Five days a week, Betty Jennings waits at her home at 8 a.m. for a ride to work.
The white Santa Rosa Transportation vans that pull into her driveway for the weekday commutes to her job at the United Way of Santa Rosa County on U.S. 90 are great — Jennings used to walk to work — but the Milton woman says she would like more flexibility in public transportation.
“I would like to see a part-time, fixed-route that is available at least six days a week so people can shop, get to work or have some recreation,” she said.
Jennings is among the Santa Rosa County residents who are classified as transportation disadvantaged, which means she relies on a community transportation service to get around.
In Santa Rosa County, there is currently no fixed-route transportation system, as in neighboring Escambia County with Escambia County Area Transit. A fixed-route system, known as Santa Rosa Transit, started in 2010 on a two-year trial run but died out because of a lack of ridership.
Instead, Santa Rosa County public transportation is an amalgam of community transportation services. And it will remain that way for the foreseeable future, despite evidence of the desire for fixed-route transportation in the county.
Escambia County’s 2016 Transit Development Plan — a Florida Department of Transportation mandated, multi-year report for counties with fixed-route transportation systems — showed a…