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Today’s Winter Haven Area Transit allows people who need transportation to use the bus service for trips to work, to school, to medical appointments, shopping, and even to the hairdresser's or out to play cards—and they do! Since 1999, with a first year start of 84,804 riders a year (7,000 a month), Winter Haven Area Transit has grown to more than 500,000 riders annually (40,000 a month)!

Winter Haven Transit Pioneers

The Winter Haven bus system was a team effort. Larry Murphy, an 82-year-old, legally blind inspiration, talked his colleagues of the National Federation of the Blind (Polk County Chapter) into believing in the importance of a local bus service. He personally persuaded the owners and managers of 175 area businesses into signing endorsements for the service. When the Winter Haven City Commission joined in, the combination of persistence, devotion and hard work of all concerned helped bring bus service in Polk County to today’s high point. Today our buses run throughout the Winter Haven area and into the communities of Auburndale, Bartow, Eagle Lake, Eloise, Haines City, Jan Phyl Village, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Lakeland and Wahneta.

Teamwork Matters

Congressional representatives and their staffs work to ensure that the Winter Haven and Lakeland areas receive federal funding each year for major capital items. Our state Department of Transportation has been another major player. The City of Bartow and the Polk County Board of County Commissioners assist in funding the Bartow Express route. The City of Auburndale, the City of Winter Haven and the Polk County Board of County Commissioners assist in the funding of the Winter Haven-Auburndale-Lakeland Connector route. Polk County’s Transit Service Division has stepped up to administer the service, and our Transportation Planning Organization staff provides planning support. Even the Citrus Connection helps, by providing four buses for the service. These partnerships allow us to pull the necessary resources together to fund a bus service that meets real need.

Winter Haven Area Transit Grows into the Future

From three buses in 1999, we have grown to nine buses running nine routes. For the next two years, we expect to use a temporary terminal location on 5th Street N.W. until the new terminal facility is ready. Amenities such as passenger shelters and benches are also part of our customer-oriented future.

Winter Haven Area Transit flourishes thanks to our supporters. These people include the private non-profits that use our service, private businesses who supply our needs, government agencies, and most importantly—every passenger and every employee. If you’re already a rider, thank you. If you’ve yet to climb aboard, perhaps today’s the day. We look forward to serving you—we’re growing your way!

  Citrus Connection
  W.H.A.T.
  PT Connect

We Save You Cash!
Riding the bus saves an estimated $1,300 a year for drivers. Whether you always ride the bus or take a bus ride on occasion, itís a great way to add jingle to your pocket.

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