I only use public transit when I go to downtown Miami. Pre-pandemic I have been fortunate to work out of my home, (as I still do), but when I discovered how easy it was to take the bus to the Metrorail to go downtown, I never drove again.
1. Free transit. We need a great motivator to push people out of their cars. I am happy to see that mayoral candidate Xavier Suarez has also taken up that cause.
2. Cleanliness. It must be clean. When I ask people to try the buses and trains and they tell me they were “dirty”, I find that to be very disappointing as it would be very hard to get them to try again.
3. The bus stops ALL need to have at a minimum, some sort of roof protection from rain and sun. The stops that only have a bench are tortuous!
4. It is tough to drive a bus all day in our traffic. But it is a must that excellent customer service in the field is taught and put in action. My slogan…”You Must Smile Every Mile” is something I would teach all transit workers.
5. Of course…on time service is the goal, to assure riders that a train or bus is coming and that one can depend on it.
1. There needs to be better connectivity. Sometimes, you can’t tell if there is a bike path or where you are supposed to walk. The trail just ends.
2. Bike racks need to be plentiful to accommodate riders.
3. There needs to be clearly defined and marked bike lanes on public streets that have heavy traffic.
4. All major intersections need to have walk and don’t walk signals.
5. Better educational programs for drivers of cars. For anyone that gets a ticket, that person, besides paying a fine, should have to get an education on bikers and walkers either with a class, or online video, which requires them to answer questions to prove they saw the video.
We need to create commercials that show young professional men and women riding the bus, talking on the phone, reading, working on their computers, laughing with each other, and then arriving home with so much extra time on their hands. The perception of the bus riders is not very good. We need to change that. As previously stated, transit should be free, and commercials should show people relaxed on buses while miserable commuters are stuck in cars. Also, to improve the system, I would refer people to the Transit Alliance report. You guys did it better than anyone!
The half penny tax needs to be used correctly for starters. Long term plans would be paying back that fund from money that was “misappropriated” in recent years, but unfortunately only when we get the county moving again post virus. I would pound the doors for Federal and State money, and when I became convinced, we had all we could obtain; I would have extensive conversations with the community about what type of legacy we the people of today want to leave for future citizens. Meaning, should a correctly used half penny become a full penny? I’m not saying to do it, but I’m saying we should have the discussion of where we want to go with a real viable transit system that will serve generations yet born.
I have read your report on how convoluted the current system is, but in speaking to some government officials about that report, they challenged some of your points. Meaning, you have good points, and other points that might not meet the reality of daily transit decisions that must occur. I am sure the balance is somewhere in between and that would be a conversation for when I am in office.
I have advocated four specific requests in the past year.
Four Ideas To Reduce Traffic... Presentation to the Commissioners September 5 2019 First Budget Hearing Candidates running for mayor currently have expressed interest. If I were a commissioner, I’d be fighting everyday for this.