BELLE GLADE — Palm Tran hosted the first of several “Route Performance Maximization (or RPM) summits” in Belle Glade, at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center on June 11. The event was well-attended, drawing in a crowd of more than 45 participants.

The RPM summits serve as an immersive opportunity for the public to contribute feedback on specific proposed improvements. When the RPM launches, projected to be in fall 2018, Palm Tran riders can expect improved travel times, more direct service and an overall better customer service experience.

The Glades area poses a unique challenge due to its distance from the main developed areas of Palm Beach County. This results in routes that must traverse extensive areas of undeveloped land in order to reach destinations that generate travel demand.

At the Belle Glade RPM summit, Palm Tran presented a number of proposals to combat these challenges. Some of these include merging its Routes 47 and 48 into one single route that would improve frequency to every 30 minutes and result in more direct service. Implementing a dial-a-ride service was another initiative proposed to cater to lower-density areas.

Overall, public response at the Belle Glade summit was positive. Summit participants contributed their input and commended Palm Tran for the initiative to overhaul its system.

“The Belle Glade summit was a tremendous success,” said Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes. “We were able to have a robust conversation with the Belle Glade community and gather valuable feedback to further our efforts to launch an improved bus network.”

The RPM summits serve as the second phase of the outreach project. The initial outreach phase took place through May and involved collecting surveys from both riders and nonriders. In total, Palm Tran received more than 1,100 surveys during this phase. The data collected from the surveys helped generate data for the present RPM proposals.

For more information on the RPM initiative and to submit comments, visit: