Beach Bus Offers Free Rides Starting July 1

by June 28, 2011 • 18 comments

The Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is sponsoring free bus rides to tourists and locals alike starting July 1.  This recently released poster specifies three easy steps to ride:

  1. Spot the beach bus
  2. Wave to ride (hop on or off wherever you like)
  3. Flip-flop aboard

This free transportation pilot program is being funded by a Transportation Grant and will run from July 1 to September 5 – Labor Day weekend.  The route will travel on Front Beach Road from Walmart to the Visitor Information Center on Highway 79.

Here is the poster.

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think this will be a big help to those trying to traverse our summer traffic-ridden area?  Or do you think the frequent stops will add to the congestion?  What do you think the rider experience will be like with people being able to request stops whenever/wherever?


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1 Sandi June 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

Great Idea!!!


2 Dave Kellenberger June 29, 2011 at 9:36 am

AUsome! sounds like a great idea!


3 Eric H. June 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

Jason, do you know if this is a gas or electric bus? The reason I ask is b/c if it’s electric I think it’s a good idea (low noise, exhaust smoke etc.) But if it’s gas, eventually it’s going to stink up the area it’s in and the noise will be a nuisance. So I would say electric bus = good idea. Gas bus = bad idea.


4 Jason Koertge June 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess it’s a gas bus.


5 Lisa June 29, 2011 at 10:53 am

I hope people take advantage of the free transportation, sure could help ease up the traffic a bit on Front Beach Rd!


6 WENDY T June 29, 2011 at 11:01 am



7 WENDY T June 29, 2011 at 11:02 am



8 Trudy Vanhorn June 29, 2011 at 11:10 am

YEAH! This is awesome for folks whom fly in and whom don’t feel teh need for a rental car. It gives them the mobility they need.


9 Brad June 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I love this idea. i have 3 kids and hate driving my SUV when im on vaction there..


10 Melissa Ryan June 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

This looks like a great idea for the tourist to enjoy. This will be a safer, more comfortable ride for them than trying to walk down the edge of the busy road. Hopefully one day, we will have more sidewalks and safer areas for the public to utilize as they walk to their destinations. The sidewalks on Thomas Dr. and North Lagoon are so nice for everyone. Lots of people are now walking in the Grand Lagoon areas. Soon we will have the new Grand Lagoon Bridge completed and we can walk or bike safely across. That will be another great addition to the area and we should see the completion any day. In the mean time, a free bus service looks really nice for portions of Front Beach Rd. where there are no sidewalks.
Best regards,
Melissa Ryan


11 Cathy K June 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I think it is a great service! If your in a hurry, you shouldn’t be on front beach road anyway. Sightseers already slow things up, but that is to be expected. It would be very helpful to have one or two nights for late night bar hoppers who want to play it safe. Maybe one last run at midnight on Fri & Sat.


12 Cathy June 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I’ve often wondered why everyone seems to be in such a hurry while on vacation……. yes, ok to travel on Front Beach Rd. but, if you are like my family we learned the roads many years ago & travel them to avoid the traffic. I might add that late in the evening I still luv luv luv to ride up to the far end of the beach way past Pier Park and back again……. it just don’t seem like a vacation unless you can enjoy the evening breeze of the ocean, hear the yells of teens and see all the bright colored lights. I’ve enjoyed this for years!
Thanks, Cathy


13 Cathy June 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

It’s a very good idea whoever came up with this…… IF people will use this instead of their cars. The frequent stops should not concern others as they are to be driving slow anyway or should be.
The rider/request on stops whenever & wherever…… now that needs to be worked on. Stops should be ever block or so in designated spots. If you allow people to yell out at the driver to stop here & the bus moves a few feet & another yells out that would cause quite a commotion “safety” wise for the passengers and driver not to mention the automobiles traveling behind the bus. I would think there will be assigned stops and rules to ride.
Other than that…. Good Idea!
I will not be in PCB until the later part of Sept. I would love to ride this bus & experience this to bad it was not in the works last week, I would have taken my grandsons!


14 Jeremy June 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Great idea. Would be fantastic if they extended service to the airport too.


15 Lee June 30, 2011 at 6:13 am

What? PCB is getting a *real* bus? No Way! lol
Despite it being a temporary service for tourists, this gives me new hope for public transit to improve in the area. These buses usually run on biodiesel which is cleaner for the envronment, and won’t stink up the area (as badly) like Eric H. mentoned. I do have a problem with the whenever/whereever requests for stops, though, as it looks like it may become a safety hazard for passengers and drivers following behind. Designated stops at regular intervals (every “major” intersection on Front Beach as shown on the map and up to Hwy.79) would be ideal.

That all being said, I really hope this becomes successful so that it would pave the way to better transit for the general public, because in my opinion, Bay Town Trolley is a sorry excuse for a bus system


16 nick July 3, 2011 at 8:02 am

I think we have enough grocery stores in the area. Why ruin the area with a walmart store near pier park.


17 Don July 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Free? Funded by Grant money. Dosen’t that means tax dollars….I hope that it dosent turn into a fleet of them running along FBR all day.


18 Biggen July 13, 2011 at 6:30 am

The majority of people that seem to be riding this thing are those that ride the Bay Town Trolley on a regular basis. Tourists don’t want to take public transportation. I wish the city of PCB would get this through their head. Even if its free, public transportation in PCB is a waste of resources and will never pay for itself…