Update: February 18:  We’ve learned that the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization (Bay County TPO) will hold a public meeting to solicit input regarding a proposed fare increase for Bay Town Trolley  This meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 10:00 am CST at the Bay County Public Library (898 W. 11th Street, Panama City, FL  32401).  Public comments will be heard from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Proposed fare increases are on the one day pass (from $3 to $5) and on the 31 day pass (from $30 to $40).  The plan is to keep the single ride fare at $1.50 per ride.

Bay Town TrolleyThe Bay County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has just announced enhancements to their service for 2013.

2012 showed higher than anticipated increases in ridership on both the Bay Town Trolley and the demand response service, Bay Area Transportation.

Planned upgrades, pending funding, include:

•Additions to the current trolley fleet

•Improvements at trolley stops throughout Bay County

•Exploration of partnering with Google Transit

“To say that 2012 was a very exciting year for us, is an understatement,” said Gene Keen, Chief Administrative Manager for Bay Town Trolley. “During the past 12 months, we have consistently moved full buses throughout the community. With increased demand and loading times, we’ve continued to work hard on maintaining route schedules to get passengers where they need to go. We look forward to continuing to meet this need in 2013.”

The Bay Town Trolly will add five full-length buses in the spring. assisting with current overcrowding on some of the highest traffic routes. Additionally,the Bay TPO is working to improve trolley stops by making them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Finally an exciting part of the plan is the exploration of partnering with Google Transit.  This system-wide integration would allow riders to easily plan trips using public transportation with the click of a button. Trip planning will give users step-by-step directions, including distance to a nearest trolley stop, route transfers and total travel time.

“We are always working to improve the rider experience and look forward to these exciting enhancements in 2013,” said Vikki Garrett, staff to the Bay County TPO and West Florida Regional Planning Council planner. “These public transportation services in Bay County continue to meet a strong demand in the community. With the support of both riders and non-riders alike, we will continue to blaze a path to mobility and access for all.”

For more information about Bay Town Trolley or Bay Area Transportation, or if you have insight into a trolley stop that needs upgrading, please contact Vikki Garrett of the West Florida Regional Planning Council at 850-332-7976, extension 211.

 

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