The Workforce Express in Key West expanded yesterday

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

The Workforce Express for Key West Transit, expanded as of yesterday, including some new schedules, some new routes, and more locations and runs than ever before.

Delostrinos said, “We’re trying to really respond to the public and we have received a lot of feedback about how we could better serve them and they were asking that there was a little bit more, I guess, availability with the Workforce Express. Previously, we had a kind of a split shift where after peak after the morning rush, we took that route offline for four hours, and then we came back again in the evening. But now we’re going to run continuously from about 6:45 in the morning to about 6:45 In the evening. So that’s going to give a lot more options to the folks that that use it. It’s really about the same from Stock Island down to Bahama Village. But now we’re going to add the Lower Keys Medical Center as a stop, the apartments near 3900 South Roosevelt, Senior Center on Kennedy Drive, and also the Overseas Market. So really all the folks have been riding it, now they actually have a little bit more choice and hopefully it opens up a little bit more ridership for even the folks at the hospital, the workers there.”

The Workforce Express began last year.

Delostrinos said, “It happened in June and as I like to call it, it was an offspring of the Key West rides. We started seeing a lot more trips happening at the same time at the same location. So we’re like, hey, this makes sense. Let’s make the adjustment. The anticipated positive effect is that more availability will come to the Key West rides as some of these folks who need more predictability, as far as these time schedules will jump on the on the Workforce Express. I think that’ll be something that will work for a lot of people.”

Key West rides has grown as well.

Delostrinos said, “In November it’ll be two years. We’re looking I think at last count a little over 114,000 completed rides. So I think it’s doing its thing and again, without just the empty bus. They’re picking up. We’re constantly looking at this and trying to revamp how that systems working. But I think with this adjustment to the Workforce Express, it’s going to make this really good balancing effect. So then I think folks will also see a rise in response with the Key West rides.”

What’s the best way to look up the information?

Delostrinos explained, “We are in the process of updating our website, which most people are familiar with. Right now, if you go to the, it goes to his really beautiful live map to include the Workforce Express, it’s going to have the route out there. It’s going to also have the bus, but to get the scheduling right now you’re going to see it on the on the city of Key West website. However, in about 30 days or so we’re trying to go live with our website, which is going to include a trip planning feature. So as soon as you go to the landing page, you’ll be oh, I want to go from here to here. Great. And then the schedule is more accessible because again, taking that feedback and really looking at trying to be more responsive, our previous website was 15 years old. So it was definitely time to update it. But we want to put the best tools and the best information that people can use.”

The Lower Keys Shuttle is also good solution for people getting in and out of Key West.

Delostrinos said, “We’re really looking at how we can improve that. I think there’s going to be some positive things coming out. The county is bringing some service coming up, hopefully, that’ll help the public out a bit and then just always constantly reviewing how we’re doing things, how we’re serving the public, and trying to make adjustments accordingly.”

The Key West rides app is still available.

Delostrinos said, “The Key West rides app is still live, and even the KW transit is still live. But the only thing you’ll see there is the live map, which is actually I think, one of the most used pieces of information that we have, because they just really want to say, hey, where’s my bus?”

The passenger rate continues to grow month after month.

Delostrinos said, “We’re very proud of that. As we go on day to day, and we see the same people, we really form a great bond with the riding public. I’m very pleased that we’re small enough to be able to recognize the familiar faces and when they give us that feedback, we really try to take it all in, see how can better the system for everybody and try to implement that.”

Park and Ride is also continuing.

Delostrinos said, “We just fully executed our public transportation grant agreement with the great partners at FDOT Transit. They’re fully funding at 100% for the renovation of the Park and Ride. So we’re in the process of assembling a request for proposals so then we can get a contractor online and do the necessary renovation to the Park and Ride to even include the restroom because it’s a little dated, and we definitely want to make a better facility for us, but also if we can find ways to be a little bit more environmentally sensitive, I think people are going to see this project as a very positive thing. But of course, we’re still going to operate during that entire time. So we have to definitely phase that appropriately. Of course with Fantasy Fest just really on the horizon and New Year’s Eve, so those are things that we don’t want to shut down for because it’s a highly used facility, but definitely the work has to be done.”

While offices will be closed on July 4, bus service will continue as usual.

Delostrinos said, “Yesterday, we were informed that the City Commission has allowed the office to be closed also on the 5th. Again, services still continues for us. You could still call for your trips if you need to, the app will still be live. So really, for us, we’re seven days a week. We only take the three days off for the system shut down, and Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year. We’re just glad to serve and it’s a great celebration here on Key West, and we’re glad to be able to provide some transportation options for those who are partaking in all the festivities.”

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