Key West Transit is always looking for new innovations to help make YOUR travel easier

Rod Delostrinos, the Director of Transportation for Key West, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM yesterday morning to talk about what’s been going on with traffic.

There are some grants underway for some further innovation in transit, which will be on the agenda for the Key West City Commission meeting on Thursday.  

Delostrinos said, “We have several items on the agenda here on Thursday and some of them are just the operational things, the day to day, the salaries, that type of thing. But some of the more exciting things are the park and ride renovation funding is on there and thank you to FDOT District Six, they were able to really come through when we identified this need and said, hey, this facility really needs a great facelift. So that should actually help out as far as some of the resurfacing, the lighting, the restrooms, that type of thing. So hopefully, the customers will see an improvement in the service down there. Once this grant agreement is fully executed, then we would go out for an RFP and we’ve already kind of set the stage for that with other departments, engineering department is absolutely one of the ones that we rely on when it comes to these types of things. So that team and us, we’ll be able to move forward. I probably think that you’ll see an RFP on the street in the next few months and then it’s just a matter of the selection, and then really picking the right time because we’re not intending to shut the entire facility down. It’s going to be a phase thing. So it’ll take a little bit longer, but they’ll still be able to have parking opportunities.”

There are also new innovations at the Stock Island facility.

Delostrinos said, “This is one that we’re really excited about. This is the Key West Intermodal Center. What this would be is to be able to have a multimodal hub where folks could come here and park and then be able to access other things like the bus, but also perhaps a bike or scooter, walking. I mean, really, there’s a lot of things. Some of the initiatives that we’re trying to take is to have a parking structure here. We’re looking at an automated parking so we can maximize the amount of cars on the on the area here, but also to put other elements in here. Potentially employee housing on site, potentially some retail for that economic engine, and even a green space on top. So really, there’s a lot in this in this basket. One of the things that’s really the determining factor is if FDOT’s feasibility study, which should be completed at the end of this month, is favorable. Then that’s really where the really hard work begins with the funding and getting the traffic study, potential looking at the rezoning. There’s just really so much, but it’s such an exciting prospect to try to alleviate some of the congestion into Key West, especially the triangle, as we know, is that is that funnel part. So, we look forward to seeing what the results of the feasibility study are. We’ve kind of dubbed it The Key West Intermodal Center or KWIC, kind of a branding thing already and this is something we’ve been kicking around for a few years. There’s been discussions of perhaps in this area, in the facility to have a type of a welcome center or Information Center, where people can say, oh, well, how do I get around or what’s available here in Key West? So it’s not just a glorified bus stop. But it’s really, it’s a center for the community.”

The on demand service is continuing to grow as well.

Delostrinos said, “I think we’re over 108,000 rides since we started. That’s been a very popular service. Then we’ve we started the Workforce Express along with it and I think the next few months, because we’ve been really looking at that data and saying, hey, how can we improve the service? So we think we’re going to adjust some service on the Workforce Express in order to balance out what’s happening on the Key West Rides. But really, overall, it’s a slow moving ship and you just can’t, from day to day make these tweaks. We really look at it over time to make the right assessment for the riding public.”

What is the Workforce Express?

Delostrinos said, “It’s an express, fixed route that goes from Stock Island to Bahama Village, and it has only a certain amount of stops. So I think total trip, we’ll get you there in 30 minutes, if you went from the beginning to the end. Currently, that’s it’s just during peak times. So it’ll be in the morning till about 10 and then it picks up again at 4 for that evening commute. Some of the changes we are looking at, is being able to make it run all day and also to extend the line a little bit because we’re seeing a lot of repeat ridership from Key West rides where perhaps the Workforce Express could take some of those passengers who are looking really at the time and helping them out as far as getting them there as quickly as possible, and then freeing up other on demand availability for the Key West Rides. Our main focus are those captive riders, folks that that depend on us day to day. So we look at that really hard and fast. But we also are trying to provide really a service that meets a lot of other people’s needs, tourists included.”

Monroe County is also looking at a service to help those on Stock Island have transportation.

Delostrinos said, “It’s complementary to what we’re doing here, which is great, because the folks on Stock Island, they really are a big part of the ridership that we see here at Key West Transit and anything that could help those folks get the back and forth is definitely helpful and welcome.”

Passio Go is a new opportunity with Key West Transit.

Delostrinos said, “We were upgrading the GPS, onboard the buses, we’ve contracted with Passio and what that’s able to do, and the app that’s available, Passio Go provides the location of the bus, and it also has features where you could see, and this is primarily for the fix route, so the Lower Keys Shuttle, Workforce Express and the Duvall Loop, those routes, you can see where the bus is coming and has some predictive arrivals. But it also has the ability on the app to provide a feedback, which is so critical to let us know, hey, what’s happening out there and things that need to be improved. Folks that are operators that doing a great job, all those kinds of things, we really welcome when it comes to that. But if you don’t want to download the Passio Go app, you could also always go to the website for the map and you can see that. It doesn’t have all the functionality as the app, but it certainly provides you with some basic info, like where’s your bus?”

Hurricane season has officially begun.

Delostrinos assured, “Key West Transit has dusted off our evacuation. We have that mission to take folks to the different shelters, whether it’s local or to FIU in Miami, but we just say that have a plan for everybody and we’ll take you up there, we’ll take your pets up there, just make sure they’re in a carrier. But this hurricane season, looks to be a little more active. So not to scare anybody, but really just to be prepared. But again, we have your back, we’ll take you if you’re not able to get up to the different shelters and we’re happy to do it.”

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