Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, ECAT will launch bus Route 20 to help transport passengers between Escambia County and the City of Gulf Breeze. The Pensacola Bay Bridge on U.S. 98 was damaged during Hurricane Sally and will be closed for approximately six months, weather permitting, according to a release from the Florida Department of Transportation on Thursday, Oct. 1. ECAT bus fares remain suspended.
Please see the detailed schedule which starts from the Pensacola Bay Center Park and Ride lot, located at 121 E. Gregory St., at 5:50 a.m. and ends at Tiger Point Community Center, located at 1370 Tiger Park Lane, with the last stop at 8:50 p.m. The route from Gulf Breeze starts at Tiger Point Community Center at 6:05 a.m. and ends at the Pensacola Bay Center at 8:20 p.m. Buses will arrive every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour at the starting location. The route is approximately 34 miles, and riders should expect a trip that is 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
"We would like to thank our partners at the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Pensacola, the City of Gulf Breeze and Santa Rosa County for making this bus route come to fruition so quickly after Hurricane Sally," said Escambia County Mass Transit Director Tonya Ellis.
According to FDOT, traffic on the Garcon Point Bridge increased nearly five-fold in the past week and a half. An estimated 6,500 cars traveled the Garcon Point Bridge each day before the Pensacola Bay Bridge closure, while the latest figures show around 31,350 now cross the bridge each day.
Ellis added, "The intent is to alleviate traffic on the Garcon Point Bridge and to provide an easier commute between Pensacola and the City of Gulf Breeze."
Additionally, prior to Hurricane Sally, ECAT’s Route 61 traveled three times a day to transport workers and residents to Pensacola Beach. ECAT will modify the schedule for Route 61, which will resume on Monday, Oct. 19.
Please call ECAT Customer Service at 850-595-3228 if you need assistance with a specific route or have additional questions. Updated information is also available at www.goECAT.com.