claim curbside by belt No. 15.
Clearwater-St. Petersburg Station
5251 110th Ave. N
Pinellas Park Square, Suite 101
Clearwater, FL 33760 800-872-7245
Tampa Union Station
601 N. Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL 33602 800-872-7245
Tampa’s home to Amtrak opened in 1912 to combine passenger service for the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line and the Tampa & Gulf Coast Railroad. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Through grants and loans, Tampa Union Station Preservation and Redevelopment Inc. and CSX restored and reopened the station in 1998. Visit the Amtrak website for the latest train schedule.
Regional Transit Authority
4305 E. 21st Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605. 813-623-5835
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) covers an area of about 1,000 square miles and provides numerous transportation services such as local fixed-route and express bus service, in-town trolleys, vanpools and guaranteed rides home.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
3201 Scherer Drive N
St. Petersburg, FL 33716 727-540-1900
More than 200 vehicles pick up 14.9 million riders a year (45,126 daily) from 4,929 stops and then transport them around 40 routes — including two express routes to Hillsborough County.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) also offers special trolley service. Ride in style to scenic and entertaining destinations on four air-conditioned, natural gas-powered trolleys in the PSTA system. The Suncoast Beach Trolley route covers all the beach communities between downtown Clearwater to 75th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard. The Central Avenue Trolley runs from the St. Petersburg Pier to Pass-a-Grille Beach. Take the Jolley Trolley from Clearwater Beach to Tarpon Springs. The Downtown Looper gets you to locales between Dolphin Trolley Station and Pelican Trolley Station, with stops at shops, museums and more in between. Check the PSTA website for fares and route schedules.