LeeTran Infrastructure Projects
Based on Census data, Lee County is the second-fastest-growing county in Florida, with a 2% plus growth rate in the past year and almost 32% growth since 2010. This increase in population creates a need for additional facilities and LeeTran is moving forward to support the demand.
Three projects are underway, including a total renovation of one of LeeTran's major transportation hubs as well as two additional transfer and park & ride facilities.
Rosa Parks Transportation Center
The Rosa Parks facility was built over 20 years ago and has become a significant focal point in the transit network. Because this location has multimodal activity, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has designated this busy transit hub as an Emerging Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) facility. Due to the age of this facility and a demand for additional service and amenities, there is a need for improvements in order to facilitate passengers traveling throughout Lee County.
LeeTran has received a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grant in the amount of up to $6 million and has an estimated project cost of $4.5 million for the necessary renovations. Design work is completed and construction is underway to include structural and mechanical, two new bays at the northeast corner of the site, two more street-side bays to the west side of the site, and expanded connections for persons with limited mobility. In addition, the facility will gain upgraded technology features and renovations to the interior and exterior of the building making the space more comfortable and convenient for passengers.
These improvements will optimize customer service, improve circulation and alleviate facility congestion while reinforcing security for transit operations, as well as expand and improve connection/access for bicyclists, pedestrians, and persons with limited mobility.
Commencement of construction was November of 2021 and completion will be June 2022.
South Fort Myers
Transfer Station and Park & Ride
South Fort Myers has developed substantially. The location of the current stops near the Bell Tower Shops is not ideal as buses stop in the travel lanes and customers frequently cross the street in an area where automobile traffic is very heavy. LeeTran is moving forward with a new transfer/multimodal park & ride on County-owned property located at 13182 S Cleveland Ave., adjacent to the Elections Center, and will replace the Bell Tower Shops bus stops.
LeeTran has received a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grant of $160,000 for design and additional Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding in the amount of approximately $6.34 million for construction. A total project cost of $7.9 million is estimated to develop a south Fort Myers transfer facility and multimodal center.
Lee Tran, along with the assistance of Lee County Facilities, contracted an engineering firm for design and permitting and a contractor to build the project. The new facility will include seven canopied bus bays, a covered waiting area, public restrooms, and technology-driven amenities. The site will also include proportionate parking and space for bicycle storage, connections for pedestrians and access for those with limited mobility. Furthermore, bus bays will have conduit infrastructure for future electric buses. Construction commenced in May of 2022 and has an anticipated completion of March of 2023.
Lehigh Acres Park & Ride Transfer Facility
The population within Lehigh Acres has grown significantly by approximately 31% since 2010, creating a demand for additional transit services. There are two access roads to and from Lehigh Acres and during peak-time traffic, vehicles are at a standstill and may take approximately 45 minutes or longer to get from central Lehigh Acres to Cleveland Ave., near the Edison Mall. There are limited employment opportunities forcing many to travel outside the area for work. Moreover, the lower socioeconomic makeup means many do not have reliable transportation and getting to and from work can be challenging.
LeeTran has an opportunity to centrally locate a Park & Ride facility within Lehigh Acres and provide additional services to and from the community and is moving forward with the development of this project. The park & ride will be located at 1121 Village Lakes Blvd., adjacent to the Lehigh Acres Park on Williams Ave. The facility will include four bus bays, parking, bicycle storage, a staff restroom, a covered waiting area, and technology-driven amenities. In addition, this location will eventually serve as the hub for the Lehigh Acres Mobility on Demand service (MOD).
Design is underway and commencement of construction is anticipated January 2023 with completion expected to be February 2024. This project has an estimated total cost of approximately $6.14 million and LeeTran will utilize Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding to subsidize this project.
LeeTran has upgraded its fare collection system to improve efficiencies and the overall rider experience. The new fast fare boxes are equipped with updated technology and are now available in all fixed-route buses. The upgrade meets LeeTran's current and future identified needs related to fare collection and its corresponding cash management. Additional benefits include data reporting functionality to meet the needs of our planning and finance departments as well as other organizational requirements related to the data collected via this upgrade.
Ticket Vending Machines are located at several of LeeTran's transfer points and now provide mobile ticketing options and fare balance management. The idea of seamless travel and expediency for riders is a commonly exhibited benefit as is the centralization of fare and data collection. Riders will enjoy the convenience of using preloaded fare cards that will cut down on the technical snags and delays during the boarding process. Although U.S. currency is still accepted, our new fast farebox technology has proven to minimize delays associated with handling money at the point of boarding and LeeTran's goal is to improve the overall rider experience to expedite this process. The project is being funded by two Urbanized Area Formula grants
Bus Stop and Facilities ADA Improvement Plan
LeeTran has set a goal to make all infrastructure ADA compliant and has hired a consulting firm to perform a Bus Stop and Facilities ADA Accessibility Study to include a transition plan known as the Bus Stop and Facilities ADA Improvement Plan.
The consultant's Scope of Work is to inspect LeeTran infrastructure for ADA compliance and develop a methodology and rank system-wide improvements based on the data collected during the inventory assessment process. This will follow with an order-of-magnitude cost and a phased implementation plan with low-cost, short-and long-term improvements. This study will be a tool to develop a system-wide set of prioritized accessibility and safety improvements.
LeeTran has a goal to make a number of improvements annually based on available funding and/or resources obtainable over time.
The Transition Plan will be completed by May 2022 and procurement for Professional Design and Post-Design Services will commence followed by construction of bus stop improvements based on the first phase of the Plan.