Traffic

Quicker airport service and a thank you campaign aims to draw commuters

Commuters rush to board the MIA Metrorail at the airport, which has increased its departures and arrival times.
Commuters rush to board the MIA Metrorail at the airport, which has increased its departures and arrival times. cmguerrero@elnuevoherald.com

Two new strategies to draw commuters to mass transit are now in effect in Miami-Dade County.

A "Thank You" campaign to express gratitude to riders for using transit and to encourage more commuters to leave their vehicles at home has been launched.

Also, a change in Metrorail schedules on the Orange Line to and from Miami International Airport was put in place to make it easier to ride the popular service.

The two initiatives are part of efforts by Alice Bravo, the newly-appointed director of Miami-Dade County's department of transportation and public works, to make transit attractive.

We have different initiatives to improve our roadway systems, but ultimately the real solution is to get more and more people to use mass transit

Alice Bravo, director of Miami-Dade County's department of transportation and public works

"We have different initiatives to improve our roadway systems, but ultimately the real solution is to get more and more people to use mass transit," said Bravo.

"Thank You" campaign posters are on display at various Metrorail and Metromover stations, advising riders that using transit can keep them fit — both physically and financially.

Transit helps users save a significant amount of money each year, county officials said.

At a national level, persons who switch their daily commute from car to public transportation can see annual savings of more than $9,000, according to the January Transit Savings Report issued by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Individuals who ride transit instead of driving can save, on average, more than $764 per month.

In Miami, according to APTA, these savings are approximately $8,700 annually, and about $725 per month.

Transit users can also sign up for Miami-Dade Transit’s Corporate Discount program, which allows participants to save on commuting costs through group discounts and pre-tax savings.

Also, as part of their strategy to make transit more convenient, county officials have also increased its weekend Orange Line Metrorail service to and from the MIA station.

As of March 5, Orange Line trains began departing from the MIA Station every 15 minutes instead of every 30.

"By increasing our Metrorail frequency to and from the airport, we are making transit more convenient to use, and hope to encourage more travelers and employees to save time and money by using transit,” said Bravo.

To plan a trip on Metrorail, and/or learn about Metrobus routes serving the MIA Station, visit DTPW’s transit page. This site provides complete schedule information and station maps.

Transit information is also available via the free Miami-Dade Transit Tracker app, or the Department’s mobile site. To speak with an agent, transit users can also call 305-891-3131, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays.

Alfonso Chardy: 305-376-3435, @AlfonsoChardy

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