PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Malcom Harris-Gowdie relies on others to get to work and church.
“If I didn’t have transportation, I’d just be sitting at home doing nothing," says the Port St. Lucie resident.
He just learned of a new program in Port St. Lucie to make it easier for him to get around.
Through the Treasure Coast Connector, the city and county have partnered with a micro-transit technology company, TransLoc, for a new rideshare program.
“Really easy to use. All you have to do is download the TransLoc App," said Harris-Gowdie.
“Essentially, it’s a “public uber” service where someone can hail a ride from the palm of their hand," said Murriah Dekle, the Transit Manager for St. Lucie County.
Dekle says the program started in December for residents in the southwestern part of the city.
“What we’re encouraging is that connection to the fixed-route bus stop so folks can traverse the entire county," said Dekle.
If it’s successful, one goal of this year-long pilot program is to bring full-time bus service to that part of the city.
The average wait time is about 23 minutes. When Newschannel 5 hailed a ride, Marisol Whitehead was there to pick up in 20.
She says what started as 2 riders a day, is now up to 20 with a number of regular passengers and routes.
“That’s what people love that it’s from the city and whoever comes and picks them up is a professional," said Whitehead.
“We have major activity centers, major employers in the Tradition area. So we are connecting people to their jobs. It’s an essential component of economic development," said Dekle.
Dekle says you can’t put bus stops on every corner, so they’re always looking for ways to get people closer to where they need to be.