Major Bus Route Changes
While warming up for the inauguaral City Center race on Saturday April 18th, I noticed something interesting. On the northwest corner of Clematis and Quadrille there is a very significant bus stop where there are always buses sitting and waiting, plus large crowds of people waiting for their buses. From across the street at City Center, I noticed that a large sign had been posted there saying WE ARE MOVING. So I went across the street to investigate further. Sure enough, almost all of the routes covered by this particular bus stop will be moving to another location on May 10th. One or two routes will continue to stop at the Clematis/Quadrille stop, but the vast majority of the Palm Tran (Palm Beach County bus system) routes previously stopping there will instead be stopping at the new intermodal transit location near the Tri-Rail station, west of the western end of Clematis Street.
This appears to have been a decision made by the the Palm Beach County MPO which operates Palm Tran, without any connection to the City of West Palm Beach. Nevertheless, as someone who walks down Clematis Street everyday, I think it may have a significant impact on the street. For people who come to work in downtown West Palm Beach on those buses, it would not appear to be as convenient, because they will be dropped off much farther from the center of town (though still within walking distance). For other passersby, that area will be less crowded, especially making it easier for the city employees who now park in the new city garage on the Clematis Street 500 block to cross Quadrille to reach their workplace at the new City Center.
As a pedestrian who frequents the area, I can't say that I will miss being approached by people who are asking for money, making up one story or another about how they had a fight with their girlfriend and they need money for the bus trip home. That will no longer be as valid an excuse if there is no major bus route coming through the area. Those people will instead be accosting passersby in a more remote section of downtown near the Tri-Rail station.
It's really too early to tell what the impact of this change will be, but it seems that overall it may be a bit less favorable for people who take the bus, and somewhat more favorable for others in that it will lessen congestion at the corner of Clematis and Quadrille.