The county hopes to begin using the first route in 2017.
Flagler County hopes to have buses running on least three fixed bus routes in coming years, as well as transit zones in neighborhoods that will bring people from their homes to the longer fixed routes.
“Those routes will go offline, if you will, and go to the people,” said Robb Gregg of the Center for Urban Transportation Research, which helped develop a county transit draft plan. “And so you’re going to have an active almost Uber-like service. ... You’ll be able to use your mobile devices, you’ll be able to call, you’ll be able to get on the Internet, and a route will be developed.”
The County Commission approved the draft plan at a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 15, so that the county can send it to the Florida Department of Transportation with grant requests.
Flagler County has a public paratransit system — it’s required by law, so that people who are disabled have some way to get around — but it’s limited and without fixed routes that have buses running on a schedule.
Its customers, according to surveys, are generally elderly and low-income residents who use the buses two to four times per week, often to get to and from medical appointments.
The top three pickup areas for the county’s current buses are the Flagler Technical Center on Corporate Drive in Palm Coast, the Senior Center on Daytona Avenue in Flagler Beach and medical offices on Kingwood Drive in Palm Coast. (See “Proposed: Six Routes” for details.)
Commissioner Nate McLaughlin noted that the Blue Route and Red Route pass the county’s hotels and could be used to get tourists to the beach.
County Administrator Craig Coffey said the county hopes to also use those routes in summer to transport teens.
“This would be a way they could get to the beach, they could visit the beach, without Mom and Dad,” he said. The county, he said, has “talked about the buses we would like: We talked about lots of bike racks, even places for surf boards and fishing poles.”
The first routes to be implemented under the current plan would be the Blue Route in 2017, then the Red Route in 2018 and the Green Route in 2021. Buses would run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The proposed system, Coffey told county commissioners at the workshop, “could take pressure off of our paratransit as well, because there could be some people we’re taking to work now, that
Courtesy image The first priority for a route would
be the Blue Route, shown above, possibly in 2017.
now they could take this fixed route.”
The plan will be submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation before Swept. 30, then undergo a 60-day state review period.
PROPOSED: SIX ROUTES
- Blue Route: From the Walmart in Palm Coast to the Government Services building in Bunnell
- Red Route: From Florida Hospital to U.S. 1 in Bunnell and then east to Flagler Beach on State Road 100
- Green Route: From Walmart west to U.S. 1 and then looping east and north to Matan- zas High School on Old Kings Road
- Orange Route: From Walmart to Matanzas High School on Florida Park Drive
- Yellow Route: From Walmart to Matanzas High School on Palm Harbor
- Black Route: From Walmart to Matanzas High School via Belle Terre Parkway