The Sun Trolley ended 2013 with a bump in ridership carrying 49,265 passengers across all seven routes in the month of December. “Our monthly ridership averages approximately 40,000 passengers per month,” states Executive Director, Patricia Zeiler, “Breaking the 49k mark is an indication that the snow birds are officially back in S. Florida for the winter and our ridership is increasing.” Additionally, Sun Trolley ridership tracking data (in comparison to December 2012 ridership) shows a 2,000 passenger increase solely on the Las Olas Link Route for the month of December due to holiday tourists and visitors.
Not only do Sun Trolley drivers use a clicker to count every passenger who boards the trolley, but secret riders who are staff of Broward County Transit, FDOT and Florida Commuter Service ride the trolleys to validate ridership, conduct safety inspections and obtain rider feedback.
Coming in 2015 the Sun Trolley will be adding on-board cameras which will further ensure passenger safety, and also allow TMA staff to spot check and confirm riders.
It’s no secret that the population in downtown Ft. Lauderdale doubles to more than 300,000 people Monday through Friday. And with the increasingly popular Flagler Village in the north quadrant of the city, more and more professionals are snatching up lofts and apartments in this burgeoning arts district.
Starting January 2, 2014 the Sun Trolley is expanding service along its Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Link Route to make it more convenient for people to live, work and play by trolley in downtown Ft. Lauderdale.
“It’s really about serving a need and increasing connectivity,” states Patricia Zeiler, Sun Trolley’s Executive Director. “We want to give people a convenient, reliable and safe alternative to single occupant vehicles.”
Sun Trolley’s expansion of the Downtown Link Route makes it possible for a resident to leave one’s home in Flagler Village, travel to Las Olas for work or play, continue on to Broward Health Medical Center and back to Flagler Village – all without a car.
“Flagler Village has seen a huge increase in density over the past decade,” states Alan Hooper of Hooper Construction. “What was once an inactive and uninspired area of Ft. Lauderdale is now seeing revitalization – and that is leading to new business development, beautification projects and an up and coming arts district for Ft. Lauderdale.”
The expansion of the Downtown Link Route is funded through a Service Enhancement Grant program through FDOT. FDOT believes that Sun Trolley’s downtown expansion will alleviate congestion on Andrews Avenue and SE/NE Third Avenue and will encourage professionals who work in downtown to make connections via public transportation.
In addition to the expansion of Sun Trolley’s Downtown Link Route, the Sun Trolley offers six additional routes that help residents and tourists travel in and around greater Ft. Lauderdale.
“Our monthly ridership averages approximately 40,000 passengers,” states Zeiler. “That’s 40,000 individuals who utilize the trolleys to get to AIA, the Harbor Shops, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Las Olas, the Courthouse, outlying neighborhoods like Melrose Park and even Life Net for Families and the Department of Children & Families at Plantation Hospital.”
To track the trolleys (IN REAL-TIME!) along any of the seven routes simply download the award-winning Sun Trolley Tracker App. This 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 Sun Trolley 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 seven 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.
Route Map: Sun Trolley’s Downtown Link Route Expansion (effective 1/2/14)