Fort Lauderdale, FL (October 7, 2016) – On Friday, October 7, 2016, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, four Sun Trolley vehicles came to the aid of more than 75 individuals in Fort Lauderdale. With the storm remaining off shore and no longer a threat to Fort Lauderdale, many were in need of reverse evacuation services. The Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (TMA), which administers Sun Trolley operations, dispatched these vehicles to transport individuals from the Rock Island Elementary / Arthur Ashe Middle School shelter back to their original destination.
It was strategic thinking and preparedness that led the TMA to park their trolleys in the parking garage at Fort Lauderdale City Hall. “We wanted to protect our vehicle assets so we were able to provide regular trolley services after the storm passed and especially if we were called upon to assist in transporting evacuees,” said Robyn Chiarelli, Executive Director of the TMA.
When the call came in from officials that Broward County was “all clear” and the worst of the hurricane had passed, Sun Trolley operators jumped into action. After working tirelessly preparing for the storm, they returned to their vehicles to assist those left at the shelter without viable means of transportation to return home.
“We were in the right place at the right time and have a truly gracious team of drivers who are dedicated to serving the members of our community,” said Chiarelli. “Sun Trolley drivers Samuel Munroe, Jerry Pierre, Brenda Tucker, Nixon Thelot are a few of our local heroes. They were willing to put others before themselves in the face of the storm.”
The Sun Trolley worked closely with Captain Bill Schultz of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Captain Schultz sincerely thanked and appreciated the Sun Trolley and their drivers for their assistance and service.
The Sun Trolley fleet has been providing affordable, and on most routes, free community transportation services to greater Fort Lauderdale for twenty-five years. “We are in fact celebrating our 25th anniversary this year,” said Chiarelli. “I attribute the system’s success to our team and moments like this – lifting the community up by providing viable transportation solutions.”
The Sun Trolley is a “Wave ‘n’ Ride” service. Passengers simply wave at the driver from anywhere along the route to board and then let the driver know when they would like to disembark. Passengers are encouraged to download the free Sun Trolley Tracker App on their smartphone to track the trolleys in real-time.