March 27, 2020
TRI-RAIL TEMPORARILY ADJUSTS TRAIN SCHEDULES AND SUSPENDS FARES
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has adjusted Tri-Rail train schedules and suspended all fares as of Saturday, March 28, until further notice, amidst a decline in daily ridership due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We are committed to staying up and running for health care workers and others in our community who need to get to essential jobs, as well as those who have no other means of transportation during this trying time,” said Steven L. Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “With fewer people on the trains it has become easier to practice social distancing, and with fewer trains in service we can enhance our efforts to disinfect the equipment.”
Tri-Rail will offer an 18-train schedule every 2 hours with operations starting at 4:17 a.m. during weekdays. Weekend service will have 12 trains with 3-hour frequency starting at 5:17 a.m.
“Though there will be fewer trains, we will be adding an additional car on each train set to give passengers more room to distance themselves,” said Abrams. “And suspending fares will protect passengers and the officers who check tickets by minimizing contact between them.” Abrams added, “This is just a temporary measure as we wait for the pandemic to pass and our lives return to normal.”
Tri-Rail ridership has dropped over 60% in the past few days, compared with the first week of March 2020 when ridership averaged 15,000 on weekdays and 6,000 on weekends. SFRTA continues to monitor Coronavirus reports while working in close coordination with State and County health and emergency management agencies.
For the most updated information on Tri-Rail service, including the temporarily modified schedule, visit www.tri-rail.com or follow Tri-Rail’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Tri-Rail’s Customer Service call center at 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) will remain open from 4:50 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
March 16, 2020
TRI-RAIL CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) officials have been developing preparation and response plans since the outbreak of the Coronavirus and continue to monitor reports for any changes.
“Tri-Rail trains remain running on regular schedule as the system provides an integral service to the community, especially during times of emergency,” said Steven L. Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “Most people still have to get to work, so we’re doing our part to keep trains disinfected and reminding riders of the steps they can take to help avoid the spreading of the virus.”
SFRTA has postponed its annual Tri-Rail “Ride & Play” event that was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, to an undetermined date. Agency staff remains in contact with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County agencies to coordinate any potential modifications to the region’s public transportation systems.
“We have redoubled our efforts on sanitizing Tri-Rail equipment, with a focus on ticket vending machines, benches and handles which people access more frequently,” said Abrams. “We continue to monitor Coronavirus reports while working in close coordination with State and County health and emergency management agencies.”
SFRTA asks passengers to take precautions as recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent the spreading of the virus.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cough and sneeze into elbow, not hands. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as keyboards, mobile telephones and steering wheels.
For the most updated information on Tri-Rail service, call 1-800-TRI-RAIL, visit www.tri-rail.com or follow Tri-Rail’s Facebook or Twitter pages.
January 10, 2020
TRI-RAIL REACHES HIGHEST RIDERSHIP RECORD IN 2019
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that Tri-Rail reached its highest calendar year ridership record in 2019 with 4,495,039 passengers. This is a 1.8 % increase from the previous year, and an upward trend the agency has been experiencing for the last three years.
“This record achievement underscores the growing need for the reliable and economical service that Tri-Rail provides,” said Steven L. Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “People in South Florida are appreciating more and more the role that public transportation plays in their lives. Whether it’s to get to work or school, leisure travel, or just getting from one point to the next while avoiding highway traffic, mobility is being appreciated today more than ever.”
SFRTA attributes the ridership increase to the system’s improvement on service, with a banner year of over 90% on-time performance (OTP) in 2019, including the highest OTP month in its history in July with 96.64%. This has been a result of an aggressive focus on improvements replacing miles of rail on the corridor that removed several slow orders.
The ridership increase also matches a national trend as reported by the American Public Transportation Association, which publicized just last month that public transportation ridership increased by 2.2% nationally in the third quarter of 2019. The trend is also consistent with what is happening in the State, as Visit Florida reported a 3.7 increase in visitors to Florida in the first three quarters of 2019. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also recently announced that the State’s unemployment rate is at historic lows.
“This was a great way to finish Tri-Rail’s 30th anniversary year but as it is my first year on the job, I feel this is just the beginning and I look forward to continuing this trend,” added Abrams. “We thank our passengers, supporters and staff for their part in this achievement.”
Tri-Rail operates 50 trains on weekdays and 30 trains on weekends and holidays. The system operates hourly during off-peak times and weekends, and 20 and 30 minute headways during weekday peak times. For more information, call 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) or log onto www.tri-rail.com.
October 21, 2019
TRI-RAIL TO INCREASE FARES AS OF JANUARY 1, 2020
SFRTA/Tri-Rail has announced a fare increase effective January 1, 2020. This is the first time that the commuter rail system has increased fares in 10 ½ years.
“Our service remains a great value for those who commute regularly and for anyone who travels to and from the area’s three major airports”, said Steven L. Abrams, executive director of SFRTA/Tri-Rail. “We will continue to deliver an on-time and reliable service every day of the year. We value our riders and we’re working hard for them.”
The amount of fare increase varies based on the length of one’s trip along the 73.4-mile corridor. As a whole, there is a less than 10% change in fares. Once in effect, a full-price monthly pass changes from $100 to $110, which translates to $1.83 a day to ride. Employer Discount Program passengers will still enjoy reduced fares of 15% off monthly passes, at a cost of $93.50 for unlimited use in a month. Half-price discounts are still in effect for children ages 5-12, students, seniors age 65 and older, and persons with disabilities.
The fare change takes into account 10 years of system improvements, added amenities and expanded train service. The fare increase will cover higher expenses the agency incurs for rail car maintenance, fuel, train operations, ticketing systems, technology improvements and more. As operational costs continue to escalate, the increase is essential for Tri-Rail’s financial future.
Passengers are encouraged to call 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) for questions about the fare changes. to view fare chart.
October 18, 2019
CAROLINE STREET IN WEST PALM BEACH STREET CLOSURE
Caroline Street is going to be closed to vehicular traffic due to Grade Crossing Repairs on the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) between Friday, October 25 at 10:00 p.m. through Wednesday, October 30 at 4:00 a.m.
A detour is established to allow workers to perform necessary repairs to the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) at Caroline Street, East of Interstate 95. During the closure, workers will be replacing the rail on two tracks through FDOT Highway Grade Crossing 628130K.
Caroline Street will be closed at the railway crossing between Parker and Clare Avenues.
September 10, 2019
BANYAN BOULEVARD TO CLOSE AT RAILROAD TRACKS SEPTEMBER 20-25
Banyan Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic at the grade crossing on the South Florida Rail Corridor from Friday, September 20 at 10:00 p.m. to Wednesday, September 25 at 6:00 a.m. The closure is necessary to allow crossing repair work at Banyan Boulevard near Tri-Rail’s West Palm Beach Station.
A detour has been established to facilitate the movement of traffic. Eastbound traffic will be diverted south on Australian Avenue and follow signs to Downtown via Okeechobee Boulevard to the left, where traffic can to continue eastbound. Westbound traffic will be diverted south on Tamarind Avenue to Okeechobee Boulevard, where traffic can make a right to continue westbound.
Alternatively, traffic can travel north on Australian Avenue or Tamarind Avenue to access Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and continue traveling east or westbound.
For additional information, please call 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245).
September 03, 2019
TRI-RAIL TO RESUME SERVICE ON WEDNESDAY
Tri-Rail service will resume a regular weekday service on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The corridor is expected to be completely restored and tested Tuesday evening.
“I am very grateful to our staff and crews who have worked diligently to ensure our system could return back to service as quickly as possible,” said Steven L. Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “We are going to be running some test trains tonight so we can start service promptly at 4 a.m. – Full Service – tomorrow morning on Wednesday.”
Passengers are encouraged to continue to monitor local radio and TV newscasts, call 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245), visit www.tri-rail.com, or follow Tri-Rail’s Facebook or Twitter pages for additional updates.
September 02, 2019
TRI-RAIL SERVICE REMAINS SUSPENDED ON TUESDAY
Tri-Rail service will remain suspended on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, until further notice. The process to restore service will begin on Tuesday morning, with the goal to have all of the crossing gates back in place and ready for Wednesday.
Passengers are encouraged to continue to monitor local radio and TV newscasts, call 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245), visit www.tri-rail.com, or follow Tri-Rail’s Facebook or Twitter pages for additional updates.
September 01, 2019
SFRTA SUSPENDS TRI-RAIL SERVICE AFTER LAST TRAIN SUNDAY EVENING DUE TO HURRICANE DORIAN
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority will suspend Tri-Rail service after the last train, Sunday, September 1, 2019. There will be no Tri-Rail trains operating on Monday, September 2 and trains will not resume running until further notice. The service suspension is necessary due to the anticipated impacts of Hurricane Dorian, especially in the northern part of the corridor in Palm Beach County. Hurricane winds that may cause damage to the rail corridor are expected.
“We will work as quickly as we can after the storm passes to restore service and have everything back up and running,” said SFRTA Executive Director Steven L. Abrams. “We won’t know when service will be back up just yet, but all our efforts will be focused on getting trains running to help with potential recovery efforts after the storm.” The agency’s customer service phone number 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) will have a recorded message with a status updated daily, until the train service is back up and running.
Passengers are encouraged to monitor local radio and TV newscasts, check the website at www.tri-rail.com, or follow Tri-Rail’s Facebook or Twitter pages for additional updates.
August 01, 2019
TRI-RAIL UDPATES SMARTPHONE APP WITH NEW TRIP-PLANNING FEATURES
Tri-Rail’s free smartphone app has been completely redesigned with enhanced trip-planning features and improved mobile technology. Riders can access critical information about Tri-Rail service, including an improved real-time train and Commuter Connector status, system-wide alerts of service updates, as well as information on train schedules, destinations and more.
New in the Tri-Rail app are the ‘My Ride’ and ‘Next To Arrive’ features, which enhance the trip-planning functions of the app. “We are excited to introduce the upgraded version of the Tri-Rail app that enables riders to customize their trips for easier access,” said Steven L. Abrams, Executive Director for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. “The app still has all the great features as before and more, but it now works better with the most current technology.”
The My Ride feature allows passengers to save multiple recurring trips made on Tri-Rail trains and Commuter Connector buses, providing a countdown for the next upcoming trip based on personalized selections.
The Next To Arrive feature allows passengers to select a Tri-Rail Station and view the next train or Commuter Connector bus, if applicable, that arrives at the selected station. Both My Ride and Next To Arrive features display real-time information, giving passengers more power on their hands to help with their travels.
The app was developed by Boca Raton-based software developer Daruma Tech and is available for download on the App Store and on Google Play. For more information visit www.tri-rail.com.
July 03, 2019
BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSIONER TIM RYAN ELECTED CHAIR OF THE SFRTA GOVERNING BOARD
The Governing Board of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has unanimously elected Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan to serve as Chair, effective July 1, 2019. The Board also elected Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche to serve as Vice Chair of the Board.
Commissioner Ryan previously served as SFRTA Chair from July 2016 to June 2017. A lifelong resident of Broward County, he was elected to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in November 2012 and was elected mayor of the county in November 2014. He represents District 7, which includes the cities of Dania Beach, Lazy Lake, and Wilton Manors, as well as parts of Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and the Broadview Park neighborhood.
Before his election to the Broward County Commission, he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1998-2006 before leaving office due to term limits. Ryan focused on legislative initiatives to protect consumers, improve public education, enhance accountability and ethical standards for elected officials, and to protect Florida’s environment and natural resources. Commissioner Ryan follows in a long family tradition of public service to the citizens of Broward County.
Commissioner Hal Valeche was appointed to the SFRTA Governing Board by the Palm Beach County Commission in June 2018. He attended Yale University and graduated with a BA in American studies. Upon graduation, he entered the US Navy flight training program in Pensacola, FL. He flew 85 combat missions during the Vietnam War, logging 230 carrier landings and receiving the Air Medal on six occasions.
After serving in the Navy, he graduated from the Warton School with an MBA in Finance and was named to the Director’s list for academic achievement. Upon moving to New York City, he began a 10-year career with Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. Since relocating to Palm Beach Gardens in 1993, he has started and operated a number of highly successful businesses.
Commissioner Valeche was appointed to the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida in 2009, and subsequently served as a board member of Space Florida, BioFlorida, and the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research.
He was elected to the Palm Beach County Board of County commissioners in 2012. He represents District 1, which includes Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, Jupiter, Tequesta, and a significant portion of underdeveloped Palm Beach County.
June 26, 2019
FLORIDA LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL TO SPEED INCIDENT PROCESSING
On June 7, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new legislation designed to streamline the investigative process when a train is involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. The new legislation, House Bill 341/Senate Bill 1002, passed unanimously in the closing days of the 2019 legislative session.
“This legislation could dramatically reduce the length of time it takes to clear up an accident investigation and get the train and passengers moving again,” according to Steven L. Abrams, South Florida Transportation Authority (SFRTA) Executive Director and daily Tri-Rail commuter. In the past, there have been occasions even during rush hour when an accident has occurred and officers took previous legislation as meaning that every single passenger on the train needed to be questioned. A rush hour train can carry more than 400 people. Just getting their basic identifying information can take hours. This new laws relieves passengers of that inconvenience.
The bill stipulates that the collection of certain information will be at the discretion of the law enforcement officer having the jurisdiction to investigate the crash. The bill also specifies that certain persons are not considered passengers for the purpose of making crash reports and need not be interviewed as part of the process. The bill takes effect July 1, 2019.
The sponsors of the legislation were Representative Chip LaMarca, District 93, Lighthouse Point, and Senator Travis Hutson, District 7, Palm Coast.
June 12, 2019
SFRTA REACHES PTC MILESTONE BY TESTING REVENUE TRAINS OPERATING UNDER NEW TECHNOLOGY
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved a plan to test trains operating revenue (regularly-scheduled) service with Positive Train Control (PTC) technology. SFRTA will launch the Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) on its entire commuter operating corridor, which runs from West Palm Beach to Miami, beginning June 29, 2019. This is a key milestone in moving closer to having PTC technology certified and implemented on the South Florida Rail Corridor. Revenue trains will be incrementally added in the demonstration phase until the entire fleet is operating with PTC systems.
“I’m proud of our talented and dedicated team that has been working diligently to keep SFRTA moving forward with PTC implementation ahead of federal deadlines,” said Steven Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “PTC is a significant safety upgrade to our system, and we will continue to prioritize this project to ensure our train operations have the highest level of safety technology.”
SFRTA does not anticipate any major delays due to PTC while it is being demonstrated and after it is fully implemented. PTC however, is an incredibly complex system that involves numerous components that must constantly communicate with each other. Because it is a new system for SFRTA engineers and maintainers to learn, the potential exists for minor glitches and minor delays, particularly in the early days of implementation.
PTC is a complex computer and GPS-based system that helps prevent human error from causing train accidents. The technology can prevent over-speed derailments, train-to-train collisions, trains entering an established work zones, and unauthorized train movement onto sections of the track through a track switch left in the wrong position.
June 03, 2019
INDUSTRY VETERAN JACK L. STEPHENS DIES AT 71
Jack L. Stephens, 71, retired Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), died Sunday, June 2, 2019, of natural causes in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Stephens retired from the SFRTA in December 2018 after having held leadership positions in the public transportation industry for more than 30 years.
Stephens was named Executive Director of the SFRTA in February 2014 after having served as Deputy Executive Director since 2003. As the Executive Director, Stephens was responsible for an organization which had a $119.8 million dollar operating budget and a $117.6 million capital budget. The SFRTA operates Tri-Rail, Florida’s premier commuter rail system, which serves customers 365 days of the year.
Prior to joining the SFRTA, Mr. Stephens spent a dozen years associated with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in a succession of managerial positions, including Deputy General Manager for Administration, Interim General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Customer Development Division, Assistant to the General Manager, Office of Federal and State Relations and Legislative Coordinator. Prior to coming into the transit industry, he was associated with the Orleans Parish Public Schools and the Georgia Department of Offender Rehabilitation. In addition, he served as legislative staff for the State of Georgia Senate and House of Representatives.
He held a B.A. degree from the University of the South and a Master’s degree from the University of Georgia. He also studied toward a PhD in Public Administration/Political Science at Georgia State University. He resided in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Stephens was pre-deceased by his husband, Keith Stoddard. He is survived by his brother, Chris Stephens and his wife Vicki. At Stephens’ request, there will be no memorial services.
Contributions may be made in his name to the Jack L. Stephens Graduate Scholarship at the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Fort Lauderdale Chapter. Please make check payable to: COMTO Fort Lauderdale and place JLS Scholarship in the memo. Mail to the attention of Victor Garcia, 801 NW 33rd St. Pompano Beach, FL 33064.
February 12, 2019
SFRTA ANNOUNCES SENIOR MANAGEMENT RESTRUCTURING AND PROMOTIONS
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) Executive Director Steven L. Abrams announced the restructuring of the senior management team and the promotion of several current staff members. Christopher C. Bross, CPPO, has been named Deputy Executive Director of Operations. Dianelys Hernandez Del Calvo has been named Deputy Executive Director of Administration/EEO Officer. Promoted to the director level were Loraine Kelly-Cargill, Director of Planning and Capital Development; Dr. Ralph E. Rapa, Director of Operations; M. David Trabal, Director of Human Resources; and Vicki Wooldridge, Director of Government Affairs. The promotions are effective immediately.
Steven L. Abrams became Executive Director of the SFRTA in December 2018 after having served as a member of the Governing Board for almost a decade, including two terms as Chair. “It was time to shuffle the deck and who better to fill the open leadership spots than the members of the existing senior management team, who have more than a century of SFRTA experience between them,” explained Mr. Abrams.
Completing the senior management team are Brandy Creed, Director of Engineering and Construction; Renee Matthews, Comptroller and Director of IT; Allen Yoder, Director of Safety and Security; Bonnie Arnold, Public Information Officer; Teresa Moore, General Counsel; and Noel Pfeiffer, Deputy General Counsel.
Christopher C. Bross, CPPO
Deputy Executive Director of Operations, was previously Director of Procurement for the SFRTA, where he served as the chief contracting officer for more than 14 years. He was accredited as a Chief Certified Public Purchasing Officer in May 2003 and recertified in May 2018. In his new capacity, he will oversee the Agency’s Operations, Safety & Security, Engineering, Procurement and Information Technology Departments. Mr. Bross began his tenure with SFRTA in July 1996. Prior, he was employed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Bross is a graduate of the University of South Florida, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a major in finance.
Dianelys Hernandez Del Calvo
Deputy Executive Director of Administration, has served the SFRTA as the Director of Administration/EEO Officer for over 14 years. In her new capacity, she will oversee the Agency’s Administration, Human Resources, Finance, and Planning and Capital Development Departments, as well as the Corporate and Community Outreach Office, Civil Rights Program, Record Management Program, Board Support and Executive Office Administration. She has been employed with the SFRTA for almost 20 years and possesses over 25 years of administration experience. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University in criminal justice, a Master of Public Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University and a Transportation Management Certificate from the University of Miami.
Loraine Kelly-Cargill, AICP
Director of Planning and Capital Development, has served with the SFRTA for over 20 years in various capacities within the department. She began her professional career with the Agency in 1994 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is also a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ms. Kelly-Cargill is the Past President of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Fort Lauderdale Chapter and is a longstanding member of the Rail-Volution National Steering Committee.
Dr. Ralph E. Rapa
Director of Operations, is a native of Jeanette, PA. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. He was the President of the Class of 1987 and was a standout lacrosse player. He possesses over 12 years of railroad experience, beginning with Amtrak On Board Services in 2006. He joined Veolia Transportation (now Transdev) in 2007 and served as Communications Manager and Supervisor of Safety and Security. He is a certified passenger train conductor, and a certified locomotive engineer and rose from the ranks as a conductor trainee. A graduate of Albizu University in Miami, FL, Dr. Rapa holds a Master of Science and Doctor of Psychology degrees in clinical psychology. With 17 years of collegiate teaching experience, he is also an adjunct professor at Barry University in Miami Shores, and a faculty member of the University of Phoenix South Florida campus.
M. David Trabal, SHRM-CP
Director of Human Resources, joined the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority in 2008, and was promoted to Director of Human Resources after serving as Human Resource Manager and Customer Service Supervisor. A stateside Puerto Rican who grew up in the Bronx, NY, he has over two decades of progressively responsible managerial experience in Fortune 500, 100, and 50 companies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree Cum Laude from the School of Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, where he also completed the Human Resource Management program from the Executive Continuing Education College of Business.
Director of Government Affairs, joined the SFRTA in 2008 as the Government Affairs Manager. She is an accomplished legislative professional with nearly 25 years proven experience in the policy and political arena at the federal, state and local levels of government. As a successful fund raiser, she has helped double the established funding for scholarships for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Fort Lauderdale Chapter, where she serves as treasurer. She has also held positions as the Director of Branch Operations for the Constitutional Tax Collector, Palm Beach County; was the owner/principal of VictoryWorks Governmental Consulting, and served as a Chief Legislative Assistant in the Florida House of Representatives.
October 29, 2018
“COMMUTING COMMISSIONER” SELECTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SFRTA
Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams was selected Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) at Friday’s meeting of the Governing Board. Commissioner Abrams served on the Agency’s governing board beginning in 2010 and resigned from the board in May 2018 to enter into the search process for the Executive Director position. He served as chair of the Governing Board from July 2012 to June 2014 and again from July 2017 to June 2018. He will replace Jack Stephens, who has been Executive Director since February 2014, and is scheduled to retire when his contract expires on December 31, 2018.
Commissioner Abrams has come to be known as the “Commuting Commissioner” because he was the first SFRTA Governing Board member to also be a regular commuter on Tri-Rail, which is operated by SFRTA. “I have a passenger perspective,” Abrams said. “I know first-hand what Tri-Rail means to the economy of South Florida when each day I join thousands of workers, students, and tourists traveling on our train throughout the region.”
Abrams has a lengthy record of public service. He has served on the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners representing District 4 since 2009. He is termed out of office this November. He is the former mayor of Boca Raton, elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 without opposition, and again in 2005 with the most votes in city history. He was named Mayor Emeritus when he stepped down in 2008 due to term limits. In Palm Beach County, the Commissioner served five terms as a City Council member in Boca Raton from 1989 to 1999 and was a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board between 1987 and 1989.
During his tenure as SFRTA Chair, Commissioner Abrams was the SFRTA Governing Board’s designee to represent the Authority in the negotiations with All Aboard Florida. Commissioner Abrams’ efforts were invaluable in crafting the agreement to bring direct Tri-Rail service into downtown Miami via the new station, known as MiamiCentral. Abrams is a past president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities and a founding board member of the Florida League of Mayors.
October 18, 2018
SFRTA NAMED OUTSTANDING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM OF THE YEAR BY FPTA
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) received the award for being the Outstanding Public Transportation System in the state in 2018 from the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) at their Annual Conference, held October 14 through 17, 2018 in Daytona Beach, FL.
“Each and every one of our employees played a part in helping the Agency to achieve this honor. As always, I am grateful to them for their dedication and professionalism. I am extremely proud of the SFRTA team,” said Executive Director Jack Stephens in announcing the award.
In addition, the SFRTA’s marketing efforts were recognized with four awards. First place was given to the Fun Guide, a printed and electronic brochure with a list of South Florida destinations accessible using Tri-Rail. Second place went to a Safety Poster and “Our Price is Right” for Electronic Media. Third place went to “Our Price is Right” for Sustaining Campaign.
These awards come at a pivotal time for the Agency, as it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in January 2019, anticipates launching direct Tri-Rail service into Downtown Miami, and faces the prospect of new leadership with Mr. Stephens’ approaching retirement after serving the SFRTA for the past 15 years.
August 02, 2018
SFRTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JACK STEPHENS TO RETIRE DECEMBER 31, 2018
After a 15 year tenure with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), Executive Director Jack Stephens has informed the Governing Board of the Agency of his intent to retire at the expiration of his contract on December 31, 2018.
“These past 15 years have been filled with many challenges and accomplishments and I have been proud to have been a part of them. Most recently, we opened our first LEED certified train station on the corridor, we moved into a new Operations Center that brings all of the functions needed to administer the SFRTA and operate Tri-Rail under one roof, and we are well on our way to taking Tri-Rail directly into downtown Miami, greatly enhancing our service to our passengers. During my time here, I have been blessed to work with a dedicated and highly professional team at all levels of the organization,” said Mr. Stephens in making the announcement.
Jack Stephens was named Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) in February 2014 after having served as Deputy Executive Director since 2003. As Deputy Executive Director, Stephens was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Authority, with oversight of all functions of the organization
Prior to joining the SFRTA, Mr. Stephens spent a dozen years associated with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in a succession of managerial positions, including. Deputy General Manager for Administration, Interim General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Customer Development Division, Assistant to the General Manager, Office of Federal and State Relations and Legislative Coordinator. Prior to coming into the transit industry, he was associated with the Orleans Parish Public Schools and the Georgia Department of Offender Rehabilitation. In addition, he served as legislative staff for the State of Georgia Senate and House of Representatives.
He has a B.A. degree from the University of the South and a Master’s degree from the University of Georgia. He also studied toward a PhD in Public Administration/Political Science at Georgia State University. He resides in Pompano Beach, Florida.
The executive placement firm of KL2 Connect has been retained to conduct a national search to work with the SFRTA Governing Board to identify Mr. Stephens’successor.
August 01, 2018
TRI-RAIL RECORDS HIGHEST ON-TIME-PERFORMANCE IN HISTORY OF OPERATIONS
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that in July 2018, Tri-Rail achieved the highest on-time-performance (OTP) in its 29- year history of operations. A record 96.6% of all trains in the month of July arrived at their final destination within 5 minutes of their scheduled time, the industry standard for determining OTP. This far exceeds the Governing Board’s stated goal that a minimum of 90% of trains arrive on time on a monthly basis.
“This is a milestone achievement for the Agency and truly a testament to the hard working professionals on the Tri-Rail team, with special acknowledgement of the efforts of our contract operator of the past year, Herzog Transit Services Inc. Most important however, is the fact that it is fulfilling our mission to provide the best transportation we can for the people we are dedicated to serving, our passengers and our community,” said Executive Director Jack Stephens in making the announcement.
Tri-Rail began operations in January 1989 as a 5-year temporary traffic mitigation program while I-95 was under construction. Now, almost 30 years later, Tri-Rail has become an integral part of South Florida’s transportation system, connecting Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties along a 72-mile north/south rail corridor. The SFRTA operates Tri-Rail trains 365 days a year, with 50 trains each weekday and 30 trains each on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. It is an economical and reliable alternative to reaching the area’s employment and educational centers, popular special events and local attractions, and all three of the region’s international airports.
July 02, 2018
THE SOUTH FLORIDA REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY & 211 HELPLINE LAUNCH A NEW CAMPAIGN TO HELP END SUICIDES ON RAILWAY TRACKS
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority is partnering with regional 211 helpline & crisis lines to get a life-saving message out on signs displayed along the southern rail corridor - signs that read “IN CRISIS OR DEPRESSED? DIAL 2-1-1” “HELP IS HERE FOR YOU 24 HOURS A DAY! LIFE IS WORTH LIVING!”
The SFRTA & 211 hope to have a positive impact in suicide prevention efforts by placing these signs throughout the service area as well as in the stations.
It has been recently reported that in the United States, suicide rates have increased by 25% and with the recent series of celebrity suicides, it has become evermore important to spread the message that help is available to those struggling with suicidal thoughts.
“Every day the staff at 211 help people in crisis, with compassion and concern,” said President/CEO of the 211
HelpLine in Palm Beach County, Sharon L’Herrou. “We know we have the ability to save a person’s life, they just have
to first know we exist. We are grateful to the SFRTA for seeing this as a critical need and allowing us to work together
to combat the epidemic that is suicide.”
To add to the complexity of these tragic and preventable situations, a high percentage of the people involved in incidents involving the death of people on the tracks experience some form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"We are grateful to have 211 as a partner in our efforts to mitigate the increasing incidents of suicides on the South Florida Rail Corridor. We want anyone who considers this action as their only recourse to whatever is going on in their lives to be aware that there are alternatives and that help is available if they reach out for it," said SFRTA Executive Director Jack Stephens.
Crisis intervention can be reached 24/7 by dialing 2-1-1, texting your concerns and zip code to 898-211 or also through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) which is answered in this region by 211 staff.
About 211 HelpLine
211 is a non-profit organization, servicing Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, and the Treasure Coast. 211 is a confidential, non-judgmental helpline available 24/7 to individuals who don’t know where to turn in their time of need. 211 is essentially the “gateway” to all other health, human service and governmental organizations in the community and can be accessed by simply dialing 2-1-1.
With the creation of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) on July 1, 2003, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties began efforts to work together to ensure a viable regional transportation system. The SFRTA, with cooperation from our transportation partners, works diligently to plan, develop, fund and operate a seamless, safe and efficient regional transportation system. A regional transportation system in South Florida will ensure mobility, advance sustainable growth and improve the quality of life for our current and future residents.
June 29, 2018
SFRTA ELECTS COMMISSIONER ESTEBAN L. BOVO CHAIR AT JUNE 22 MONTHLY MEETING
Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan Elected Vice Chair
The Governing Board of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has elected Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. to serve as Chairman of the Agency. Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan was elected Vice Chair. Their terms are effective July 1, 2018. The Miami-Dade County Commissioners appointed Commissioner Bovo to serve as their representative to the SFRTA Governing Board in June 2018. The Broward County Board of County Commissioners appointed Commissioner Ryan in January 2015.
Elected to represent District 13 in 2011, Commissioner Bovo represents the vibrant and diverse communities of Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North and several other unincorporated neighborhoods.
Commissioner Bovo is currently Chair of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. On the Commission, he currently serves as Chairman of the Board’s Transportation and Mobility and is a member of the Unincorporated Municipal Services Committee and the Strategic Planning and Government Operations Committee.
Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. was born on June 12, 1962 in Queens, NY to Marilyn and Esteban Bovo-Caras. As a member of Brigade 2506, a US supported military unit that saw combat during the Bay of Pigs invasion, Commissioner Bovo’s father instilled in him a sense of duty, justice and fair play. Commissioner Bovo has been a proud resident of Miami-Dade County for over 45 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University. He is married to Viviana and has five children: Oscar, Bianca, Esteban, Sofia and Alessandro.
Commissioner Tim Ryan served as Chair of the SFRTA Governing Board from July 2016 to June 2017. A lifelong resident of Broward County, he was elected to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in November 2012 and was elected mayor of the county in November 2014. He represents District 7, which includes the cities of Dania Beach, Lazy Lake, and Wilton Manners, as well as parts of Davie, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood and the Broadview Park neighborhood.
Before his election to the Broward County Commission, he served for 8 years in the Florida House of Representatives from 1998-2006 before leaving office due to term limits. During his time in the legislature, Ryan focused on legislative initiatives to protect consumers, improve public education, enhance accountability and ethical standards for elected officials, and to protect our state’s environment and natural resources. Commissioner Ryan follows in a long family tradition of public service to the people of Broward County.
June 28, 2018
PALM BEACH COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPOINTS HAL VALECHE TO SFRTA GOVERNING BOARD
The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners has appointed Commissioner Hal Valeche to serve as its representative on the SFRTA Governing Board, effective immediately.
Commissioner Valeche graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Upon graduation, he entered the US Navy flight-training program at Pensacola, Florida. On completion of training, he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 191 at NAS Miramar California. During this tour, he flew 85 combat missions in Vietnam, logged 230 carrier landings and received six awards of the Air Medal.
After his service in the Navy, Commissioner Valeche attended the Wharton School, where he received an MBA in Finance and received Director’s List recognition for academic achievement in both years of the program. Following graduation, he moved to New York and began a ten-year career as an investment banker with Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. As an investment banker, he advised many public and private companies in conjunction with debt and equity issuance, mergers and acquisitions and strategic recapitalizations.
Hal moved to Palm Beach Gardens in 1993. Since then, he has started and operated several successful businesses, served as head of acquisitions for a Boca Raton-based public company and is currently working once again as an investment banker and venture capitalist.
He has a daughter, Claire, born in December 1998.
Commissioner Valeche was elected to the Board of Supervisors of the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District in 2002 and subsequently was elected and served two terms on the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens.
In November 2009, Florida’s Governor appointed him to the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida. He served as chair of Enterprise Florida’s Technology, Entrepreneurship and Capital Committee, and on the boards of Space Florida, BioFlorida, and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.
Commissioner Valeche was elected to the Palm Beach County Commission District 1 seat in November 2012, and was re-elected to a second term in November 2016.
June 07, 2018
TRI-RAIL ACHIEVES HIGHEST MONTHLY OTP MAY 2018
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that in May 2018, Tri-Rail trains recorded their highest monthly on-time-performance (OTP) since January 2001. That is 17+ years or 204 months. In May 2018, 96.2% of all Tri-Rail trains operated as scheduled. Especially noteworthy is that in 2001, Tri-Rail was operating only 28 trains a day on weekdays and 16 trains a day on weekends. Currently, Tri-Rail operates 50 trains a day on weekdays and 30 trains a day on weekends and holidays.
“We are delighted to finally provide our passengers with the level of service they desire and deserve. Because of some repairs to the corridor, we were able to relieve some speed restrictions that had impacted OTP and Herzog Transit Services Inc., our new operating contractor, brings decades of experience to the table that they have gained from operating trains all over the country to our benefit,” said Jack Stephens, SFRTA Executive Director.
Tri-Rail, established in 1989, is south Florida’s premiere commuter rail system. Operating 365 days a year. The system operates on the 72-mile South Florida Rail Corridor, which extends from Mangonia Park in Palm Beach County, south to the Miami International Airport in Miami-Dade County. The system carries between 15,000 and 16,000 passengers a day.
June 04, 2018
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPOINTS COMMISSIONER BOVO TO SFRTA GOVERNING BOARD
The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has appointed Commissioner Esteban L. Bovo to serve as its representative on the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Governing Board. Elected to represent District 13 in 2011, he represents the vibrant and diverse communities of Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North and several other unincorporated neighborhoods.
Commissioner Bovo began his career in public service when he was appointed to fill a midterm vacancy on the Hialeah City Council in 1998. Subsequently re-elected twice, Commissioner Bovo was elected to serve as the council’s president, where he earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues and developed a reputation as a consensus builder.
In November 2008, Commissioner Bovo was elected to the Florida Legislature representing House District 110 and was re-elected without opposition in 2010. Throughout the 2009 legislative session, then Representative Bovo sponsored a resolution designating the month of May as “A Safe Haven for Babies Month,” in recognition of the Gloria M. Silverio Foundation.
Commissioner Bovo is currently Chair of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. On the Commission, he currently serves as Chairman of the Board’s Transportation and Mobility Committee and is a member of the Unincorporated Municipal Services Committee and the Strategic Planning and Government Operations Committee.
Esteban L. Bovo was born on June 12, 1962 in Queens, NY to Marilyn and Esteban Bovo-Caras. As a member of Brigade 2506, a US-supported military unit that saw combat during the Bay of Pigs invasion, Commissioner Bovo’s father instilled in him a sense of duty, justice and fair play. Commissioner Bovo has been a proud resident of Miami-Dade County for over 45 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University. He is married to Viviana and has five children: Oscar, Bianca, Esteban, Sofia and Alessandro.
March 02, 2018
TRI-RAIL ACHIEVES HIGHEST MONTHLY OTP SINCE 2002
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that in February 2018, Tri-Rail trains recorded their highest monthly on-time-performance (OTP) since December of 2002. That is 15+ years or 182 months. In February, 95.2% of all Tri-Rail trains operated as scheduled.
“We are delighted to finally provide our passengers with the level of service they desire and deserve. Because of some repairs to the corridor, we were able to relieve some speed restrictions that had impacted OTP. Herzog Transit Services Inc., our new operating contractor, brings decades of experience that they have gained from operating trains all over the country to our benefit,” said Jack Stephens, SFRTA Executive Director.
Tri-Rail, established in 1989, is south Florida’s premiere commuter rail system. Operating 365 days a year, the schedule includes 50 trains each weekday and 30 trains on weekends and holidays. The system operates on the 72-mile South Florida Rail Corridor, which extends from Mangonia Park in Palm Beach County, south to the Miami International Airport in Miami-Dade County. The system is currently carrying between 15,000 and 16,000 passengers a day.
March 02, 2018
POMPANO BEACH ESTABLISHES QUIET ZONES AT 5 RAIL CROSSINGS
The City of Pompano Beach successfully petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration to establish quiet zones at 5 rail crossings on the South Florida Rail Corridor. Tri-Rail, Amtrak and CSXT all operate service on the tracks west of I-95.
The crossings are NW 33rd Street, W. Copans Road, NW 15th Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./Hammondville Road, and SW 3rd Street/Racetrack Road. The quiet zones went into effect on March 1.
The engine bell will be rung when traveling over the highway crossing at grade. The engineer has the discretion to sound the horn only in what he/she perceives is and emergency situation, when roadway workers or maintenance of way vehicles or equipment are present, or when notified of a highway-rail crossing malfunction.
February 19, 2018
RIDE TRI-RAIL TO SPRING TRAINING FOR $5 ROUNDTRIP AND HIT A WEEKEND FUN HOME RUN
Riders to enjoy FREE shuttle buses to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches every Saturday & Sunday from February 24 – March 25.
Spring Training is in full swing and South Florida residents and visitors can hit a weekend home run by riding Tri-Rail to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for just $5 per person roundtrip (children under the age of 5 ride free). Every Saturday and Sunday from February 24 – March 25, Tri-Rail riders can take advantage of all the baseball excitement with the added value of a 10-minute free dedicated shuttle bus connection from the Mangonia Park Station to the Ballpark and back. Tri-Rail benefits also include complimentary parking at 18 conveniently located stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach and free wi-fi.
“Tri-Rail’s $5 roundtrip fare which includes a direct shuttle bus ride from the station to the ballpark is a great way for South Florida residents and visitors to catch the yearly major league excitement for minor league prices,” said Bonnie Arnold, public information officer for SFRTA/Tri-Rail. “Our convenient, air-conditioned rail transportation makes staying and playing in South Florida during Spring Training a huge hit.”
This year’s Spring Training line-up is:
· Saturday, February 24 Houston Astros vs Atlanta Braves
· Sunday, February 25 Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves
· Saturday, March 3 Houston Astros vs Washington Nationals
· Sunday, March 4 Washington Nationals vs Detroit Tigers
· Saturday, March 10 Houston Astros vs Washington Nationals
· Sunday, March 11 Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals
· Saturday, March 17 Washington Nationals vs New York Mets
· Sunday, March 18 Houston Astros vs Atlanta Braves
· Saturday, March 24 Washington Nationals vs Miami Marlins
· Sunday, March 25 Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals
All games start at 1:05 p.m. Purchase tickets to the baseball games at www.ballparkpalmbeaches.com
Tri-Rail operates every hour on weekends and holidays. Train service is available every day of the year with bus and Metrorail connections. Tri-Rail’s weekend fares are just $5 for all day passes and children under the age of 5 ride free. Children ages 5 to 12 receive a 50% discount by obtaining an EASY Card from a Tri-Rail Station Agent at the West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Metrorail Transfer and Miami Airport stations.
To plan your day at the ballpark and find train schedules, visit http://www.tri-rail.com/spring-training/ or call 1-800-TRI-RAIL.
November 16, 2017
SFRTA TRANSFORMS TRI-RAIL’S MIAMI AIRPORT STATION INTO WINTER WONDERLAND ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9
Even if the temperature is in the eighties, there will be 20 tons of snow at Tri-Rail’s Miami Airport Station when the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) transforms its southernmost point into a Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 9, 2017. In addition to the snow playground, the free event includes bounce houses, food trucks, face painters, cookie decorating, a coloring station and holiday carolers.
The fun starts on two select trains, southbound P669 and P671, with costumed characters on board. Festivities at the station will be held between 11.00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 to ride Tri-Rail the entire day or $2.50 for students, seniors, and persons with disabilities who have a registered discount EASY Card. Children under five ride Tri-Rail for free.
“This is a new event we are holding to encourage families to experience the joy and excitement of riding a train. Studies have shown that the younger a child experiences a train ride, the more likely they are to select public transportation as their mode of mobility as they get older,” said Bonnie Arnold, SFRTA Public Information Officer. The SFRTA also hosts the annual Tri-Rail “Rail Fun Day” and the “South Florida Kids Got Talent” signing competition. Both events are free to attend and offer additional activities for families.
October 27, 2017
BROWARD COUNTY ATTORNEY APPOINTED TO SFRTA GOVERNING BOARD
The Broward County Board of County Commissioners has named Robert C. L. Vaughan to the Governing Board of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Mr. Vaughan will serve as the County’s business representative on the Board.
Mr. Vaughan is a partner in the law firm of Kim Vaughan Lerner LLP. He focuses his practice on commercial and international litigation, product liability and alternative dispute resolution. He represents clients in the U.S. state and federal courts and in matters pending before courts in the Caribbean. Mr. Vaughan is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for professional excellence. He has successfully handled multi-million dollar jury trials, class action litigation and multidistrict litigation, and has represented numerous domestic and international clients through verdict and dispositive pre-trial hearings.
Among his numerous honors and recognitions are Florida and Nationwide Super Lawyers 2011-2015, South Florida Legal Guide Top Lawyer 2014 to the present, Florida Trend’s Legal Elite 2007 to present, and Chambers USA, Florida Litigation 2014 to present. He is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Broward County Bar Association, a member of the National Bar Association, a Director of the Caribbean Bar Association Foundation, a former Board Member of the NYU Law Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni, and a Vice Chair of the Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee.
Born in Jamaica, he attended the University of the West Indies and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, from which he holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies, graduating cum laude. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and Legal Education Certificate at UWI, Norman Manley School of Law.
June 23, 2017
SFRTA PRESENTS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD TO HERO OFFICER
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) presented today its most prestigious honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Custom Protection Officer Pedro Ruiz, for heroic actions he undertook that far exceeded the responsibilities of his duties.
On the evening of December 16, 2016, while driving on I-95, CPO Ruiz and a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy sergeant came upon a crashed vehicle in flames. Although off duty at the time, CPO Ruiz and the deputy came to the immediate aid of the crash victim. They were able to break the vehicle window and pull the victim from the burning interior. Once moved a safe distance from the vehicle, it was discovered that the crash victim had no pulse. CPO Ruiz immediately began administering CPR and the victim regained consciousness. The victim survived, in great measure, due to CPO Ruiz’s efforts.
In presenting the award, SFRTA Chair and Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan, commended CPO Ruiz for his actions. “Through his bravery, he saved a life. He is a shining example of the men and women who serve our passengers and the general public each and every day,” said Chair Ryan in praising the officer. “He is truly worthy of receiving the SFRTA’s most prestigious award and we are proud to call him a member of the SFRTA family.” Officer Ruiz currently serves as the SFRTA Public Safety Coordinator.
The SFRTA created the Distinguished Service Award in 2014 to recognize the actions of frontline SFRTA staff members or employees of our contractors who provide assistance to those in need that far exceeds their responsibilities. The presentation of this award is taken very seriously, as witnessed by the three year gap between the presentation of the inaugural awards and the one presented today.
The SFRTA operates Tri-Rail, South Florida’s only commuter rail system. Serving residents and visitors of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, Tri-Rail transports a diverse ridership of more than 4 million people each year to the region’s premiere business, educational, and corporate locations, as well as to the area’s unique special attractions and destinations, including all three of the area’s international airports. For additional information about Tri-Rail, call customer service at 1-800-TRI-RAIL (874-7245) or log onto www.tri-rail.com
June 23, 2017
“COMMUTING COMMISSIONER” ELECTED CHAIR OF SFRTA
Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams was elected Chair of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) at the June 23, 2017 meeting of the Governing Board. At the same meeting, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro was elected Vice Chair. Commissioner Abrams has been a member of the SFRTA Governing Board since August 2010. Commissioner Barreiro has served on the SFRTA Governing Board for more than a decade.
Commissioner Abrams has come to be known as the “Commuting Commissioner” because he is the first SFRTA Governing Board member to also be a regular commuter on Tri-Rail, which is operated by SFRTA. “I have a passenger perspective,” Abrams said. “I know first-hand what Tri-Rail means to the economy of South Florida when each day I join thousands of workers, students, and tourists traveling on our train throughout the region.”
Abrams has served on the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners representing District 4 since 2009, and was re-elected without opposition to a full four-year term. Mayor Abrams has a lengthy record of public service. Abrams is the former mayor of Boca Raton, elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 without opposition and again in 2005 with the most votes in city history. He was named Mayor Emeritus when he stepped down in 2008 due to term limits.
As the SFRTA Governing Board’s designee to represent the SFRTA in the negotiations with All Aboard Florida, Commissioner Abrams’ efforts were invaluable in crafting the agreement to bring direct Tri-Rail service into downtown Miami via the new station, known as MiamiCentral. In Palm Beach County, the Commissioner served five terms as a City Council member in Boca Raton from 1989 to 1999 and was a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board between 1987 and 1989. Abrams is a past president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities and a founding board member of the Florida League of Mayors.
Abrams gained national exposure and local respect during the first bioterrorist attack in American history when anthrax was discovered at the AMI Building in Boca Raton, in October 2001. He received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Israel National Police for his leadership during the ordeal and testified on national television regarding the government’s response to the crisis at the invitation of a United States Senate subcommittee.
Commissioner Barreiro has served four terms as the Chair of the SFRTA. First elected to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners in 1988, he represents District 5 and serves constituents in parts of Miami, Miami Beach, Little Havana, Downtown Miami and South Beach.
He has long been a proponent of public transportation. In 1999, he sponsored a resolution for the creation of the Golden Passport to provide free transportation for senior citizens in Miami-Dade County. In 2002, he chaired the Transportation, Infrastructure and Environment Committee and sponsored a resolution for a half-cent sales tax to improve mass transit services as outlined in the People’s Transportation Plan.
June 14, 2017
TRI-RAIL AND SOUTH FLORIDA TRANSIT AGENCIES CELEBRATE TWELFTH ANNUAL NATIONAL DUMP THE PUMP DAY TO BE HELD THURSDAY JUNE 15
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announces that Tri-Rail will join Broward County Transit, Miami-Dade County Department of Public Works, Palm Tran and South Florida Commuter Services, along with public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the twelfth annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 15, 2017.
Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2017 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation to take them where they need to go, instead of driving a car alone. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a convenient travel option that also helps people save money.
For this year’s collective effort, the South Florida agencies are encouraging passengers to download the RideFlag App to log their trips on transit or carpool during “Dump the Pump Day.” RideFlag is a carpooling mobile application that matches both drivers and passengers on demand and in real-time. Passengers are invited to try the carpooling features of the app as an additional commuting tool to have at their disposal.
“With the overwhelming use of ridesharing technology by the public to get to work, school or around town, it makes sense for us to support this Florida Department of Transportation project that brings carpooling services to the level that consumers are used to in an easy-to-use phone app” said Jack Stephens, Executive Director of SFRTA. “Using public transportation and carpooling are the most economical ways of helping the environment, reducing congestion and lowering commuter costs, including saving gas at the pump.”
RideFlag launched in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in 2016, in an effort to help people simplify their transportation needs in real-time, while reducing congestion and helping the environment. “RideFlag technology takes the difficulty out of the carpool reservations by allowing users to find both drivers and riders” said Jim Udvardy, Project Director of South Florida Commuter Services, an FDOT Project. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase this new technology while supporting Dump the Pump Day.”
According to the April 2017 APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $9,823 annually by downsizing to one car.
For more information on the RideFlag app, visit www.rideflag.com or call 1-800-234-7433
April 24, 2017
RIDE & PLAY DAY GENERATES RECORD RIDERSHIP FOR SFRTA
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) announced today that more people rode Tri-Rail on Saturday, April 22, 2017 than on any other weekend day in the history of the transit system. Tri-Rail’s Ride & Play Day attracted 9,477 passengers, many of them families riding the train just to experience the on-board festivities.
“Our outreach efforts to attract families to ride the train continue to be more and more successful,” said Jack Stephens, Executive Director of the SFRTA. “Studies have proven that if young people have enjoyable experiences on trains as children, they will potentially become lifetime riders.” The second highest day of weekend ridership was Rail Fun Day, with 9,065 passengers on January 28, 2017.
As part of Ride & Play Day, passengers enjoyed onboard fun on select trains, complete with costumed characters, balloon artists, magicians, giveaways, and a chance to meet popular radio personalities from Y100, HOT 105, Amor 107.5 and KOOL 105.5.
Riders also enjoyed special admission prices, discounts and offers from popular regional attractions by showing their validated Tri-Rail ticket or EASY Card at CityPlace, Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society, Perez Art Museum Miami, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and Xtreme Action Park.
April 18, 2017
FTA APPROVES PROPOSED OPERATIONS CHANGE ON SOUTH FLORIDA RAIL CORRIDOR
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved the South Florida Regional Transit Authority’s (SFRTA) revenue operations changes to begin serving downtown Miami through the Miami Central Station. The SFRTA has designed a service plan that will allow Tri-Rail to provide a one seat ride into downtown while also maintaining current service to the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC).
The SFRTA is planning to initiate revenue operations for Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link (TRDML) by the end of 2017. The plan minimizes changes to our existing service and for our current customers. Most customers not traveling to either the MIC or Hialeah Market Station will see no changes beyond the new options to travel directly to downtown.
“The SFRTA is extremely grateful to the FTA for its continued support of our efforts to enhance and expand the Tri-Rail system. By approving our TRDML, our ability to better serve our customers will be significantly increased. The approval will subsequently enable us to run passenger service along the FEC tracks, allowing us to reach key urban population areas and employment centers along the east coast,” said Jack Stephens, SFRTA Executive Director.
The key change for current riders is that about half of the trains will divert to the Miami Central Station, requiring passengers traveling to the MIC to disembark at the 79th Street Metrorail Transfer Station and catch a “shuttle train” to take them to continue their journey south. Passengers traveling north from the MIC on a shuttle train will have to transfer at the Metrorail Transfer Station to a train coming out of the Miami Central Station to continue their journey north.
Fifty trains will continue to operate on weekdays between the Mangonia Park and Metrorail Transfer stations. Of those, 24 trains will operate the full length of the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC). The balance of 26 rains will operate directly into the new Miami Central Station.
An FTA review of the plan was necessary to ensure that it complied with the terms of the SFRTA’s Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), which was awarded in 2000 to allow the Agency to complete the double tracking of the SFRC. The FTA determined that the service extension requested into downtown Miami is consistent with the project scope found in the FFGA.
April 10, 2017
TRI-RAIL LAUNCHES RIDE & PLAY DAY ON SATURDAY, APRIL 22
South Florida residents and visitors are invited to get onboard Tri-Rail for a day of family-friendly fun and connect to the best attractions in the region as part of Tri-Rail’s third annual “Ride & Play” day on Saturday, April 22. Tri-Rail riders can show their validated train fare at regional attractions, including CityPlace (West Palm Beach), Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens (Miami) and Xtreme Action Park (Fort Lauderdale) to enjoy discounts and special offers on this day only.
“Tri-Rail’s $5 flat rate all-day train service on weekends and holidays offers residents and visitors an easy, inexpensive way to travel throughout the region,” said Bonnie Arnold, public information officer for SFRTA/Tri-Rail. “Ride & Play day is the perfect opportunity for people to gather family and friends and enjoy a day of fun aboard Tri-Rail and experience the convenience of riding the train to explore the best of South Florida.”
As part of Tri-Rail’s “Ride & Play,” riders will enjoy onboard fun, on select trains, for all ages complete with costumed characters, balloon artists, magicians, giveaways and the chance to meet popular radio personalities from Y100, HOT 105, Amor 107.5 and KOOL 105.5. Plus, riders will enjoy special admission prices, discounts and offers from popular regional attractions by showing a validated Tri-Rail ticket or EASY Card.
Tri-Rail’s “Ride & Play” special offers include:
- Receive a VIP Pass savings book while supplies last. Obtain VIP Pass at CityPlace Guest Services.
- Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
- Receive $5 off any regular-priced daytime admission, cannot be combined with any other offer, limit 4 discounts per coupon, expires 6/30/17. Coupon code #5295
- Perez Art Museum Miami
- Receive free admission for each ticketed passenger. Redeem free admission at the Visitors Services desk located in the lobby.
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- Receive $2 off regular adult admission to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Must present Tri-Rail card or ticket. This offer cannot be combined with other offers. Offer valid only on April 22, 2017.
- Xtreme Action Park
- Receive a free rolling skating session. Limit one per person. Valid only on April 22, 2017.
Tri-Rail riders can catch a train from 18 conveniently located stations every hour on weekends and holidays. Train service is available every day of the year with bus and Metrorail connections. Tri-Rail’s weekend fares are just $5 roundtrip and children under the age of 5 ride free. Children ages 5 to 12 receive a 50% discount by obtaining an EASY Card from a Tri-Rail Station Agent at the West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Metrorail Transfer and Miami Airport stations.
To learn more about Tri-Rail’s “Ride & Play” or to find train schedules, visit www.tri-rail.com/ride-and-play or call 1-800-TRI-RAIL.
January 28, 2017
RAIL FUN DAY GENERATES RECORD WEEKEND RIDERSHIP FOR TRI-RAIL
More people rode Tri-Rail on Saturday, January 28, 2017, than on any weekend day in the 28-year history of the system. 9,065 passengers rode Tri-Rail that day, many of them taking the train to attend the annual Rail Fun Day at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach.
The more than 2,000 attendees enjoyed festivities including face painting, cookie decorating, booths staffed with information by non-profit organizations, food trucks and the “South Florida Kids Got Talent” final competition. Top honors from this year’s outstanding roster of singers were taken by Emily Kaufman from Cooper City, who sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl.” She took away the grand prize of $500, a one-year contract inclusive of a photo shoot with composite cards and professional studio and music video recordings sessions.
Rail Fun Day introduces children to the joys of train travel and provides an opportunity for children to share their excitement with their families. Rail Fun Day began in January 2009 on the occasion of Tri-Rail’s 20th anniversary. The free community celebration was held in conjunction with South Florida Parenting Magazine and was sponsored by Baptist Health Care on Demand.