Commuters encouraged to use public transportation on Dec. 9



We’re all too familiar with getting stuck in Miami rush hour.

In fact, the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute — the national authority on transportation issues — ranks traffic congestion in the Miami-Dade/Broward/Palm Beach region as the 12th worst for urban areas in the nation.

To build upon the steps that Miami’s leaders are taking to strengthen our public transit system, two social-entrepreneurs, Rebecca Fishman Lipsey of Radical Partners and Marta Viciedo of Urban Impact Lab, are teaming up to engage locals in solutions.

Fishman-Lipsey and Viciedo are declaring Friday, Dec. 9, as “Public Transit Day” and are urging public officials, community leaders, and residents to take the pledge to use public transportation for the day.

What started out as a Miami-focused effort has now expanded to include transit riders and leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Public Transit Day is being co-hosted by local organizations and businesses committed to improving South Florida’s public transit system.

Everyone is encouraged to share about their riding experience using #PublicTransitDay and to follow social media posts through Twitter (@MIATransitDay), Instagram (miatransitday) and Facebook (the 100 Great Ideas page).

“Earlier this year, we facilitated a massive community brainstorm with 1,700 locals on social-media, and they generated 400 unique ideas to strengthen transit in Miami,” Fishman-Lipsey said. “The most popular idea was to engage residents and local leaders in using public transit and we’re excited to bring it to life.”

Viciedo added, “Public Transit Day is an open invitation for everyone, especially people that have never or rarely use our transit system.

This is about taking action and gaining insight around one of the most important local issues of our generation.”

While activations will be happening all over the county, the day’s signature event will be a Lunch @The Underline (Brickell Metrorail stop) where locals can enjoy their lunch with elected leaders and their community at the county’s longest picnic table. Free tickets to this event are available at Buskerfest Miami, a street performance festival now in its fourth year, also is happening on Dec. 9, from 4 to 9 p.m., and provides even more incentive to explore the transit system.

Already building a groundswell of support from transportation experts, Fishman-Lipsey and Viciedo are working with Alice Bravo, director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportations and Public Works, and Lyft, which will have a special offer that day for new users (use promo code MIATRANSITDAY to receive $5 off each of 10 rides in a two-week period).

The Miami Foundation is the lead sponsor for the event, and Ride2MD, the Miami Center for Architecture & Design, Whole Foods and Tri-Rail are core supporters as well.

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