Palm Tran launches “Let’s Get on the Bus!” challenge at Palm Beach Zoo

April 10, 2024
The challenge aims to promote ridership and sustainability by inspiring the community to take advantage of public transit.

In front of a flock of flamingos, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard, kicked-off the “Let’s Get on the Bus!” Challenge, a three-month long contest from Palm Tran to promote transit ridership and sustainable transportation in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

“Today we’re kicking off the Let’s Get on the Bus Challenge in Palm Beach County, celebrating Palm Tran for providing transportation for our residents,” said Bernard. “Transit is all about moving people to all the places, possibilities and opportunities that Palm Beach County has to offer.”

The launch of the challenge began with an event dubbed “Move and Mingle,” where leaders like Bernard feature destinations accessible by the fixed-route bus service in Palm Beach County. 

Starting at the Intermodal Station in West Palm Beach, Bernard, along with Palm Tran executive leadership and staff boarded a bus and headed to the Palm Beach Zoo. Zoo staff greeted Bernard and the rest of the crew with a DJ and reception, before taking a brief tour of the zoo.

“The Palm Beach Zoo and Palm Tran have both been here around 50 years and, for 50 years, we’ve seen this bus every morning dropping off folks at the zoo,” said John Towey, public relations manager for the zoo. 

Open to both residents and visitors, the challenge goes beyond a simple contest, aiming to inspire and educate the community on the advantages of using public transportation and fostering sustainability. Participants have the chance to win exciting prizes each week such as a three-month Paradise Pass, free rides and gift cards. Special prizes include cruise tickets, golfing and camping passes and tickets to local attractions, such as the Palm Beach Zoo, Cox Science Center, Calypso Bay Waterpark and more. 

As part of the challenge, Palm Tran invited community leaders, businesses and schools to unite in promoting to become “Transit Champions,” promoting public transportation and recruiting passengers to their Transit Champion teams to compete for a grand prize based on ridership. Bernard was the first featured Transit Champion.

“As Transit Champions what we want to do is promote transit in Palm Beach County,” said Bernard. “We are looking forward to creating a dedicated funding source to address transportation for our residents in Palm Beach County. I’m so happy to be the first Transit Champion and I’m gonna be Palm Tran’s champion all the time!”

Other Transit Champions that have signed on so far include:

•    Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Chelsea Reed
•    School Board Member Marcia Andrews
•    Transportation Planning Agency Executive Director Valerie Neilson
•    President of Palm Beach State College Ava Parker, J.D. 
•    West Palm Beach Mobility Coalition Executive DirectorJonathan Hopkins  
•    West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Raphael Clemente

"We're excited to witness the community unite for this thrilling challenge, and we urge everyone to try public transit. It’s the best low-cost option for people to safely and conveniently travel to where they need to go," said Evan Henderson, interim senior public relations manager at Palm Tran.
Riders can join the challenge by downloading the Paradise Pass app and registering at Palm Tran's website using the same email they use with the app.  

The challenge aims to highlight how choosing to ride the bus is a significant step towards environmental sustainability and financial savings. Public transportation reduces individual vehicle usage, resulting in decreased emissions and improved traffic flow, while also saving riders money on fuel, parking, and vehicle maintenance costs. Embracing bus travel actively contributes to reducing carbon footprints, conserving energy, and enhancing air quality for current and future generations. By participating in this challenge, riders can contribute to a healthier planet while enjoying the convenience and economic advantages that public transportation offers.

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Nov. 6, 2013