On September 14 and 15, 2021, the Florida DOT, Best Workplaces for Commuters and CUTR sponsored the 2021 Florida Commuter Transportation Virtual Summit. In addition to the amazing speakers, we also presented awards and recognized graduates from the Commuter Choice Certificate program. Congratulations!
Innovation Award Category:
Car-Free St. Pete, Nicole Roberts, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership
Given to a Florida public transportation system, commuter assistance program, transportation management organization or other Florida entity that has designed and implemented specific public transportation-related programs that demonstrate innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques. The program should be of proven value and adaptable for use by others.
Through Car-Free St. Pete, we promote information on how to use the alternative transportation available to the public in Downtown St. Pete through our website, social media, and before the pandemic, at in-person tabling events. This information includes where and how to access the bike share as well as safe routes to bike. We organized an event through Car-Free St. Pete in September of 2019 called the World Car-Free Weekend, where almost 20 local businesses offered discounts or promotions to customers that arrived car-free in celebration of World Car-Free Day on September 22. Also in 2019, we held the first Car-Free Scavenger Hunt through Car-Free St. Pete to facilitate a fun way for the public to learn how to use alternative transportation to get around our downtown area. This year, we organized the Car-Free St. Pete Committee, which is made up of 12 diverse individuals from around the community to direct & help with our efforts in the Car-Free St. Pete initiative. Find more information on CarFreeStPete.com.
Marketing Excellence Category:
Ken Boden, TBARTA & Allison Evanitz, Commute Connector, Manatee County Joint Outreach Plan
Recognizing excellence in Florida public transportation-related marketing including:
- Advertising campaigns
- Electronic media
- Print media
- Special events
In most cases, regional commuter assistance programs are tied to FDOT Districts and do not overlap service areas. One exception is Manatee County that is served by the District 1 Commute Connector Program but also falls within TBARTA’s jurisdiction (TBARTA also manages a commuter assistance program). While the CAP services do not overlap, this has created room for confusion within Manatee County and created a marketing opportunity for both TBARTA and Commute Connector.
A marketing plan was implemented in 2020/2021 that includes a jointly created stakeholder document, strategically conducting joint outreach as appropriate and the creation of the first Manatee County Earth Day Transportation Fair (April 2021) and Green Your Commute Week (July 2021).
Leadership Award Category:
Diane Poitras, FDOT, District 5
Honoring a Florida individual who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.
This award may be conferred upon a public transportation policy maker or private citizen who has made outstanding contributions to public transportation at the local or state level.
Diane Poitras has dedicated years of service to the Florida Department of Transportation and the District Five Regional Commuter Assistance Program. Under her guidance, District Five launched a regional program in 2010, navigating a difficult transition away from separate transit-agency led programs to form reThink Your Commute. Her steady leadership and reliability have been the pillars on which the program was able to grow and develop over the past 12 years. Beyond the reThink program, Diane served as an important part of the District Five team supporting SunRail, providing oversight and guidance on topics ranging from funding, safety, compliance requirements, and more. Diane has trained many new members of the Modal Development Office, sharing her expertise with “the next generation” so that the Department will somehow survive without her when she retires later this year. Diane is a pleasure to work with, providing knowledgeable advice and exercising creativity when it comes to solving problems.
Florida Commuter Choice Certificate Program
- Free to full-time Florida residents
- Comprehensive course of study
- Learn from experienced instructors
- Network with other transportation professionals
- Explore important issues
- Weekly 1 hour webinar
- Earn a certificate with 80 credits
- March – September
Transportation Demand Management Specialist, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland
Commuter Assistance Program Manager, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
Account Executive, Ridefinders – Richmond, VA