Commuters in West Broward can save on time and cash by taking advantage of the expanded 595 express bus service from Sunrise to downtown Miami that kicks off Monday.
The new service is free to all passengers during the first week.
"I've been driving for 31 years from Plantation to this courthouse and no bus has ever come close so I'm really excited," said Carol Ferrero. "I've been waiting for months for this bus."
The 595 express bus will take commuters from the Westgate Square shopping center in Sunrise to the Miami Civic Center in about an hour, every weekday morning and afternoon. It makes a few stops, including Jackson Memorial Hospital and Miami-Dade College.
"Love it, love it, love it. Saving, saving, saving," passenger Odette Heholt said. "Money ching ching, Christmas is coming."
Heholt says she'll save about $300 a month by taking the bus.
The hybrid buses feature wi-fi access, power outlets to charge your phones and comfortable seats.
"Usually I would have spilled my coffee like 70 times over already on the way down," Heholt said.
Riders end up with more time to get some work done.
"Traffic, congestion and the weather. I'm not going to think about any of that this morning," Ferrero said.
The state-funded service is part of the 595 construction project and costs about $2 million a year.
"The thing that I think is the number one feature is that you're riding in the express lanes and these are the lanes where people can pay up to $7 to ride in and we're riding it for free," Florida Department of Transportation project manager Jeremy Mullings said.
After the first week of free service, a one-way ticket will cost $2.35.
Parking is free at the park and ride lot at the Westgate Square shopping center. To obtain a hangtag and for more info visit www.595expressbus.com.