Patricia Zeiler’s Passion for the Sun Trolley Earns Her an Award Nomination and Recognition from the U.S. Department of Transportation

When commuters look at the Sun Trolley, they see safe, alternative transportation to single occupant vehicles. When Patricia Zeiler looks at it, she sees something that “makes a good city great.”

“Transportation excites me because it brings people together from many, many different communities. They meet in transit. They exchange ideas. It’s the happening place,” said Zeiler, Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, the non-profit organization that manages the Sun Trolley.

Zeiler’s passion for the Sun Trolley has made her as a finalist for Nonprofit Leader of the Year in 211 Broward’s Annual Non-Profit Academy Awards.

“On our NW Community Link Route alone, we provide free transportation for approximately 10,000 people a month who need basic services. That’s our mission – to provide accessible and reliable transportation to support the community,” said Zeiler.

On Friday, February 28 at 11 a.m. the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood will host Zeiler and her fellow Academy Award nominees as they strut down the red carpet amid search lights and golden statuettes, before finding out who will take home the top honor.

Sun Trolley

Zeiler is also one of many women leaders in transportation being celebrated by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a new video series on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s YouTube channel.

Click Here to view Patricia’s Video

“By showcasing the exciting career opportunities available, and the tremendous possibilities for success, we hope more women and girls will consider choosing careers in transportation,” wrote LaHood on his blog, Fast Lane.

To learn more about the Department of Transportation’s Women in Transportation Series, visit www.dot.gov/osdbu/women-and-girls.

Sun Trolley Ridership Report: December 2013

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.

Sun TrolleyHow is Trolley Ridership Calculated?

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.

Ft. Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley Wins Awards for Social Media and Video Production Successes

In a world filled with social media pages, posts, #hashtags and tweets, one Ft. Lauderdale-based nonprofit is breaking the mold and exuding excellence. Ft. Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley, operated by the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, received two special awards at the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) statewide conference in Clearwater, Florida on October 29, 2013.

Sun Trolley“We are honored to receive 2nd place awards in two categories: Social Media and Electronic Media/Audio Visual,” states Patricia Zeiler, Sun Trolley’s Executive Director.

“Being on the cutting edge of digital media has not only helped the Sun Trolley grow its ridership, which averages approximately 40,000 passengers per month, but it has allowed us to communicate more efficiently with our passengers as well as increase corporate sponsorships and partnerships.”

Sun Trolley’s Facebook Page
Sun Trolley’s ever-popular Facebook page has become a fan favorite for both residents and tourists alike approaching nearly 2,500 Likes. “Our page is popular because it really serves as one-stop shop for messaging,” states Zeiler. “We make an effort to post about local events, restaurant openings, transportation trends and we use the page to announce route changes, delays and fare adjustments – it really has become the go-to resource for our passengers.”

Sun Trolley’s Video entitled “Women In Transportation” is a Big Winner!
Additionally, the Sun Trolley also took home the second place award in the Audio Visual category for a video that promotes the Sun Trolley and its leadership. “Our winning video was developed as part of a national campaign called “Women in Transportation,” states Laurie Menekou, Sun Trolley’s media spokeswomen. “It highlights the executive leadership of Patricia Zeiler who has not only led the Sun Trolley to success but has been an unwavering advocate for public transportation in Broward County and the State of Florida.”

Sun Trolley’s Digital Media Footprint and Success
In addition to the two awards presented at the FPTA statewide conference last month, the Sun Trolley is also very popular on Trip Advisor currently ranking as Ft. Lauderdale’s second most popular tourist destination. The Sun Trolley’s success doesn’t stop there, the Sun Trolley has also won numerous awards and gained national media attention for the ever-popular Tracker App: the Tracker App has exceeded 10,000 downloads in the past year alone.

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

Sun Trolley’s Tracker APP Tops 10,000 Downloads

Sun Trolley’s ever-popular tracker app received its 10,000th download in August 2013. Launched in 2012, with the help of the Leadership Broward Class 30 Project team (Shea Smith, Peter Neirouz, Brandon Hensler, John Brown, Jana Lhota, April Kirk, Carlos Cervantes) this innovative tracker app is truly exceeding expectations.

“We are so thrilled that so many Sun Trolley passengers, residents and tourists alike, are utilizing the App to track the trolleys in real time,” states Patricia Zeiler, Executive Director.  “In response to the Tracker App’s success, we are planning to expand the app’s reach even further by integrating with Go Riverwalk’s event calendar and developing a desktop app that can be utilized by hotel concierges in Fort Lauderdale.”

Sun Trolley’s Tracker App, designed by Chris Caputo of Wilton Manors-based MetroMedia Works, literally “tracks” the location of all the Sun Trolleys across all seven routes in real time. GPS location services in the user’s smartphone allows the app to direct the passenger to the nearest Sun Trolley route where he or she can wave down one of the trolleys.

“I believe this app is so popular because its simple, easy to use interface offers the exact information the user is looking for,” states developer Chris Caputo. “In addition to the number of downloads, the app has been seeing high monthly usage rates, approximately 3,000 times per month because those who use the app use it frequently.”

Recently awarded the 2012 Travel Choices Innovative Program Award, the Sun Trolley Tracker app is available for download on your Android or Apple I-Phone. To download the mobile app, printable route maps or to learn more visit http://www.suntrolley.com or call (954) 761-3543. Like what Sun Trolley is doing? Show it at facebook.com/sun-trolley.

Sun Trolley Provides Convenient Mobility for Ft. Lauderdale Tourists

March marks the 39th consecutive month of increased tourism in Fort Lauderdale. And just how are the eager tourists finding their way to downtown Ft. Lauderdale you ask?  Simple, Ft. Lauderdale’s Wave n’ Ride Sun Trolley system.

Serving as the transportation component for the Ft. Lauderdale excursion package, which began mid-January, the Sun Trolley has seen a huge increase in airport passenger ridership over the past two months topping 200 passengers daily.

 “We really recognized an opportunity to provide a free shuttle service for tourists who have lay overs at Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport,” states Sun Trolley’s Executive Director Patricia Zeiler. “We developed an excursion plan that partnered with Bags to Go so that tourists could essentially leave their bags safely at the airport and go off and explore Ft. Lauderdale’s for a couple of hours instead of hanging around the airport.”

The Sun Trolley runs to and from the airport regularly Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. “Our airport trolley’s pick passengers up and drop them off at the Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society on SW 2nd Street leaving them in walking distance to Las Olas Boulevard, Las Olas Riverfront, Himarshee Street and the Riverwalk,” states Zeiler. 

The airport shuttle route is just one of Sun Trolley’s seven routes. 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 service. 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.