Monday, June 27, 2011

Broward County Transit is Moving to the Future

Broward County Transit (BCT) is "moving to the future" with one of the very best and most productive public bus systems in the nation, director Tim Garling reported May 10.

"When you combine our fixed bus routes, community buses and Paratransit service, BCT provides close to 40 million rides each year." "BCT plays a large role in the future economic development, livability and sustainability of our County and region."

BCT strategies for meeting the future transit needs of the community include advancing regional travel by appealing to new and existing commuters, promoting energy efficiency, connecting with passengers through smart phones and other technology, and providing for rider safety, comfort and convenience. "And, we're working hard to attract the next generation of transit riders," said Garling.

Examples cited include:

• Two new I-595 Express routes from southwest Broward to downtown Fort Lauderdale and Miami are scheduled to launch in early 2012. New 95 Express Route service from southwest Broward County to downtown Miami and the Miami Civic Center area has been highly successful. Since the service was launched in January, ridership has increased 126 percent to more than 450 rides per day. These popular routes have 60-foot-long articulated buses, Wi-Fi capabilities and hybrid diesel engines that reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

• BCT was the first transit system in South Florida to introduce Google™ Transit to assist riders with online trip planning.

• Social media has been incorporated to appeal to a wider audience. A Facebook page provides frequent system updates and information of interest to customers. A BCT YouTube site includes a informative new "Go Green" video that shares the environmental benefits of using public transportation.

• "Real Time" bus information will be available via handheld devices, laptops and personal computers no later than 2013.

• Easier ways to pay a bus fare are in the works. Garling said plans include an interoperable fare payment system where customers can use a bank card or even a mobile phone to purchase trips on the BCT system.

• New customer comforts and conveniences are on the horizon. An aggressive, $23 million construction program calls for an additional 680 new bus shelters by 2014, bringing the system total to 1,177 countywide. The new Northeast Transit Center will open this fall at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Dixie Highway in Pompano Beach. Future construction projects include a major renovation at the Ravenswood Bus Facility in Dania Beach, a Park and Ride Lot at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, and an updated transfer facility at the Lauderhill Mall in Lauderhill.

"Technology is key to our future," Garling concluded, "but the strength of Broward County Transit has been and always will be its employees. We are all here to get you there."

For more information on Broward County Transit, visit

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