What should Palm Beach County public transit service look like in 10 years?

About 24,000 passengers now ride Palm Tran daily
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 22:55:27-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With so much discussion on growth to South Florida infrastructure and industry, what should the future of public transportation in places like Palm Beach County look like? That's what Palm Tran is asking. There's a new survey the service wants all county residents -- both passengers and non-passengers -- to take. It's part of a 10-year transit development plan called Accelerate 2031.

About 24,000 passengers now ride Palm Tran daily.

Passengers like Tony Taylor rides at least five days a week to get to work.

"It gets me on time," Taylor said. "Affordable and convenient."

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So does Rachel Price, both for work and leisure.

"This is a blessing," Price said. "It's an economic engine."

Now combine that with growth to the industry, infrastructure and people.

"It would be like being out in the desert with no water -- no transportation," Kevin Chislom said.

Palm Tran executive director Clinton B. Forbes said the development plan Accelerate 2031 is a combination of planning responsibly and a requirement of the Florida Department of Transportation.

"We live in paradise here in Palm Beach County," Forbes said. "People are not moving away. They're moving here. That means that there will eventually be more congestion. We have to make public transportation one of the major components of our mobility plan here in the county."

Here's how the public transit bus system is doing it. From now through Oct. 8, all county residents are asked to take this survey Residents will answer questions on technology, trip planning and transit choices. The survey also gauges public input on funding.

"The top three things that we've been hearing from the public is one, they want more frequency," Forbes said. "Two, better east-west connections, and three, better bus stop infrastructure."

Forbes said bus rapid transit service for better east-west connections is already in the works, as well as updating bus stop infrastructure or street furniture. Still, the Accelerate 2031 survey will reveal the needs and demands of the county.

"What that looks like is before you use your car, you will look at the mobility options that Palm Tran provides," Forbes said.

Accelerate 2031 focuses on public transit needs to Palm Beach County beginning in 2022 through 2031, which is why there's an urgency to have all survey submissions by Oct. 8.