As a part of the transportation planning activities, the St. Lucie TPO monitors existing conditions by conducting traffic counts, performing level of service analyses, identifying transportation needs and developing short term and long range transportation plans. The TPO plans and prioritizes the roadway projects while ensuring safety and mobility.
To improve the mobility and accessibility, the TPO conducts planning studies to meet the growing needs of the Cities of Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, the Village of St. Lucie and St. Lucie County. The roadway projects included in the five year work program and long range plan are the result of those studies and planning activities. Those planning studies include corridor plans, access management plans, safety studies and congestion management studies.
The TPO also operates the four-step travel demand model Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure (FSUTMS) known as the Greater Treasure Coast Regional Planning Model (GTCRPM) to predict the future travel conditions and perform alternative analyses.
The TPO supports on-going bicycle and pedestrian planning activities which include open and meaningful public involvement. The TPO provides staff support to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and works with relevant transportation agencies and organizations to prioritize, fund and implement safe pedestrian, bicycle, green-way and shared-use pathway projects.
Public transportation includes buses, trolleys, rail, vanpools, ferry boats, taxis, and demand response (door-to-door, shared ride) services. The use of public transportation benefits the economy and the environment by increasing personal mobility while reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
The St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), through its Community Services Department, contracts with the Council on Aging of St. Lucie County (also known as Community Transit) to provide public transportation services throughout St. Lucie County. Specialized Medicaid transportation is provided by MV Transportation.
Community Transit operates both fixed route and demand response services. MV Transportation provides demand response service only. Fixed route buses follow a consistent time schedule with stopping points over the same route. Demand response operates at the user’s request and is door-to-door service. The fixed route bus system, established in 2002, includes six routes. Unlike the demand response system, ridership on the fixed route system is not based on eligibility.
The TPO provides technical assistance and planning guidance to St. Lucie County, Community Transit, and MV Transportation in support of public transportation and transit grant administration. The TPO also supports the development of a regional public transportation system.
Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Program
The St. Lucie TPO is the planning agency for the St. Lucie County Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Program. The TD Program assists in funding transportation services for individuals who are unable to transport themselves or unable to purchase transportation and have no other form of transportation available. Individuals served by the program include persons with disabilities, senior citizens, low income persons, and high risk or at risk children.
The TD Program strives to coordinate the provision of transportation services in a manner that is cost effective, safe, efficient, and reduces fragmentation and duplication of services. TD transportation services are coordinated through the St. Lucie County Community Services Department which functions as the local Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC). The St. Lucie Local Coordinating Board for the Transportation Disadvantaged (LCB) which consists of elected officials, agency representatives, and citizen representatives, guides and assists the CTC in the coordination of TD services.
The St. Lucie TPO is also the lead agency for the development of a Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan). The Coordinated Plan provides strategies for meeting local TD needs and prioritizes transportation services for funding and implementation with an emphasis on the needs of individuals with disabilities and people with low incomes. The Coordinated Plan also functions as the Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan (TDSP), a document that supports the activities of the CTC and LCB.