St. Lucie Express $3 bus trips to West Palm Beach coming in September



The St. Lucie Express will soon be coming to downtown West Palm Beach.The buses will travel north and south via 1-95 providing two morning and two evening trips between Gatlin Park in Port St. Lucie and the Intermodal Transfer Center in West Palm Beach.Service is expected to start in September.

The St. Lucie Express will soon be coming to downtown West Palm Beach.

Palm Beach County commissioners have approved a contract to lease three coach buses to provide weekday commuter service. The pilot program is funded through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

Palm Tran developed a survey to determine the demand for such a service; 905 people participated, with 63% reporting they were likely to use the service and another 27% said they might use it. Many of commuters are expected to be county employees.

The 12-month lease with Nations Bus Corp. of St. Augustine is for $396,000, with Palm Tran administering the program and providing drivers. The lease is expected to be extended for two additional years. FDOT will assume those additional costs as well. After that, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties would have to determine if they want to continue the program.

Service is expected to start in September.

Where will the St. Lucie Express buses arrive and depart from in West Palm Beach?

The buses will travel north and south via Interstate 95, providing two morning and two evening trips between Gatlin Park in Port St. Lucie and the lntermodal Transfer Center on Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach. Once commuters arrive in West Palm Beach, they would be in walking distance of Brightline and Tri-Rail trains and Palm Tran buses.

A one-way trip is expected to take 50 minutes and cost $3. Palm Beach County residents who work in St. Lucie County are also expected to take bus. There are no plans to offer the service on weekends.

The move comes during a surge in housing prices across Palm Beach County that has led some people who work here to move north to the Treasure Coast in search of less expensive places to live.

More:Port St. Lucie Express to West Palm Beach for about $3: Bus service could come next year

The grant will pay for the lease of the three 50-passenger coach-style buses. Two will be…

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