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Okaloosa County five-year transit development plan, 2003-2007

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Title:
Okaloosa County five-year transit development plan, 2003-2007
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Okaloosa County (Fla.) Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization (Fla.)
University of South Florida. Center for Urban Transportation Research
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Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
Local transit--Florida--Okaloosa County--Planning   ( lcsh )
Bus lines--Florida--Okaloosa County--Planning   ( lcsh )
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letter   ( marcgt )

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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oclc - 50863066
usfldc doi - C01-00059
usfldc handle - c1.59
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SFS0032181:00001


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Okaloosa County Five Year Transit Development Plan 2003 Executive Summary September 2002 . .

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Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Transit Development Plan 2003-2007 Prepared for Okaloosa County In Cooperation with Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization 3435 North 121 h Avenue Pensacola, Florida 32503 P.O. Box 9759 Pensacola, F l orida 32513-9759 (850 ) 595-8910 Project Staff: Mary Bo Robinson Gary Mackey Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Flo r ida 4202 E Fowler Avenue CUT100 Tampa, Florida 33620 5375 Project Staff: (813) 974-9793 Bill Morris Chandra Foreman Victoria Perk Holly Carapella Chris DeAnnuntis Martin Cata l a Jennifer Flynn

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Introdu ction . .... .......... .... ..... .......... .. .. ...... ..... ....... .. ........... ............. ............ .... ........ 1 CHAPTER ONE: Assessment of Community and Customer Transit Needs .... . ....... ...... . .... ... ......... ..... ..... ....... ............ .. ....... ..... .... .... .. .......... ... .. ... 1 Demographic Summary .. ... ........ ... ....... ...... ..... ........ . ... . ............... ....... ............. 2 Summary o f Interviews with Key Loca l Officia l s .... ... .. ... ...... ............. ...... ...... ....... 2 Summary of On-Boar d Passenge r Survey Results .................. .............. .... ...... ... 3 Rideched< Results .................................. ............... .... ...... ............... .. ......... .... ..... 3 Summary of Pub li c I nvo lve ment Act i vities ..... ......... .... ....... ........... ...... .... ............ .. 4 CHAPTER TWO: Goals and Initiatives ........ .... ...... ... ...................... ........ ............ .... .. .... 4 CHAPTER THREE : Performance Eva luation of Demand Response and Fixed-Route Transit Service ...... ...... ... ... ..... ........... ....... .. ........ ... . ... ................ ........ 5 Demand Response T rend Ana l ysis ...................................................... .... .......... 5 Demand Response Peer Group Analysis .......................... ...... ...... .... ............ .. .. .. 6 Fixed Rout e Perfonmance Analysis .......... .... .............. ......... ....... ... ... ......... .. .. .. .. .. 7 Perfonmance Analysis Conclusion .......... .. ... . ... ............. ...... ..... ... ................. ..... 7 CHAPTER FOUR: Demand Estimation and Needs Assessment.. ............................. 8 Needs Assessment ..... ... ... ..... .. ............................ ... ..... ... ...... ....... ........... ........... 8 CHAPTER FIVE : Tra nsit Recommendations and Five-Year Cap ital a n d Operating Plan ....... ......... ...................... ......... .............. 9 Five -Y ear Transil Services Plan and Strategic I n itia t i ves .................................... 9 T ra ns i t Network Concept. ......... .... . ...... ... ........................ ........ ...... .... ...... . ... ... 13 Strategic Initia tives ......... ... ... . ....... ....... ... .... ....... .... ...... ... .. ... ............. .... .... 27 Five-Year Operating and Capital Improvement Program .......... ...... ........... ... ..... 30

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INTRODUCTION OKALOOSA COUNTY TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT PLAN: 2003-2007 Executive Summary The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) has produced for the Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization a five-year Transit Development Plan (TOP) for the years 2003-2007. Each transit property in Florida that receives State Transit Block Grant funding is required by the Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT) to prepare a TDP. This requirement is intended to ensure that the provision of public transportation services is consistent the travel needs and mobility goals of the local communities that are served by the transit system. By establishing a strategic focus and mission for transit services, the TOP can serve as a guide in the future development of the transit system that will meet the needs of the community that it serves. A total of five chapters are included in the Okaloosa County TOP Chapter One, Assessment of Community and Customer Transit Needs, presents the demographic characteristics for Okaloosa County, rider survey results analysis. summary of interviews with key loca l officia ls and community leaders, and summaries of group discussions and consultations with military installation officials. Chapter Two, Goals and Initiatives, identifies the goals and initiatives for the County's transit system as established by County staff, Okaloosa Coordinated Transportation, and members of the TOP Review Committee. Chapter Three, Performance Evaluation of Demand Response and Fixed-Route Transit Service, provides a performance review of the County's paratransit and fixed-route service. A trend and peer analysis of demand response service is included in this chapter; while performance criteria are identified for the County's fiXed-route service. Chapter Four, Demand Estimation and Needs Assessment, presents ridership and demand projections for transit services for the five-year period, and a needs assessment for the system. Finally, Chapter Five, Transit Recommendations and Five Year Operating Plan, proposes recommendations for public t ransportation services in the County and assigns costs to those recommendations. The following sections summarize the findings from each of these chapters in the TOP. CHAPTER ONE : ASSESSMENT OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER TRANSIT NEEDS The majority of this chapter is devoted to a close examination of personand household-level demographic data for Okaloosa County using U.S. Census data. In this chapter, some demographic data for Walton County are also included to illustrate its relevance to the overall Executive Summary 1 Okaloosa County Five Year Transit Development Plan,

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transportation picture for the area. Lastly, this chapter also includes a regional profile to illustrate trends in the larger area that might impact transportation needs for the future. Demographic Summary Data from the 2000 U.S. Census suggest that Okaloosa County has experienced moderate growt h in comparison to the state, while Walton County has seen almost a fifty percent population increase during 1990-2000. Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the population of Okaloosa County from the urban area (Fort Walton Beach) to Crestview. Crestview saw the greatest increase in population from 1990 to 2000. The demographic findings also indicate that residents of Okaloosa County are more likel y to be younge r than Florida residents in general, while Walton County is representative of the State in terms of the age of the population. In addition, household Income and vehicle availability data indicate that the majority of the Okaloosa County population is middle to upper class. Walton County residents have household incomes slightly l ess than that of Okaloosa County and the State as a whole. However, mqre households in Walton County have access to vehicles than do State households, but that may be related to the fact that more than a third of Walton County residents worK outside of the County. Summary of Interviews with Key Local Officials The persons interviewed during the 2002 TOP had s imilar concerns of those interviewed for the 1999 TOP. Since the deviated fixed-route services were introduced to the area after the adoption of the last TOP, this was the first opportunity for those interviewed to discuss how the service has or has not met the needs of the community. Overall, the interviewees were supportive of these deviated fixed-route services, and the majority of those suggested that OCT was doing a good job in operating these services Much of the disappointment expressed by the interviewees was related to the lack of ridership and the difficulties with alerting the community about the transit services that exist. While initial ridership numbers are low, most of those interviewed were optimistic about the future of deviated fixed-route service in Okaloosa County and noted that other small, but now, successful systems in Florida shared similar, if not worse, starts. Most of those interviewed expressed a real need to provide additional service connecting the northern areas of the County with the south. The consensus of those interviewed was that until the community fully supports the transit system and the elected officials identify public transportation issues as a priority, the true potential of the public transit system would not be rea lized 2 Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Transit Development Plan, 2003

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Summary of On-Board Passenger Survey Results To determine detailed informat io n about ridership on the WAVE, onboard surveys were used for data collection. The survey was distributed to bus passengers over a three-day period in March 2002. These surveys were designed to provide detailed information about customer demographic characteristics, travel behavior, and their satisfaction with certain aspects of the WAVE. This information can be used by the County in a variety of ways including the planning or enhancing of bus schedules, loca ting new bus stops, modifying the exist ing mul ti-category fare structure, planning focused marketing campaign s, establishing a base for future t ren d analysis, and comparing data with other public transit services offered in other areas of Florida A number of interesting findings were ident ified from the survey results: The majority of survey respondents (43 percent) are between the ages of 40 and 49. Women account for oveF 66 percent of total ridership. Whites account for about 50 percent of ridership, while blacks account for one-third of the ridership. Hispanics account for just over three percent of the riders on the WAVE Most of the WAVE customers (43 percent) have annual incomes between $10,000 and $19,999. Almost half (43 percent) too k the trip to shop or run errands and 30 percent took the trip to go to work. The majority of customers use the WAVE four or more days per week (43 percent) Occasional riders (less than once a week) only account for about 3 percent of the WAVE's customers. Ridecheck Results While conducting the on-board survey, the surveyors also conducted a ride-check of the Red, Blue, and Crestview WAVE Routes This invo lved counting passengers as they board and alight at each stop and identifying the time of arrival at particular stops. The r ide-check data revealed that the Crestview Route did not have specific problems with meeting the sched uled arrival times at most bus stops. In fact, during the ride-check period the Crestview WAVE bus was no later than three minutes for any one stop. On the other hand, the ride-check data showed that the Blue and Red routes incurred much more difficulty in relation to on-time performance. There were times when both the Blue and Red routes were over 15 minutes later than the scheduled arrival time. Executive Summary 3 Okaloosa County F iv&-Year Transfi Development Plan 2003

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Summary of Public Involvement Activities Another integral part of the TOP process is the inclusion of opportunities for public involvement. Both users and non-users can provide useful information to a transit system. The perceptions and observations from participants in public workshops should be considered in the development of the transit system's goals and objectives. Th is TOP process inc luded public involvement activities with the Okaloosa-Walton Transporta tion Planning Organization (TPO), the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) of the TPO, the Citizen's Advisory Committee (CAC) of the TPO, the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council (TDC), Okaloosa County Council on Aging Meals Program, and the Public Transportation Planning Workshop sponsored by the Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa and Walton Counties and the Okaloosa and Walton Counties Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Boards. Discussions focused on perceptions and awareness of public transportation in general and of transit in Okaloosa County specifically. Overall, the County and Okaloosa Coordinated Transportation were applauded for making available more transportation alternatives to the residents and visitors of Okaloosa County. Access to jobs and oonnections between North and South Okaloosa County were oommon topics that came up in the various public invo lvement activities. CHAPTER TWO: GOAL AND INITIATIVES One of the most important steps in the preparation of a TOP is the identification of goals and initiatives for the transit system. Chapter One summarized the policy issues identified in formal discussions that CUTR held with oommunity leaders, the TOP Review Committee, County staff, and the general public. The issues highlighted during these discussions form the basis for the goals and initiatives for Okaloosa County's transit system. Based on oommunity opinion, as well as supportive demographic data, five goals along with corresponding initiatives were developed and presented in detail in Chapter Two. The goals are identified as follows: Goa/1: Goal2: Goa/3: 4 Expand Fixed-Route Services throughout the Fort Walton Beach Urbanized Area Maximize Coordinated Transportation and I ntegrate Paratransit Services and Expanded Fixed-Route Services Communicate the Role of Transit in Okaloosa County and Expand Ridership Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Transit Development Plan, 2003-2007

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Goa/4: Goa/5: Identify Fund i ng and Partnership Opportunities and Secure the Resources Necessary to Ensure that the System Operates Effectively Coordinate with State and Loca l Government and Transportation Agenc ies to In tegrate Transit Needs Into the Land Use Planning and Development Process CHAPTER THREE: PERFORMANCE EVALUAT ION OF DEMAND RESPONSE AND FIXED ROUTE TRANSIT SERVICE Chapter Three summarizes the performance evaluation of Okaloosa County's existing demand response and fixed-route trans i t services, which is a fundamental task in the development of the IDP. The performance evaluation for the County's demand response system contains two analyses, a trend analysis and a peer review analysis. T rend analysis examines the system's performance over a multi-year time period. Peer review compares the performance of Oka loosa County's demand response services with that of other similar transit syslems. Okaloosa County's fixe d-route service has b een evaluated and repo rted, however, neithe r a trend nor peer analysis is presented due to lhe infancy and size of the service. Demand Response-Trend Analysis The results of the t rend analysis indicate that the DR service had an increa se in the number of passenger trips since 1998 (from 96,300 to 116,604); however, an overall decrease in trips were reported for entire trend period of FY 1996 2000 (125,196 to 116, 604) A co rre spo nding dec line in vehicle and revenue miles occurred during the period 1996-1998. Likewise, vehicle and revenue miles have grown steadily during FY 1998-2000. Total operating expenses over th e analysis period decreased 24 percent (from $1,025,105 to $824,149). A decrease in lhe number of employees for OCT was reported over th e same time period, with the exception of FY 1999, when OCT added three employees The DR system's performance strengths and areas for improveme nt are based on effectiveness and efficiency measures and identified in Table 3-1. This info rmat ion Is not provided to suggest the extent of the strength or need for improvement, but to id entify those areas where the performance of the DR system has impro ved or declined from 1996 to 2000. With regard to the t rend analys is, a performance strength is defined as any performance area that improved o r was maintained over the trend analysis t ime period and an area for improvement is defined as a trend that declined over the trend analysis time period. Executive Summa.ry 5 Okaloosa County Fiv&-Year Transit Development Plan, 2003-2007

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Table 3 1 Oka l oosa County's Performance Summary, T rend Analysis . :' --' ... "' i . :. ,... lr, : :'.;+ ,.,, . ......,.. ',,., , . !' .. Vehkle Miles Passenger Trips Vehicle Miles per Capl!a Revenue Miles Total Openiting E>
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group mean. While the County provides less DR service than the peer group average, it i s keeping its operating costs relative ly tow. Fixed Route Performance Analysis Performance measures provide ge neral informa tion related to overall system p erformance. Usually, these performance measures are compared to the results of a peer group comparison However, due to the small size of the County's fixed-route service, the in fancy of the service, and the absence of all fixed-route operational information 0/VAVE and Shuttle data), a peer group comparison was not possible. However, as the system matures and expands in the future and more data is collected, peer analysis will enable the County to review how their system compares to other transit systems. The County's service supply, as measured by the number of vehicle miles per capita, is slightly under 1 (0.80). Another measure of service consumption, passenger t rips per capita, is calculated to be 0.17. Passenger trips per revenue mi l e is 0 .22, and passenger trips per revenue hour is 3.20. In the area of revenue miles between incidents, the County had just under 43,000 revenue miles between incidents Operating expense per capita is $0.63, with a $3.67 operating expense per passenger trip. Regarding vehicle utilization, the system achieved 32,100 revenue miles per total vehicles during the f irst year of service. Performance Analysis Conclusion Overall, the wide array of data presented In Chapter Three indicates that Okaloosa County is successfully providing trans i t services to i ts reside nts. As noted in the performance evaluation, the demand response services being provided are extremely effective and efficient, providing more service for less money tha n many peer transit systems. While a peer and trend analysis was not conducted for the fixe d -route services, Okaloosa County should focus on the opportunity for improvemen t before the system truly matures. It is Important that the County continue to monitor the performance of these and other related measures using subsequent NTD and other data to see if and h ow they change as the system and its services mature. It is also helpful to complete trend analyses (compar ing Okaloosa County's performance from year-to-year) to i dent ify areas for Improvement. It is imp ortant to remember, however, that the performance evaluation methodology utilized herein Is merely one too l for analyzing system performance and that the measures included are not able to cover all of the objectives of a trans i t system. Many objectives cannot be measured with this mechanism and require additional information or more subjective evaluation. However, these resu lts Executive Summary 7 Okaloosa County FiveYear Transit Developmen t Plan 2003-2007

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provide a useful starting point for a full understanding of the performance of the trans i t system and complement the other elements of ti:Jis TOP. CHAPTER FOUR: DEMAND ESTIMATION AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT A neoessary element in the development of a five-year transit development plan includes the computation of estimates of demand for transit service, the assessment of mobility needs in the county, and an evaluation of alternate methods for increasing mobility through various transit system Improvements. Chapter Four contains ridership estimates for both the fixed-route and demand response services. NEEDS ASSESSMENT Based upon the system goals and objectives, demand estimates, and the findings from previous tasks, the following mobility-related needs have been identified These are not listed in priority order. Improve/expand service coverage in the County Improve frequency and reliability of service Develop alternative service types Provide service between north and south Okaloosa County Secure long-term funding source Develop more user friendly system schedules, maps, and other information Develop transit education programs and advocacy inftiatives Provide service to major employment sites The various analyses contained in Chapter Four suggest that, because the system is relatively new, there is some level of unme t demand for fixed-route and/or paratransit service in Okaloosa County. Although current ridership figures on the WAVE may not suggest that there is great unmet demand, most believe that if the service were more convenient and available in additional areas, demand for the WAVE services would be much greater. The County continues to do the best job i t can in providing service where it is needed, given its available resources. Demand projections suggest that ridership will continue t o grow, especially as the County continues to develop and grow the WAVE. 8 Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Trllnsit Development Plan,

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CHAPTER FIVE: TRANSIT RECOMMENDATIONS AND FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL AND OPERATING PLAN In Chapter Five, alternatives for the County's future direction are developed and analyzed, based on goals and initiatives established by the Okaloosa County TDP Review Committee, as well as external factors such as demographic characteri stics, deve lopment patterns, and other determ i nants of transit use. From such alternatives, recommendations for transit improvements in Okaloosa County are presente d. All of the plan's recommendations are based on the county's vision and the goals and initiatives developed in Chapter Two. The recommendations are prioritized according to the fo llowin g time frames: actions to be initiated within one year (FY 2003); years two and three (FYs 2004 and 2005); and years four and five (FYs 2006 and 2007). Finally, the five-year financial plan attaches capital and operating costs to the recomm endations of the TOP for FYs 2003-2007. Five-Year Transit Services Plan and Strategic Initiatives A majority of the concerns regarding the WAVE network were related to the design and length of routes, frequency of the routes, Jack of connectivity, and the l im ited areas served by the routes Analyses of existing conditions indicate that the current WAVE routes are not optima lly designed. In spite of the shortcomings of the Red. Blue, and Crestview routes, the Okaloosa Island and Destin Shuttles are better designed to meet the needs of customers and have met with outstanding success. Th is indicates that the r oute netw or k for the County as a whole is underdeveloped and the County is ready to undergo a significant expansion in its transit route network. Analyses of the WAVE (Red, Blue, and Crestview) services in dica ted there are service deficiencies that are impacting operational perfonnance and growth opportunities, i ncluding : Current loop routings are circuitous and do not foster direct originfdestination travel; Clockwise and counter-clockwise pairings create long travel times; and Frequency of service is not optimal given the geographical layou t of Okaloosa County CUTR proposes that Okaloosa County develop seven transit centers to aocomplish this concept. Four of thos e seven facilities already function as transit centers in some way but will require imp rovements in the next five years. The existing t ransit centers are located at Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Mall In Mary Esther, the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island and Shoreline Mall in Destin. It is recommended that the remaining centers be placed in Niceville (2004), in Crestview (2005), and at th e new County Transit Administration and Maintenance Facility (2006). CUTR recommends that upgrades to signage, benches, shelters, and other improvements be made to the existing transit centers: Shoreline Mall (2005), the Executive Summary 9 Okaloosa County Fivt>-Year Transit Development Pian, 2003-2007

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Boardwalk (2006), Uptown Station (2007), and Santa Rosa Mall (2008) Figure 5-1 below proVides a graphic depiction of the transit center concept. 10 Executive SUmmary Okaloosa County Trans it DevelOpment Plan, 2003-2007

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Figure 5-1 Transit Cent e r Concept Okaloosa County Transit FY 2003 2007 O CT O perat i ons Santa R osa M all = Transit Cen ter + = Connectio n s C restview Valparaiso UutOft'D Sta ti on Fort W lton RP..r.h Ol
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Transit Network Concept In this section, the transit routes that will be supported by the transit center network described above are ouUined and also illustrated in map form. The basis for the design of this network is establishing a transit system that improves mobility options for customers by maximizing direct origin/destination travel throughout Okaloosa County; allocating service to those areas that show the greatest potential for ridership growth and need, ensuring accessibility to transit services with spatial distribution of routes on all major east-west and north-south corridors, reducing travel times by shortening routes and eliminating ro ute deviations and out-of-direction travel; increasing frequency of service o n routes (especially on major corridors) and creating more opportunities to transfer between routes via transit centers The Goals and Ini t iatives in Chapter Two call for Okaloosa County to conduct the foll owing activities rela ted to transit route expansion or modification in the five-year timeframe: Gradually phase out the Red, Blue, and Crestview WAVE routes in favor of bi-directional routes that connect between transit centers (Goal 1, Init iative D). Create local fixed r oute service within Niceville and Valparaiso (Goal1, Initiative D). Create a route that connects Valparaiso/Niceville with Eg lin Air Force Base (Goal 1 Ini t iative E). Create a rou te that connects Valparaiso/Niceville wilh Fort Walton Beach (Goal 1, lnilia tive F). Create a rou te that connects Niceville/Bluewater Bay with Destin via the Mid-Bay Bridge (Goal1, Initiative G). Create a route that connects Destin with the Beaches of South Walton via U S 98 (Goal 1, Initiative H). Continue to expand contract services with the Okaloosa County Tourist D evelopment Council to serve the new Convention Center with all hotels on Okaloosa Island and Destin (Goal1, Initiative J). Expand rural services in the northern portions of Okaloosa County for residents to access employment i n urban centers (Goa l 1, Initiative K). The fixed-route network consists of sixteen new or modified routes for Okaloosa County to achieve all of the goals and initiatives described in Chapter Two. II must be noted that this is a concept network included to provide guidance to county staff, the County Commission, and the TPO in expanding services over the next several years. As is the case with any new route that is developed, the actual r oute configurations will eventually be developed and proposed by Okaloosa County staff In consultation with the TPO, communities being served, and other interested community groups. Executive Summary 13 Okaloosa County Five-Year Transit D eve lopment Plan, 2003-2007

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The network concept is designed to gradually phase out the current Red, Blue, and Crestview WAVE routes by incorporating route segments that generate significant transit ridership into the new network concept. It is more aggressive in serving the mobility needs of residents and visitors to Okaloosa County, calls for higher service levels In terms of buses and annual revenue hours operated, and creates a rational and well-connected system. This route network is depicted in Figure 5-2, and detailed route information can be found in Chapter Five of the TOP While th is proposed Transit Network Concept represents a significant increase in the capital and operating costs of the current rout e, th e increase in the level of service deems lhe expenditures affordable and reasonable. As mentioned earlier, the development of the proposed transit network will extend beyond the t imeframe of this five-yea r TOP. Table 5-1 describes, in detail, the operating charact eristics and cost summaries of the recommended route network for Okaloosa County. In calculating the operating characteristics and annual costs of the recommended route network, the factors of weekday revenue hours, total annual service hours, and buses required were used to calculate the annual cost of service for each route and for the total recommended network. The cost of service figures are expressed in 2002 dollars. In addition, Figures 5-2 through 5-6 illustrate the recommended fixed-route network. Figure 5-2 shows the entire recommended fixed-route network; while, Figures 5-3 through 5-6 separate the network into smaller geographic areas. Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Transit Development Plan, 2003-2007 14

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Table 5-1 Op erating Characteristic and Cos t S ummary for Recommen d ed R outes F Y 2003 2007 . .. . .;. Toi.l .. Wnkday of WMkend Sptn of ;_;;C w.o...a Q;. .. s.r.ACi ' . '., ....... ;, 2 - -,1.-- Vtf!kh ...... Rtoulrtmtrit ...,,. .. Aou!ill'" statt End ,. ... .... ..,..,.. ... Fort Wlton Bcch 1 local roulo GOMOC11ng Upcown Statio n Transit Coni Of to T ec:h School via Deal Parkway 6 :00AM 6:00PM SZOOAM 6 !00 Pt.4 00 1 12 12 Fort watton &each 2 route c:onnecl!ng San t i Roaa M a ll T Center to Okaloo N b i tnet ..Q u .s. 96 8 :00AM 10:00 P!A 8:00AM 1 :00AM 60 1 14 34 Fort W.rton kaeh 3 I.Ocall route Stnl.l Roa.a Mall Ttan$11 cetlt0/10 Uptown SIMion TraMit Center and the c.nttr --8:00AM &OOPI< &OOAM 8.-ooPN eo 1 12 12 l.OC:al tctft COIdng Fort WJI!c;n 8aeh T-Ceni--T-Cercet"fia RoiCf end fQin -II:OOI>N. &-OOPI< -... 6:t)OPN eo I 12 12 Fort W-''on Beaeh 5 Tl';)n$il Ctnler ett the Boerttwllt Centet IMmOftat Patto.v4y lftd u.s. 98 6100AJA 6:00PtA 6:00AM 6 :00 PtJI eo 1 12 12 Otslln 1 LocaltiOt.rist.OOentod routo connecling Deslln Transit Center 10 Gv" $hoto Boole:v3td al'll1 East Destin 8:00 ... 1 0:00 PtA 8:00AM 1:00AM eo 1 .. 34 localfiOI.IiSIorion4ed rOVIO COMtCifi'lg DttUn2 Wayside P'Mk/ConvcntiOn Contor Trensll Cootct 10 lhe Des. tin Tttn t il Ctnt or via u.s. 98 8 : 00AM 1 0 :00 PM &OOAM 1:00AM eo 1 14 34 Nlcntlk 1 nd 2 Local QI'Yioe wilhln Niot\11111 oonntcllng to the NiceWIIt T t1t'l$ll Cenltr 8:00 AM 6 :00 Pt.t 6!00AM 6:00PM eo 1 12 12 EJrerulive SUmnwy Ol18 $128288 5282 $126,288 36<18 $87 552 1 5

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Ft Beach Area < j 1 ) .. Figure 5-2 Destin/Walton County Area Transit Network Concept Walton County Area ccesMew Ro!Ae 1 -.. -.... Crestview Route 2 06$t:i'l Route 1 Destin Route 2 Eglin AF6 Route 1 -Ft wanon E>Q>ress N F t Watton Exp ress N2 -Ft Watton Rout e 1 A watton Route 2 -F t Watton Route 3 Ft Watton Route 4 Fl Watton Route 5 Nloevilie Route 1 Nleevine Route 2 NiceviUe Crestview Route 1 NloeviUe..()es.iin Express Vtlatton County Ro ute 1 Transfer Cetrters

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"' ....

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--Destin Route 1 --Destin Route 2 Eglin AFB Route 1 --Ft Walton Route 1 Ft Walton Route 2 --Ft Walton Route 3 --Ft Walton Route 4 Figure 5-3 Fort Walton Beach Service Area Concept ll I t "" "''""' :I I I ,._. +..,_ l t I 'too ., --Ft Walton Route 5 --Ft Watton Route Express N ......... ,.. '"' ttoty!W$ ;11 Ft Walton Route Express N2 Transfer Centers Llnbr!'& """"'0. -I$ Bob $1 III'Orcl St l lAna Rd Ed>o<> ""''%-WI-t.y98 t..w.JorRcl U$1-t,.y98SWo f<+NyJO OSH-")'98 Hohlt. 8MJ filii "" S'rtf.,.,N)' 30 ,.. ... ....., 81 St; tns1se I o; ilth ....... IX IJJ f ....... VSI-t,. 98 t-

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Executive SUmmary Oka l oosa County F ivG-Year T r ansit Devel opment Plan, 20032007 20

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i # t I l .$ .s j l I' .. ... .... .... l' l " J Figure 5-4 Niceville Service A rea Con cept -.... '" . .. "' I I Colio9f8 11'(f $ I I t z . f t 11 --Ft Wal ton Express N Ft Wa lt on Expr e ss N2 Eglin AFB Route 1 -Nicev ill e Crestview Route 1 Niceville-Destin Express Transfer Centers It.,.;,. H : z I ,.,.,.... o: ... 1 . . . ." ., : .. ? '. ,<>"' . .. :.--, ... !!>.. ,., .. ,. $ ""....... ...... :.:e. < ,!'!!'i"!1. . ? .. ... '\ ..,. ,.. \ :j.i.. .. ..: ; . r ;, .:::: : . .. ,M.". J ..... .. ' 1'9111 "" ...... ... . ','' .... Htl._ .. ,, ........ ._... "" _., .. I . .. ., ..:. < ... . '. ... ... .. .->....:;-: V!:i. ; ... ..................... ... ..5....'1.-' . '. . . . ....,.. :ra.:L -.; . : l ...... 7 t : (.,. r; . ..,t /-., : % I c ... to ....... Ad ( ... ..... :-::: ... . :-;. ... ' ... . .u ... .f"''-1}. : ""' .. .... ....... .... 7. < : :a; ... .. J> .. ; . .... ... wv . rr . .-o.;., .. : 4: % f,\ ,.,_., -' ,.. .. 5 t 1 .. "'"or f.:t.._ ,.,.. .. <:,ouNI-Y Club R11 ""

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. . J i I c .. -_ I "{ ... I > ,.J . .io.:;;) ; . ..... -I .. 'a \ \ .. . . .. .. ; . .... \ ::.. "' ;

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..... '. \ ....... ,. Klo&fSt q $ I l t Figure 5-6 Dest i n/Walton County Service Area Concept % .... '\""' .... I \ et""" a\ fl..o ..,. ,. ... .... ':<, ,orce . ... .... roj-...... ,_, ... ,, . b '; ;1_,, : .--. 4:' . : ,_,_ "' . .. . . ..
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STRATEGIC INITIATIVES The initiatives are divided into two groups. The first set is related to strategies that are not service related and are designed to support Okaloosa County's efforts to make transit more meaningful, viable, and utilized The non-service related initiatives are prioritized by time frame for imp lementation : within the next year, over ihe next two-to-three years, and over the next four-to-five years. The second set provides detailed, year-by-year recommendations for the imp lementat ion of new transit centers and new services. The service-related recommendations are prioritized by similar time frames. It is expected that the transit development plan will be updated annually to account for changing conditions in Okaloosa County. The recommended projects and policies in this section indude many projects that rep resent major inv estments on the part of Okaloosa County Full Implementation of the TOP will require partnerships with communities to be served and other public and private partners. Actions to be Initiated Within the Next Year (FY 2003) 1. Pursue the establishment of a long-term dedicated funding source for Okaloosa County Transit. (FY 2003 through FY 2007, Goal4, Initiative A) 2 Continue vehicle replacemen t program and purchase new expansion vehicles for fixed route services. (FY 2003 through 2008: Goa/1, Initiatives CK and Goal2, Initiative C) 3. Continue vehicle replacement program and purchase new expansion vehicles for paratransit services. (FY 2003 through 2008: Goal 2 Initiatives B and C) 4. Ensure the smooth transition of Community Transportation Coordinator function f rom Okaloosa Coordinated T ransportation to Okaloosa County. (Prior to FY 2003: Goal 2, Initiative A) 5. Expand contract with marketing firm and intensity marketing efforts to population segments that have been identified as potential customers. (FY 2003 through FY 2007: Goa/ 3, Initiatives B-F) 6. Conduct focus groups to ascertain opinions of existing and potential customers on current and proposed transit initiatives. (FY 2003 through FY 2007: Goal 3, Initiative G) 7. Establish stronger invo lvement in the transportation planning and review process of Okaloosa County and its encompassing municipalities. (FY 2003: Goal 5, all initiatives) 8. Continue to maximize the use of the fixed-route bus system by encouraging those paratransit passe n gers whose origins and d estinations are accessible through use of the WAVE to use it rather than paratransit service. (FY 2003 through FY 2007 : Goal 2, Initiative E) Executive Summary 27 Okaloosa County Five Year Transit Development Ptan, 200 3-2007

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9. Continue to work with the TPO. to incorporate transit design and amenities when road improvements are made to state, county and local road segments. (FY 2003 through FY 2007: Goal 5, Initiatives B and D) 10. Install bicycle racks on new buses. (FY 2003: Goal3, Initiative J) 11. Update and maintain the Okaloosa County Transit website as the transit system becomes more intricate. (FY 2003: Goal 3, Initiatives A, I, and J) Actions to be Initiated Over the Next TwoToThree Years {FY 2004 and 2005) 12. Establish a transit area boundary to include urbanized areas of both Okaloosa County and Walton County. (FY 2004: Goal1, Initiative A) 13 Conduct service performance assessments based on relevant performance measures and standards for all fixed-routes (FY 2004 through FY 2007: Goal1, Initiative L) 14. Develop a comprehensive communications program. (FY 2004: Goal 3, Initiative A) 15. Establish a unified theme for transit. (FY 2004: Goal 3, Initiative H) 16 Continue to develop and refine the transit center concept as a means of expanding new and existing fixed routes. (FY 2004 through 2006: Goal1, Initiative A) 17. Develop partnerships to fund transit service imp rovements. (FY 2004 through 2007: Goal 4, Initiatives Band C) 18. Develop a policy education brochure to be distributed to paratransit customers. (FY 2004: Goal 2, Initiative D) 19. Maintain and utilize bus stop inventory. (FY 2004: Goal 2, Initiative F) 20. Install bus shelters and amenities at key bus stop locations (FY 2004. Goal 3, Initiative J) 21. Continue to monitor all technology advancements applicable to public transportation, such as closed circuit television and advanced fare boxes that make tracking types of fares paid easier. (FY 2004 through FY 2007 : Goal 3, Initiative J) 22. Continue the replacement or purchase of associated office equipment, as necessary. (FY 2004: Goal 2, Initiative A) 23. Continue the replacement or purchase of associate computer software, as necessary. (FY 2004: Goal 2, Initiative A) Executive Summa!)' 28 Okaloosa County Five-Year TransH Development Plan, 2003

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24. Coordinate with local governments on establishing a countywide policy for the insta lla tion of bus shelters and benches. (FY 2005: Goal 5, Initiative A and J) 25. Ensure the availability of user-friendly transil schedules, maps, and other marketing information. (FY 2005: Goal 3, Initiatives A and J) 26. Develop and imp lement a series of transit education programs. (FY 2005 through FY 2007: Goal 3, Initiative A and I) 27. Ensure that the County's Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code, as well as those for all of the encompassing municipalities contain l anguage that requires that public transportation be considered in future development and redevelopment. (FY 2005, Goal 5, Initiative B) Actions to be Initiated Over the Next Four-To-Five Years (FY 2006 and 2007) 28. Develop alternative service types to complement fixed-route services. (FY 2006: Goal 1, Initiative C) 29. Coordinate with social service agencies to iden t ify how to be tter serve their client's transportation needs, as well as to enlist the agencies assistance with re laying paratransit policies to their clients (i .e. no show and cancellation policies). (FY 2006 and 2007: Goal 3, Initiative A and I} 30. Initiate paratransit feeder services to the main regional t ransit centers. (FY 2007: Goal 2, Initiative B) 31. Develop an in ter local agreement with municipalities in Okaloosa County that establishes level of financial assistance, as well as l evel of service in those areas. (FY 2007: Goal 4, Initiative C) Service Related Strategic Initiatives (from FiveYear Transit Services Plan) Actions to be Initiated Within the Next Year (FY 2003) 32. Gradually p hase out Red, Blue, and Crestview routes in favor of bi-directional rou tes that connect between transit centers. (FY 2003 through FY 2007: Goal 1, Initiative D) 33. Expand fixed-route service within Destin. (FY 2003: Goal 1, Initiative D) 34. Provide service between the new Okaloosa County Convention Center and hotels on Okaloosa Island and in Destin. (FY 2003: Goal1, Initiative J) 35. Expand fixed-route service within Fort Walton Beach. (FY 2003 through 2007: Goal 1, Initiative D) Executive SUmmary Okaloosa County FiveYear Transit Development P lan, 2003-2007 29

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Actions to be Initiated Over the Next Two-to-Three Years (FY 2004 and 2005) 36. Create fixed-route service within Niceville and Valparaiso. (FY 2004: Goal1, Initiative E) 37. Create a fixed-route that co n nects Valparaiso/Niceville and Eglin Air Force Base. (FY 2005: Goal1, Initiative F) 38. Expand fixed-route service in Crestview. (FY 2005: Goal1, Initiative A) Actions to be Initiated Over the Next F our-to-Five Years (FY 2006 and 2007} 39. Create a fixedroute that connects Valparaiso/Niceville and Fort Walton Beach. (FY 2007: Goal1, Initiative G) 40. Ex pand transit services in North Okaloosa County to include the rural areas in order to provide residents access to employment in urban centers. (FY 2007: Goal1, Initiative K) 41. Develop express fixed-route service from Crestview to N iceville. (FY 2007: Goal1, Initiative C) 42. Create a fixed-route that connects Niceville/Bluewa ter Bay and Destin via the Mid-Bay B r idge. (FY 2007: Goal1, Initiative H) 43. Create a fixed-route that connects Destin and the Beaches of South Walton via U.S. 98 . (FY 2007 : Goal1 Initiative I) Five-Year Operating and Cap i tal Improvement Program Up to this point, the TOP process has not been constrained by fiscal considerations, in accordance with its strategic intent. Demographics. survey results, community input in various forms, a nd peer and trend ana lyses have all been used to assess the demand for transit service and to identify mobility needs in Okaloosa County. The recommendations presented herein h ave been based on previous findin gs and future directions The final step in the transit development plan process is to estimate costs for these recommendations and compare them agains t current and anticipated financial resources. Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five-Year Trans it Development Plan, 2003-2007 30

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Table 5-2 presents the Five-Year Operating and Capital Improvement Program to imp leme nt the Trans i t Services Plan and Stra te gic Initiatives for Okaloosa County The following descr ip t ion s provide a brief exp l anation of each project item in the FY 2003-2007 Operating and Capital Improvement Program of the TOP. 1. Operating Assistance This line item de tai l s the anticipated federa l state, and l ocal revenues devoted to fixed route operations for Okaloosa County (Implements Goals 1 and 2). 2. Preventative Maintenance (Capitalized Operating Expense) This line item details the eligible expenses for maintenance that can be capitalized under the Federal Section 5307 program (implements Goals 1 through 5). 3. Marketing Contract (Capitalized Operating Expense) This lin e item represents expenses for general marketing activities that can be capitalized under the Federal Section 5307 program (implements Goal 3). 4. Project Administration This line i tem represents expenses for grant administration eligib l e to be charged under the Federal Sect ion 5307 program (Implements Goals 1 through 5). 5. FOOT Urban Corridor Project (Operating Expense Offset) -This line i tem represents funding from the Florida Department of Transportation to provide transit services along the U.S. 98 corridor under the FOOT Corridor Program (implements Goal1). 6 FOOT Service Development (Operating Expense Offset) -This line item rep re sents a grant program for marl
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11. Trolley Expansion This line item provides for the procurement of 12 expansion trolleys to add capacity and improve f requency along U.S. 98 to address tourism and ridership growth. (implements Goal1) 12. Bike Racks on Buses -This line item provides for the purchase of bike racks on all new microbus and trolley purchases over the five-year timeframe. (implements Goal 3, Initiative J) 13. Parking Lot This line Item provides for the construction of an overflow parking lo t at the site of the new Okaloosa County Transit Administration and Operations Facility. (implements Goal1) 14. Miscellaneous Equipment This l ine item represents the purchase of equipment including computer and software upgrades, to maintain vehicles and facilities (implements Goals 1 and 2) 15. Security -This line item provides for the implementation security improvements to buses and facilities, such as the purchase of closed-circuit televisions to improve security on transit vehicles and at transit facilities. (implements Goal 4) 16. Training This line item provides for customer service and other types of staff training opportunities as services expand i n the future. (implements Goal1) 17. Passenger Shelters This line provides for construction of passenger shelters and related amenities at bus stops with the Okaloosa County Transit system. (Implements Goal 3, Initiative J). 18. Additional marketing and communications This line item provides for marketing and communications initiatives beyond the general marketing duties established in the marketing contract. These initiatives include intensifyin g population segment marketing, conducting focus groups, developing a communications program, establishing a unified theme fo r transit, and the development of more user-friendly transit schedules and maps (implements Goal 3) 19. Develop Transit CentersThis line item provides for expenses related to the upgrade or development of the 7 proposed transit centers in the recommended transit center concept as described in this TOP. Such expenses could include additional signage. bays, staging areas, etc. (implements Goal 2) 20. Polley Education Brochures This line item provides for the development of brochures descri bing paratransit policies, such as procedures for making appointment, no-show penalties, and cancellation policies. (implements Goal 3) Executive Summary Okaloosa County Five Year Development Plan, 2003-2007 32

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T a b l e 5-2 Five Yea r Capita l and Ope rating Plan $300,000 $400,000 $400,000 $450 000 $500,000 $2,050,000 IOoeratina Assistance I $340,255 $363 ,000 $400 .000 $440,000 $450,000 $1,993,255 $107,500 $11 2 ,875 $117,390 $122,086 $ 1 26,969 $586,820 ssn,552 $ 1 ,016,654 $1,0S7 ,320 $1,099 613 $1,143,598 $5,294,737 7,972 $1, 9 52 529 $2 034,710 $2171 6 99 $2 280 567 $10 227 477 ICaoitaliZe,000 $400,000 $400,000 $400 ,000 $400 000 $1 800 $10,000 $10, 000 $10,000 $10,000 $10 ,000 $50,000 I FOOT Commuter Assistan ce I $10,000 $10 000 $ 1 0,000 $ 10,000 $10,000 $ 50,000 CAPITAUZED !OPERAT ING REV ENU E S only) $2,739,972 I $2,969,529 I $3,056,710 I $3,198,699 I $3, 367,5 6 7 I $15,332,477 Executive Summary Oka l oosa County Five Year Transit Deve lopment P l an. 2003 FTA 5307 F O OT Bloc!< Grant Local Gov't Othe r loca l FT A Se<:ti on 5307 I FT A Section 5307 FTA Section 5307 FOOT Corridor I Loca l Funds I Assjslance Local Funds 33

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'" ',o. '" 8 9 10 11 1 2 13 14 1 2 1 Table 5-2 (co n tinued) Five-Year Ca p ital and Oper ating Plan ., )'' : I ) t ;> -._,t_. ,_,,., . 2 o-4" Don ... DESCRIPTIO >' F Y 03 1 .v -rvc r 1 , >.,, -I : "'{ .... . .. .:a ., .. t.<.. >i F Y 0 5 :-'.. + ,, o f..Y .0"' #of vans .. Miclol ,.., -II of microbuses Mic:rol -II of microbuse s N of trolleys Bil. $110 ...... .., 5 $180, 000 $250,00 0 $145, 0 00 2 5 5 I 8 1 0 )(),000 $70, 000 3 I 50,1 5 $0 0 n n n --. $4,000 s o $75,000 1.000 4 I sJ. 5 $600,000 I $ 900,000 I $ 1,400.000 2 3 4 $0 I so $ $ 7 5 000 $ 100,000 $ 0 l?nn.nnn $ 0 $75, 000 $ 75,000 $100,000 $50.' Total CoJl l o i l 8 20 .sao 1 $1 ,,, . : Sect i on 5307 Section 5 311 .... :t' l"ii1 "''<'ii' I= ; ; (ST A T E -s .. ,, . ..... Y::""' ... F OOT Block G"'nt FOOT C on1dor Funds FOOT Commuter Asstc. FOOT SerVice Dov. $2,167,000 $62,665 $340,255 $482.000 $1 0,000 $200,000 $2.01 2,500 $80,000 $363, 000 $482,000 $ 10,000 $200,000 $1,722 500 $80.000 $400,000 $482 ,000 $ 10 .000 $200,000 $1,622, 5 0 0 $60 ,000 $440 000 $482 ,000 $ 10,000 $200 ,000 I )'"\'., _ "_ .;i. -..-- .. -Ji; . .... .... i : : <' fti' N o i Ncf $68, 00 0 $733,000 17 FTASection 5307 0 3 .... ....... 00 I FT A section 5307 I 17 0 $ 1,200 ,000 3 s o $ 5 000 s o $75, 000 18 $4,100,000 12 --.---$450,000 1 nn;nnn 122 50 0 $ 100, 000 $375,000 FT A Section 5307 FTA Section 5307 FTA FTA: FTA: FTA: FTA: -FTA: 5307 5307 307 . 307 '5307 '5307 FT A Section 5307 >5307 >5307 s1.sos.ooo I ss.o3o.soo $60.000 $302,685 $450, 000 $48 2,000 $10.000 $200,000 $ 1 ,993 ,255 $2, 4 10,000 $ 50.000 $ 1,000,000 t .. . ' ""' !lit ,., .... .. ... I .. ,.__, I LOCAL ;J 1 '1.} : ,.. ::' ,,_...... L ocatgo vom.,.nt $107.500 $112,875 $117,39 0 $12 2 086 $126,969 $586,820 ..,, : . Other Loul $977.552 $ 1 0 1 6,654 $1,057,320 $1,099, 6 13 $1,143 ,598 $5, 294 ,73 7 '.;!'! "' .:,. I '" .. .t-v. 1 l l ;. ., .,.; '_\. )i,-.f;'. , : l!()!AL S $4346 ,972 $4257029 $404V210 $4,036 ,199 $3978867 $20 ,667 ,977 lL .;-

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Tab l e 5 3 presents all of the operating and capital expenses in Table 5-2. In this table, operating and capital expenses are 70mpared aga i nst e x isting revenue sou r ces to determin e the unfun de d operating and capital expenses. In developing existing revenues. it was assumed tha t Okaloosa County wou l d maintain a s i m i lar level of financial commitment over the five-year plann ing period Tabl e 5 3 Summary of Five-Year Capital and Operating Plan (FY 2 003-2007) ; .... ; {,.. .. *'r. .... . F 2005. I ';.F.Y.o2006:: 'FY 2007 Operating Ex.,.nses & Revenues Operating Expenses Fixed-route eJ
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Executive Summary Okaloosa County FiveYear Transit Development Plan-2003-2007


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