COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - It's your money and Collier County is spending almost $4 million to remodel a bus depot. The depot is on Radio Road near Davis Boulevard.
"I ride it every single day," said Emily Harwell."
Collier's public bus system, C.A.T. Is Harwell's only means of transportation. She takes it to and from work and when she's running errands.
"I like the ac," said Harwell. "They always got the right temperature. Its calm. I like it."
Collier Area Transit operates 44 buses in the county. The Radio Road depot is the county's second largest transfer station. But, it doesn't have public restrooms and passengers say there's not a large enough sheltered waiting area.
"I don't really like outhouses," said Harwell
"If its raining, certainly they are in the elements as they're boarding the buses," said Trinity Scott, Collier County's Public Transit Manager.
The $3.7 million renovations would add several new covered waiting areas and bus stops. The majority of those funds coming from federal and state grants. The local taxpayer share is $243thousand. The renovations will also add a bus fuel station, restrooms, a maintenance building and more cameras for the security system.
"We're just investing in improving it and making it better for our passengers." said Scott.
Wink News wanted to know just how many people actually ride public transit and is it worth all this money? We found out in the past five years ridership increased by about 22% with 1.3 million riders in 2013. C.A.T. officials say new people are riding everyday.
"This is my very first time," said Edson Dessources. "I just dropped my car off at the shop and riding it back to the house." "I'll ride the bus again."