The Sun Trolley has once again earned top community recognition for fostering mobility and growth in greater Fort Lauderdale. On Friday, May 2, 2014, the Sun Trolley, administered by the Downtown Transportation Management Association (TMA), was named the “2014 Small Business Nonprofit of the Year” by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
“On behalf of TMA staff, our Board of Directors, community partners and stakeholders, we are incredibly thankful for this award,” said Patricia Zeiler, Executive Director of the Sun Trolley. “This prestigious award recognizes the leadership, integrity and management skills necessary to operate a successful business – our success is completely a bi-product of our pro-active Board of Directors, our dedicated staff and unwavering support from our community partners.”
Both Gilda’s Club South Florida and Rebuilding Together Broward County were named as finalists in the Chamber’s small business nonprofit awards category.
The Sun Trolley, a nonprofit 501(C)3, transports approximately 40,000 passengers per month across its seven routes: the NW Community Link Route alone, provides free transportation for approximately 10,000 people a month who need basic services.
In addition to this award, Patricia Zeiler, was also named the 2014 Nonprofit Leader of the Year at the Annual 211 Broward Academy Awards in March 2014.
For the second consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale has been named a finalist for the national All-America City Award. Sponsored by the National Civic League, the All-America City Award recognizes cities, counties, towns, neighborhoods, and metropolitan areas across the country for exemplary community-based problem solving and civic engagement efforts that involve public, private and non-profit entities.
“We are honored to be one of only 25 cities nationwide selected as a finalist for this prestigious designation,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler. “Our Citywide Vision and Strategic Plan reflect our commitment to working in partnership with our neighbors to address challenges and develop transformative solutions to move our City forward. Through bold ideas, innovative partnerships, and passionate civic engagement, we are building community, enhancing quality of life, and creating a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable City.”
The National Civic League commended Fort Lauderdale for numerous projects that demonstrate outstanding civic engagement, cross sector collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation. An array of Parks and Recreation programs that promote healthy active lifestyles were recognized including: Wise Kids, the Presidential Challenge, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, the Fit Kidz Club, and the City’s after-school programs and youth camps.
Three major initiatives taking place in the community were highlighted as examples of positive meaningful change:
- The Dillard Innovation Zone Promise Neighborhood, a project of the Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC), that is cultivating community and business collaborations to support school improvement, health service interventions, mentoring, enhanced classroom technology, reading and literacy at Dillard Elementary School and initiating innovative solutions to reinvigorate a neighborhood in need.
- The redevelopment of Flagler Village, a downtown neighborhood that has been transformed from a desolate and abandoned warehouse district into a vibrant center for arts and culture. The revitalized area features unique businesses including a master puppeteer, media and photography company, event planning and marketing business, advertising agency, theatre troupe, and an innovative landscape architecture firm. Flagler Village’s popular monthly Art Walks are a celebration of the neighborhood’s innovation, vision, and urban lifestyle, as well as a strong sign of the area’s rebirth.
- Northwest Gardens, a neighborhood development located in the City’s Northwest Community Redevelopment Area, is a model affordable housing project that showcases social, environmental, health, engagement, and economic sustainability. Spearheaded by the City of Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority in partnership with community members, private sector developers, and non-profit organizations, Northwest Gardens was the first LEED-ND Certified Neighborhood in Florida. The project promotes healthy living by providing residents with places to walk and bike safely, community gardens and fruit trees, energy efficient housing, solar streetlights, self-sufficiency training, job training, and cultural activities.
Fort Lauderdale was also lauded for its Complete Streets policy, which was recently ranked #1 in Florida and #3 in the nation; a wheelchair tennis program at George English Park; a walking club at Carter Park; and the hundreds of sports, programs, and community activities that have taken place during the past year at the new Orange Bowl Field at Carter Park.
“All-America city finalists are at the forefront of a nationwide movement to find inventive, community-based solutions to the issues that face our cities. From preparing our kids to compete and succeed in the 21st century to promoting livable neighborhood revitalization, new ideas often start in one community and later become best practices for others,” said National Civic League Board Chair Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver.
Joining Fort Lauderdale as finalists are 24 other communities from across the United States including: Montgomery, Alabama; San Pablo, California; Whittier, California; Brush, Colorado; Tarpon Springs, Florida; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Marshalltown, Iowa; Columbus, Indiana; Chelsea, Massachusetts; Dedham, Massachusetts; Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Somerville, Massachusetts; Marquette, Michigan; Kenmore, New York; Canton, New York; Independence, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Knoxville, Tennessee; Brownsville, Texas; Marshall, Texas; Hampton, Virginia; Portsmouth, Virginia; Yakima, Washington; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Once described by pollster George Gallup as the “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment, the All-America City Award has been given to more than 600 communities since its inception in 1949. Communities vying for the designation submit applications to the National Civic League listing three examples of successful community change and describing their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation. Finalists present to a jury of civic experts who select the annual award winners.
Last year, the City of Fort Lauderdale captured the National Civic League’s All-America City Diversity and Inclusiveness Award for extraordinary and innovative success in advancing diversity and inclusiveness.
The 2014 All-America Cities will be announced on June 15 as part of the National Civic League’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado.
NCL is a 120-year old nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Denver, Colorado. Its mission is accomplished by fostering and sharing promising practices of local government and public engagement and celebrating the progress that can be achieved when people work together. For more information, contact Mike McGrath at the National Civic League at 303 571-4343;firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the All-America City Blog at www.allamericacityaward.com or the NCL web site at www.ncl.org
More than 750 community leaders, supporters and nonprofit volunteers attended 211 Broward’s Nonprofit Academy Awards ceremony which took place on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
A very special congratulations to Patricia Zeiler, Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (Sun Trolley), who was selected as the 2014 Nonprofit Leader of the Year! Sponsored by Broward College, this important award recognizes leaders who work to push their organizations forward, manage them efficiently and practice positive collaboration with many of the 5,800 nonprofits that operate within Broward County.
Patricia would like to recognize her fellow finalists who were also nominated for this year’s award: Kim L. Cavendish, Museum of Discovery, Dr. Steve Ronik, Henderson Behavioral Health Dennis Stefanacci, ACFRE, Broward Health Foundation.
“To be in such great company with the other finalists in itself was an honor,” stated Zeiler. “I am just so thankful to 211 Broward, PNC Bank and The Wasie Foundation for bringing the community together to recognize Broward County’s nonprofits – I will forever remember this day and how grateful I am to be recognized and selected as the 2014 Nonprofit Leader of the Year.”
To view all the winners of the 2014 Nonprofit Academy Awards click here to read the article that ran in the Sun Sentinel on February 28, 2014.
Earlier this month Patricia was also recognized as a “Women in Transportation” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. To view her video please click here.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler and the Fort Lauderdale City Commission will publicly recognize and congratulate Patricia for her accomplishments at the City Commission meeting taking place March 18, 2014 at 6 p.m.
To learn more about the Sun Trolley or to connect with Patricia visit www.suntrolley.com.
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.
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.
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.
All Aboard Florida, the highly anticipated passenger rail line, announced today plans to develop its Fort Lauderdale station on parcels of land adjacent to the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) corridor on NW 2nd Avenue, between Broward Boulevard and NW 4th Street. Located in the northern portion of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the station will catalyze growth, spur job creation and stimulate underutilized areas.
Planning and design is underway for the Fort Lauderdale station – one of four planned along the All Aboard Florida route. The station development will include a multi-story lobby which will accommodate ticketing and luggage handling. The lobby will connect to an elevated passenger lounge with comfortable seating and food and beverage offerings for customers. The facility will also accommodate other transportation systems so passengers can conveniently reach their end destinations. The selected station location was chosen to provide convenient connections to the Sun Trolley, Broward County Transit system and the future Wave Streetcar.
“For decades, Broward County’s residents and businesses have advocated for passenger rail in the FEC corridor, and soon that vision will become a reality with All Aboard Florida,” said Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief. “The downtown Fort Lauderdale station will help stimulate our economy and boost our tourism industry.”
“This is an exciting day for the City of Fort Lauderdale. All Aboard Florida’s station will be an ideal complement to the forward-thinking transportation initiatives and development we have planned for our city and aligns with our `Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale’ vision,” said City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler. “This intercity passenger rail system, station and transit oriented development will continue to solidify our city as a world class destination and a great place to live, work and play.”
“The announcement of our Fort Lauderdale station is just the start of All Aboard Florida’s overall program to revitalize the area north of Broward Boulevard,” said P. Michael Reininger, President and Chief Development Officer of All Aboard Florida. “We have plans to develop additional parcels surrounding our station as a mixed-use transit oriented development, encouraging the increasingly popular social, cultural and business environment. We selected this area since it’s strategically located in close proximity to cultural, entertainment and employment centers and connections to other transportation options.”
“We continue to make significant progress to develop this privately funded intercity passenger rail system,” said Don Robinson, President and Chief Operating Officer of All Aboard Florida. “This announcement is another major step forward as we advance the rail infrastructure and station designs. All Aboard Florida will transform the way Floridians move and do business by connecting the major central business districts within the South Florida region and with Central Florida.”
“All Aboard Florida will be a great asset to Broward County and the entire state of Florida,” said Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. “Having seamless travel service as an option to and from Orlando will make Broward County and South Florida an even more competitive business location as the new service provides efficiencies for business people traveling around the state. Another benefit will be the private investment surrounding the FEC stations that will drive large capital investments and create numerous new jobs.”
All Aboard Florida’s three other stations will be located in Orlando, as part of the International Airport’s new Intermodal Station; in downtown Miami on 9 acres bordered by NW 1st Avenue and the elevated MetroRail tracks between NW 8th and NW 1st Streets and on two acres of land bordered by NW 1st Court and NW 2nd Avenue between NW 7th and NW 6th Streets; and in West Palm Beach on two acres of land bordered by the FEC corridor and Rosemary Avenue between Datura and Evernia Streets.
The architect for the stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is Florida-based Zyscovich Architects in association with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, who are leading the overall design and planning efforts for the All Aboard Florida program.