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'A tremendous loss': Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes dies of apparent heart attack

Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes
Palm Tran
Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton B. Forbes

This story was updated at 4:06 p.m.

Clinton B. Forbes, the Palm Tran Executive Director, died Thursday evening after an apparent heart attack. He was 55 years old.

He had appeared publicly that evening at a Palm Beach Gardens city council meeting, when he gave a presentation on Palm Tran’s new service recommendations.

A Palm Tran official confirmed Forbes' death to WLRN. The organization released a public statement which read, in part, “His departure is a tremendous loss to the organization and the community at large.”

"Clinton was a vibrant leader in Palm Beach County and tirelessly advocated for the betterment of our transit system.”
Verdenia C. Baker, Palm Beach County administrator

He “brought a level of dedication, vision and leadership that elevated the agency to new heights,” the statement added.

County Administrator Verdenia C. Baker expressed her condolences in the statement.

“This news comes as a shock to the entire community. Clinton was a vibrant leader in Palm Beach County and tirelessly advocated for the betterment of our transit system,” Baker said. ”We are deeply saddened by Clinton’s passing. His memory will serve as an inspiration to all who knew him.”

Thirty years in the sector

Forbes, a Miami native, had been the Executive Director of the Palm Beach County public bus system since November 2015. He was also Chair of the Florida Public Transit Association and had spent nearly 30 years in the public transportation sector.

Palm Tran serves about 28,000 daily riders with more than 30 bus routes throughout Palm Beach County.

Forbes, in the county’s statement, was praised for his “advancements in service quality, efficiency and outreach.”

"I come from a family of public servants, from the military to the pulpit ... And think that’s a part of my DNA. Am I fulfilling my purpose? And I can confidently tell you that I am.”
Clinton B. Forbes, in an interview in 2021

Under his leadership, he spearheaded a number of new programs, from the on-demand travel service Go Glades in the Glades region, in the western part of Palm Beach County, to restructuring bus routes and introducing a new transit smart card and mobile payment system.

During a 2021 interview with MIA Media Group, a local news publisher, Forbes discussed what inspired him to get into the sector.

"So I come from a family of public servants, from the military to the pulpit. My parents — they served. And think that’s a part of my DNA,” Forbes said. “Am I fulfilling my purpose? And I can confidently tell you that I am.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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