“I tried to think of something catchy, and that’s the first thing that came to mind,” Ms. Abrams-Cunningham said.
The new service is a pilot project financed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and is expected to launch in late December. Go Glades will utilize vehicles that are smaller than Palm Tran’s typical buses. The vehicles will serve four new, flexible routes in the region. A flexible route means that the vehicle will be able to make a slight detour to take riders more directly to their destinations.
The service is an extension to Palm Tran’s system overhaul launched Sept. 30, 2018. Earlier this fall, the Belle Glade/Pahokee Palm Tran’s Route 47 was merged with Route 48, serving Canal Point and South Bay. The changes resulted in improved efficiency and on-time performance. The four new Go Glades flexible routes will supplement the improved service.
Many great ideas were received for the name of the new service, according to Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes. Among the ideas were: “The Pink Flamingo,” “Out West Meadows Transit” and “Muck City Transit.”
“There were many thoughtful submissions, but ultimately we were drawn to the name ‘Go Glades’ because the name embodies Palm Tran’s effort to improve access to opportunity in the area,” Mr. Forbes said. “When ‘Go Glades’ launches, the service will make it easier for residents of the Glades to get where they need to go safely and efficiently,” he added.
“Sometimes I feel like we are forgotten out here, so it feels pretty good that (Palm Tran is) bringing something extra to my community,” Ms. Abrams-Cunningham said.
Ms. Abrams-Cunningham is familiar with Palm Tran, as her husband and son use the service regularly. She said she understands the importance of efficient public transportation and looks forward to seeing the changes help residents navigate the region with ease.
“I know that the new system is going to help a lot of the elderly people get around a little bit better because they don’t have the vehicles, and a lot of people in my area don’t have the transportation to just get up and go,” Abrams-Cunningham said.
When asked what is her favorite part of living in Pahokee, Ms. Abrams-Cunningham mentioned her love for fishing. “Ever since I’ve been able to walk, I’ve gone fishing with Mom and Dad,” she said.
The logo for Go Glades incorporates imagery of Lake Okeechobee and the natural wildlife in the area. Fares for Go Glades will be publicized in the near future.
The initial launch of the service will include two free weeks for everyone to try out Go Glades. For more information on the new service, visit: palmtran.org.
Palm Tran announced the winner of its first-ever naming contest that allowed Glades residents to submit their ideas to name the transportation service coming to the region. The naming contest was open several weeks, and 70 ideas were submitted. The winning name selected by Palm Tran is: “Go Glades,” which was submitted by Pahokee native Telica Abrams-Cunningham — a 36-year-old third-grade teacher. As winner of the naming competition, Ms. Abrams-Cunningham received three 31-day bus passes and will be honored in a kickoff event early next year.