Palm Tran, Palm Beach County’s bus system, stands to lose about $15 million in federal grant money if the U.S. Department of Labor rules that its contractor, Metro Mobility, did not negotiate in good faith with its unionized drivers.
The grant, for which Palm Tran applies every year, this year is paying for maintenance, 10 40-foot buses and the county’s door-to-door paratransit service for the elderly and chronically ill, known as Palm Tran Connection. About $1.4 million of the grant goes to Palm Tran Connection, which provides door-to-door service to elderly and ill residents. The $1.4 million accounts for less than 10 percent of Palm Tran Connection’s annual budget.
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Palm Beach Post reporter Lona O’Connor was the first to report in October the numerous complaints with Palm Tran Connection for late arrivals, long transit times and other issues since Palm Tran hired a single company instead of three to provide service.