App allows for real-time tracking of Sun Trolleys

BSun Trolley Tracker Appy Alysha Khan, Sun Sentinel
July 17, 2013
Want to catch a ride aboard Fort Lauderdale‘s Sun Trolley? There’s an app for that. Available for iPhone and Android, users can track the trolley in real time along its seven routes. But getting the app to consumers was a journey in itself.

Patricia Zeiler, Sun Trolley executive director, initially began developing the app in 2011, but quickly realized she would need help promoting the tracker.

So she turned to Leadership Broward for help. The organization offers a 10-month leadership development program in which executives representing a variety of industries participate. Zeiler submitted the app as one of Leadership Broward’s team community projects for the 2011-2012 class and was selected.

A seven-member team worked with her to finalize the app, develop a marketing campaign and organize a launch party, which took place in April 2012.

“There was no way we could have gotten that initial marketing push without them,” said Zeiler.

To date, the app has been downloaded more than 5,000 times and recently won the 2012 Travel Choices Innovative Program Award, which is sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Project vice-chairperson Peter Neirouz, manager at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and fellow team member Shea Smith, senior manager at Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants, share their experiences working on the Sun Trolley app campaign.

Going in, what appealed to you about this project?

Peter Neirouz: I was interested in the development of downtown and the development of an urban plan to get people moving downtown without the use of cars.

Shea Smith: South Florida really does need a transportation solution and I really liked the idea of spreading the word about something that was already there.

What was the group dynamic like?

Neirouz: It ended up suiting our group really well having a diverse background. We were able to pool our strengths and use them.

Smith: You hear stories of groups having problems but we really gelled. It was very democratic.

How was your work for the Sun Trolley project different from your day job?

Neirouz: My job at the Broward Center is a little less event-focused and more community-focused. I spend a little more time getting people to volunteer versus creating marketing material and launching events.

Smith: It was the polar opposite. What I do is basically all related to financial results, and with the Sun Trolley that was only part of the picture. It had a lot more to do with branding and building awareness.

What was the most difficult part of the project?

Neirouz: For me, it was the pressure to fulfill the expectations of the organization.

Smith: It was getting the message out there about what [the app] was and what the Sun Trolley does on a daily basis.

How did you feel about the marketing campaign and the launch event?

Neirouz: The feedback that we received was that it was the perfect way to launch to an app in South Florida.

Smith: It ended up being way bigger than what we had hoped. We truly were amazed by it.

Copyright © 2013, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

SUN TROLLEY EXPANDS SERVICE FOR CITY OF FORT LAUDERDALE’S 4TH OF JULY SPECTACULAR

Sun Trolley’s Beach Link and Las Olas Link will operate on July 4, 2013 providing a connection to the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 4th of July Spectacular.

Both routes will operate extended hours:

  • The Beach Link from 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Sun Trolley’s Beach route will run from Harbor Shops (17th Street Causeway) to The Galleria Mall.
  • The Las Olas Link from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Sun Trolley’s Las Olas route runs from the Broward Center of the Performing Arts (SW 2 St and SW 5 Ave) east along 2nd Street to the City Park Garage, then proceeds to Las Olas Boulevard and travels east to Fort Lauderdale beach.

Sun Trolley is a wave and ride service. Passengers simply flag the driver anywhere along the route to board. Once aboard, the fare is 50¢ for one trip or $2 for all day, hop-on-hop off of both routes. The Sun Trolley Tracker, a new mobile app for Android and iPhone users, provides real time location of all trolleys.

To download printable route maps, the mobile app or to learn more visit www.suntrolley.com or call (954) 761-3543. Like what SunTrolley is doing? Show it at facebook.com/sun-trolley.

ABOUT TMA (Transportation Management Association)

Serving Fort Lauderdale’s residents and visitors since 1993, the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (TMA) manages the Sun Trolley and administers the community bus service of the City of Fort Lauderdale. In addition to managing five routes, TMA oversees a carpooling service with incentives for employees who elect to carpool, connects Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods to Broward County Transit and TriRail, and coordinates employee transit programs in local businesses. For more info visit www.suntrolley.com