Help plan Okaloosa County’s public transit

Special to the News Bulletin/USA TODAY NETWORK

CRESTVIEW — The local bus service is seeking some experts to help plan the future of public transport in Okaloosa County: Its riders.

As the county continues to develop its 10-year Transit Development Plan, it’s inviting users — and would be users — of the Emerald Coast (EC) Rider bus system to provide feedback in person and online to help planners formulate future routes and stops.

EC Rider staff will meet with local passengers and interested riders to receive feedback on the schedule listed below. The meeting is 6-7 a.m. Tuesday, May 25 at Crestview City Hall, 198 N. Wilson St.

An EC Rider bus prepares to begin its late morning run from Crestview City Hall recently. The county transit office is seeking rider input about the bus service.

The EC Rider team will also meet the public the same day at 9-11 a.m. at the Elder Services of Okaloosa County stop, 207 Hospital Drive, Fort Walton Beach; and 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Destin Commons transfer station, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Interested residents may also provide input by taking a survey from the service’s website, www.ecrider.org/10yearplan.

Based on feedback, some of the ideas EC Rider is considering include:

• Expanding the current Crestview-Fort Walton Beach bus line, route 14, which currently only stops at Crestview City Hall, to include stops at Wal-Mart, North Okaloosa Medical Center, Twin Cities Hospital in Niceville, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, and Northwest Florida State College’s main Niceville campus.

• Provide more public transport service to Crestview

• Streamlining the several bus services that currently serve the south county beach communities between Fort Walton Beach and Destin.

• Making bus service quicker, safer and more reliable.

For further information, contact EC Rider at 850.833.9168 or email ECRider@co.okaloosa.fl.us.