This week’s question: When is the last time you took public transportation to work? What would make taking public transit easier?
I think anyone who drives in Miami can express concern and frustration over ever seemingly increasing vehicular traffic. As such, I am a “public transportation advocate,” utilizing shared rides on Uber and Miami’s Metrorail multiple times weekly in my personal and professional life. In a growing metropolitan city such as Miami, I believe exercising the option to take public transportation is an absolute must. As the past Chair of the Beacon Council, I was fortunate enough to participate in the public transit conversation from the government / infrastructure side. Our city could benefit greatly from more connections at public transportation stops, such as rail, cable cars, trolleys, or extended Metrorail to locations running east and west of the existing 25-mile Metrorail line. A successful example of such is Coral Gables’ public trolley service, which brings people from the Metrorail’s Douglas Road station throughout the “City Beautiful.”
Donna Abood, principal and managing director, Avison Young
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The last time I used public transportation was about a month ago. When getting around Downtown, I use the Metromover to easily get from one place to the next. I believe extending the Metromover into other areas of Miami like Edgewater and Midtown would increase mobility for the community and decrease traffic in the urban core.
Adelee Cabrera, regional director, Starr Catering Group
I’ve worked primarily remotely for the last 14 years. I’ve almost always chosen to live and work nearby to minimize my commute. I’ll occasionally jump on the people mover to get around to meetings downtown but prefer not to be dealing with a transit schedule, waiting outside and uncomfortably crowded seating or standing. I took Tri-Rail in the late 1980’s. Not feasible, but if our public transit was free perhaps more people would take advantage of it.
Laurie Kaye Davis, executive director, South Florida, The Commonwealth Institute South Florida
The last time I took public transit was probably during the summer. I live close enough to a Metrorail station so it is a convenient way to get to work, however the challenge is how to then use public transit once there, as I often have meetings throughout the county. If our transit system had greater connectivity, it would alleviate this concern.
Albert E. Dotson Jr., partner, Bilzin Sumberg
Although it’s been a long time since I have used public transportation, we see the value of public transportation and recognize the benefit it provides to our employees who commute to work. For our employees, we provide free shuttle service from the Tri-Rail station in South Broward County to any Memorial facility and subsidize the Broward County Transit bus passes for any of our employees who are using the service.
Aurelio M. Fernandez III, president and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System
The last time I took public transportation to work was when I lived in New York City. I would use it here if it was easily accessible and brought me to my office.
Elaine Liftin, president and executive director, Council for Educational Change
My work takes me all over the world, and, when abroad, I often take public transportation. I do this regularly when visiting my family’s business offices in Europe, using the rail to get around. However, when I am back in Miami, I prefer to take my car as I love driving! For me, my commute to work is all about being productive, so if connectivity and the ability to communicate are more readily available, then taking public transportation on a regular basis would be much easier. For example, I often do business calls from my car as it not only gets my day started, but it also lessens the burden of the daily commute. It would be ideal if public transportation could offer stronger WiFi and even soundproof cabins. Comfort and cleanliness are also paramount.
Diego Lowenstein, CEO, Lionstone Development
Never. More direct routes that went into Miami Shores, North Miami.
Suzan McDowell, president and CEO, Circle of One Marketing
TotalBank’s Downtown Miami headquarters connects directly to the Metromover, making it very convenient for us to leverage it in the Downtown and Brickell vicinity. At least one-third of our headquarter employees take public transportation to work every day. More connectivity between different transportation modes will make it easier to reach more destinations. While I do take public transportation (or an alternative such as Uber) several times each week, my use of public transit is limited as my role requires me to be present in a range of locations and markets on any given day, including meeting with clients at their offices. Given that our client base is spread throughout Miami-Dade County, this practice generally requires me to drive my car to work each day.
Jay Pelham, president, TotalBank
I live 23 miles from work, which is about a one hour commute. While I would like to take public transportation to work, it is not convenient, given my commute.
Larry Rice, president, Johnson & Wales University North Miami Campus
Never. In a city that is often hot or raining, public transportation has to be more accessible. Especially for the commuters who live in the west end of the county and work downtown or close to it. I can see a future in which a Metrorail line from the west running parallel to 836 and stopping downtown would get many more people riding.
Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
I utilize Metrorail multiple times each week to travel from our office in Coral Gables to meetings downtown. The Metrorail connection to the Coral Gables Trolley on Ponce is easy, and I save 15-30 minutes of transit time each way by riding Metrorail. I believe that better communication regarding how the transit system actually works will spur additional ridership.
Vincent Signorello, president and CEO, Florida East Coast Industries
Pubic transportation isn’t relevant for my very short work commute; however, I travel frequently for business and I do take Tri-Rail for flights from MIA. When I’m in DC, New York or European cities, I regularly rely on public transportation, and it’s a reminder of how much easier and more accommodating South Florida would be in the eyes of international travelers if we had a system that were equally efficient. It would require considerable investment, though.
John Tanzella, president and CEO, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association
I prefer riding my bike. I was given an electric bike as a gift and rode it to work during the cooler months, until I was hit by a car. We need more dedicated bike lanes, and I’m excited that the Underline will enable more people to ride their bikes safely to work.
Faith Read Xenos, co-founding partner, Singer Xenos