On June 27, 2007, the Florida Legislature created the Polk Transit (PT) which is an independent special district for purposes of providing mass transit services to the citizens of Polk County. The PT has a Board of Directors made up of nine voting members and one non-voting member that represent the citizens of Polk County and its municipalities. The PT is independent from the Board of County Commissioners and the municipalities within the county.
The Polk Transportation Planning Organization conducted a Countywide Transit Study in 2003 which provided evidence that increased coordination and cooperation among PT providers was needed. The Polk Regional Transportation Organization (RTO) was created in 2004 to increase coordination of the existing transit services and lead the transition to a new countywide transit system. The RTO Board members, along with the Transition Committee, worked on drafting the legislation presented to the Florida Legislators in 2007 to form the PT. On July 27, 2007, Governor Crist
signed Bill 777, officially forming the PT. The PT Board of Directors was seated and held its first meeting on February 27, 2008, in Haines City.
Polk Transit, the umbrella name currently housing Citrus Connection, Polk Transit Services and the Board of County Commissionerís activities relative to transit services, is currently working to consolidate as many functions as possible to begin enjoying some economies of scale and be good stewards of the taxpayersí dollars.
To that end all phone activities relative to any transit service, fixed or paratransit, are handled through a new transit call center located in Bartow. By calling one number, 855-POLKBUS (765-5287.) a person will be able to get information on the city buses, paratransit services, Medicare and Medicaid transportation and services available for the transportation disadvantaged. The Call Center, opened in July, 2013 has made access to transit a simpler process. Other service combinations are beginning to happen, or under consideration. We will do all we can to improve efficiencies for the transit riding public until we can truly combine services under the banner of Polk Transit.
A new plan, MY RIDE, has been created to provide transit solutions for 17 municipalities in Polk County including Poinciana. The MY RIDE plan came together based on citizens input regarding what good transit service looked like to them. Itís not a one-size-fits-all remedy. Itís a true solution to transit needs based on individual municipalities. In November, 2014 the MY RIDE referendum will be on the ballot providing voters an opportunity to decide on public transit serviceís future in Polk County.
We strive to be a superior provider of transportation services that contribute to the economic growth and quality of life for the communities we serve.
Polk County Transit Services is to coordinate and ensure safe, timely, and cost effective door-to-door and fixed route transit services while extending dignity and respect to those we serve.
Effectively connecting people with their world through expanded, environmentally friendly service with full support of the communities we serve.