New intercity bus between Atlanta and Panama City Beach coming in July

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 8:57 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In a time of soaring gas prices and pilot shortages, a cheaper way to travel is becoming more common. A new intercity bus is making the trip between Panama City Beach and Atlanta more affordable.

The Atlanta Beach Bus Express out of College Park, Georgia, will soon be making the roughly six-hour drive down to PCB daily, Thursday through Monday. The drop-off location is set to be by Margaritaville at Pier Park.

While most make their way to Panama City Beach by car or plane, this third option is one many said they never thought of.

“That’s a good idea because the traffic was terrible coming in,” visitor Becky Ward said.

“I think that’s amazing. I think that’s cool that they can do that,” local Sara Grogg said.

“Yeah, that is actually a good idea though,” visitor Cole Glover said.

The Beach Bus is that alternative route, giving rides for $85 each way.

“We wanted to do something where people here can go directly to the beach fast. And it’ll drop you off right at the beach,” Corey Gaines, CEO of Atlanta Beach Bus Express, said. “And also we wanted people in Panama City, if they have to go to the airport or go to a concert, that they have easier access to Atlanta.”

It’s a cheaper option for some, with prices at the pump pinching pockets these days.

“Gas is really expensive,” Glover said.

“I drove in a car. I much rather have a bus to take me,” visitor Blake McAllister said.

While this should bring more people into our area, officials with both the Tourist Development Council and the Bay County Chamber of Commerce said they didn’t have any part in this.

When NewsChannel 7 reached out to city leaders for comment, they declined.

But for some of our re-occurring visitors, they say next time they’ll be riding the beach bus.

“This is our vacation spot every year,” McAllister said. “So if i can go to Atlanta and hop on a bus, let’s go!”

The bus will run its first route down starting July 14th and stopping on October 31st. Officials said they’re considering starting back up as early as springtime but it completely depends on the demand.

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