Fort Lauderdale Named All-America City

Source: The below is an abbreviated version of the media release distributed by the City of Fort Lauderdale on June 16, 2014 

Fort Lauderdale Named All-American City 
The City of Fort Lauderdale has captured the prestigious All-America City Award! The official announcement honoring Fort Lauderdale with the 2014 national title was made last night by the National Civic League at its annual conference in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1949, 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 10 communities nationwide selected as an All-America City,” 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 making Fort Lauderdale an outstanding place to live, work, play, visit, and raise a family.  I would like to congratulate our staff, our neighbors, and all of our community builders on this tremendous accomplishment!”

Additional Communities Recognized as All-American Cities
Joining Fort Lauderdale as a 2014 All-America City are nine other communities from across the United States:Montgomery, Alabama; San Pablo, California; Brush, Colorado; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chelsea, Massachusetts; Independence, Oregon; Brownsville, Texas; Hampton, Virginia; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Selection Process
For two days, groups of civic leaders and community activists from 25 cities met in Denver to present their stories of positive change to a jury of civic experts and to network and exchange ideas and insights.

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 in Fort Lauderdale that were highlighted as examples of positive meaningful change:

  • The Dillard Innovation Zone Promise Neighborhood, an initiative 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 initiatives 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.

Additional Honors and Awards for the City of Fort Lauderdale include: 

“Top 10 Best Downtowns in 2014” – Livability.com

“Top 10 Most Exciting Cities in America” – Movoto National Real Estate

“Top 10 Greenest Mid-Sized Cities” – MyLife.com

“Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Small Businesses” – Biz2Credit.com

“Top 10 Best Places to Move in 2014” – SML National Moving

“Top 10 Small American Cities of the Future” – Foreign Direct Investment Magazine

“Top 10 Best Cities for Parking” – NerdWallet.com

“Top 10 Best Places for Veterans to Live” – Best Places for Veterans Report

“Top 10 Great Cities for Family Vacations” – Vacation Critic Travel Planning Guide

“Top 10 Best Places to Retire” – Money Magazine

“Favorite Winter Destination of Canadians” – FlightNetwork.com

“Most Outstanding Green Government” – U.S. Green Building Council South Florida

“Happiest Cities for Young Professionals” – Forbes Magazine

“Best Places for Business and Careers” – Forbes Magazine

“Top 100 Best Cities to Start a Business” – WalletHub

“Certified as a Florida Green Local Government” – Florida Green Building Coalition

“Complete Streets Policy Ranked #1 in Florida and #3 Nationally” – Smart Growth America

“Top 10 Most Affordable Summer Destinations” – GoBankingRates.com

“One of seven areas nationwide cited as an American Dream region” – Xavier University and The Burghard Group

Sun Trolley to Participate in 3rd Annual Fort Lauderdale Transportation Summit

The City of Fort Lauderdale, in partnership with MetroLAB Collaborative at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), will host the 3rd Annual Fort Lauderdale Transportation Summit on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at FAU’s downtown Fort Lauderdale Campus, located at 220 S.E. 2nd Avenue.

This collaborative workshop will explore strategic transportation and mobility solutions aimed at making Fort Lauderdale a pedestrian-friendly, multimodal, fully connected city of tomorrow. The Sun Trolley invites all community partners and stakeholders to visit our table.

Click here to view the 3rd Annual Transportation Summit agenda and to register for the workshop.

This event is open to the public and there is no fee to attend, but registration is requested.
Please note that each individual who is planning to attend must submit a separate registration. To register click here

Patricia Zeiler Named Nonprofit Leader of the Year at 211 Broward’s 2014 Nonprofit Academy Awards

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.

Sun Trolley

(L to R): Patricia Zeiler pictured with Sun Trolley staff members Cynthia Lull (left) and Mary Hogan (right)

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.”

Sun Trolley

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.

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.

You’re Invited to a Trolley Party

Who doesn’t LOVE a FREE Party at C&I Studios in Flagler Village that includes free drinks and delicious food from Rocco’s Tacos and Tarpon Bend? We know you do, that’s why we are inviting you to our Trolley Party to help us celebrate the expansion of Sun Trolley’s Downtown Link Route!
PS: Save the Date for the 1/31 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Peter Feldman Park – details below!
CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Sun Trolley

If you would like to share this event on your blog so your followers can RSVP – use this RSVP link:
A very special Thank You to the following sponsors:
Rocco’s Tacos, Tarpon Bend, TBG, Popcorn Indiana, Adept
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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.

Expansion of Sun Trolley’s Downtown Link Route Provides Connectivity to Flagler Village & Broward Health Medical Center

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.

Sun Trolley Downtown Link“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.