Sometimes public transportation in the Keys is the easiest way to get around

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.

With traffic tie-ups, it can be a lot easier to use public transportation.

Delostrinos said, “Our vehicles can carry a lot more folks, which reduces the number of the vehicles on the road. It’s something to consider, I think we’re constantly improving to provide a service that people can use on the way to work, and there’s a lot of people right now that use it. But I think definitely through that Stock Island area, the Lower Keys shuttle, are something to consider.”

Transit Appreciation Week is in March.

Delostrinos said, “We really appreciate the City Commission recognizing this department. I really can’t be more proud of the men and women of this department and the services they provide. It’s really, every day except for Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s hard work and its safety, its security. We’re glad to have opportunity to recognize them. The proclamation kicks off kind of a week of recognition. We’ll have some Grab and Go breakfast, have lunch, of course they’re still working, but they can get a nice bite to eat. It’s just something that’s nice to take a minute to say thank you. There’s a lot of supporting cast, if you will, with the mechanics and the administrative folks, supervisors. It’s a big operation and I think that this is a very well warranted as far as its recognition.”

The Park and Ride renovation has begun.

Delostrinos said, “It’s going to be funded primarily through grants from the state and the federal government. What we’re looking for are putting some new features in, such as the electric car charging, and some other things that are sorely needed, like the remodeling of the bathrooms, lighting, the security cameras, resurfacing, kind of boring stuff, but I think you’ll appreciate it once we get this finished product. It’s going to take a little time because we have to go through the process and of course, we don’t want to shut anything down totally. So I think there’s going to be more to follow. I’ll be able to provide more updates, but I think it’s going to really provide an alternative so people can park, enjoy that area down there and hey, hop on a bus and see what’s available.”

An electric bus is also going to be coming to Key West in the future.  

Delostrinos said, “We’re really excited about that. The electric bus will be our first fully electric. We have two hybrids right now. But it’s this really going take a long time. The manufacturer has indicated about two years. Everybody’s trying to get these things. But that’ll give us time to really have our staff send our maintenance guys to some of the training that needs to be done. We have obviously have to construct a charging center on our facility, just so we can kind of really I guess, dip our toe into this whole electrification. It’s exciting for the community because it does reduce a lot of the emissions and just another platform to show that we really care about the environment.”

Key West Transit is also going to be taking people to and from the Marathon Seafood Festival this weekend.

Delostrinos said, “If anybody’s ever attended that event, it’s a great event. There is parking available, and you can cross over and the sheriff’s department does a great job of controlling the traffic. But hey, consider the Lower Keys Shuttle as the way to get up there. If you’re coming up from Key West, and all parts in between, or even just in Marathon, we operate all the way from the Sandowski Causeway and then we can go down south. It looks like we’ll have opportunities for maybe four or five rounds. Let us do the driving. Get out there enjoy yourself because really after a long day out in the sun, nothing beats that nice cold bus. Full fare is only $4. And of course, there’s a lot of the reduced fares for seniors, for students and that type of thing.”

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