Palm Tran celebrates the Grand Opening of its new, state-of-the-art headquarters

March 25, 2021
The ribbon cutting event coincides with agency’s 50th anniversary.

Palm Tran Public Transportation celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters in Delray Beach, Fla., with a socially-distanced outdoor event on March 2, 2021. The event, coined “New Day, New Way, Delray,” also recognized Palm Tran’s historic 50 years in transit service and the progress that has been made over the years. Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia C. Baker, Assistant County Administrator Todd J. Bonlarron, Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth, Commissioner Mack Bernard, Commissioner Gregg K. Weiss, Commissioner Maria Sachs and Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes used golden scissors to cut the ribbon leading to the front doors.

“As Palm Tran celebrates 50 years in service, we are waking up to the dawn of a new era in public transit,” said Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes. “The world is finding a new normal and we are tasked with innovating how to get there.”

The primarily federally-funded $25-million project expanded what was once a 3,800-square-foot satellite office into a three-story, roughly 34,000-square-foot facility with cutting-edge technology. Palm Tran now has the initial infrastructure to charge fully electric, zero-emissions buses and is currently seeking grant funding to purchase electric vehicles. The building also provides Palm Tran with a public meeting room, offers a greater area for employee training and allows for more administrative office space.

“You see the buses on the road, but our focus has always been about the people,” said Director of Support Services Gilbert Morales. “Our team has taken extra steps to make this facility comfortable, sustainable and efficient for the employees we have now and for decades to come.”

Palm Tran can service an additional 20 buses at the location thanks to renovated service bays. The new headquarters features an expanded area for the drivers, new computers, new locker rooms, a gym and a quiet space for reflection. Construction included strategies of the Florida Green Building Coalition such as water use reduction with low flow faucets, LED motion-sensor lighting, improved indoor air quality and installing a Florida-friendly landscape.

Notably, 90 percent of the entire project was funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Also, 56 percent of the design phase included women and minority owned businesses.

During the program, County Administrator Verdenia C. Baker took time to show gratitude for Palm Tran’s essential workers.

“During the pandemic, you never wavered,” she said. “You came in, you provided the services that needed to be provided, services that our residents so deserve.”

Others in attendance echoed those sentiments of appreciation for the transit services that continued throughout the height of the pandemic. Commissioner Mack Bernard, whose district the new headquarters is in, also highlighted how public transit is what can pull the economy back up.

“As I extend congratulations to the Palm Tran team, I also say get ready! We have more to do! This is a new day, a new way, in Delray,” said Bernard.

The new facility is located near the corner of Congress Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, making it close to a tourism and recreational hotspot. It is also located near many small businesses in Downtown Delray Beach.

During the grand opening, Palm Tran debuted one of the area’s largest new art installations. A 2,000-square-foot mural made of small tile squares adorns three sides of the building and is inspired by themes of movement and community connection. The artwork, titled “On My Way,” was created by award-winning artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar of R & R Studios.

Near the closing of the festivities, Forbes also announced Palm Tran’s next goal of upgrading the fare technology to include a touchless payment system. Attendees were given specially designed masks featuring the agency’s “New Day, New Way, Delray” slogan and a tour of the facility.