The 2015 Florida Travel Choices Awards were presented at the 2015 Florida Commuter Transportation Summit on March 27, 2015. The Florida Travel Choices Awards recognize excellence in Florida public transportation. The Florida Travel Choices Awards are divided into three categories:

  • Marketing Excellence
  • Innovative Program
  • Leadership

2015 Travel Choices Awards


Marketing Excellence Award
National Bike Month & Bike to Work Day
Commuter Services, District 1
Christine Diaz Pagan
During National Bike Month and Bike to Work Day, Commuter Services demonstrates how successful outreach activities can be conducted on a large scale, with limited staff and a small budget. Employer partners embraced National Bike Month with multiple educational workshops and “Try-It” days resulting in thousands of program participants throughout the district. Our goal was to educate our employer coordinators to become program champions and help promote our bike to work initiatives by registering new commuters and educating current commuters. Throughout the district over 50 employer coordinators participated, through hands on training, to become Commuter Services bicycling enthusiast.

Commuter Services hosted a Bike to Work Day event. The three hour event was proclaimed by elected officials, featuring cross promotional activities and resulting in over 600+ new program participants. Each Board of County Commissioners that sponsored an activity became deeply involved in the event’s success. The free interactive event brought downtown commuters, 44 employer and stakeholder partners together to support alternative transportation. Each employer partner office and local businesses combined efforts to participate in various interactive activities to raise awareness of alternative transportation modes, for healthier and more sustainable communities.

During this event, commuters could pick up free lunch, bus passes, custom route and schedule information, discounted local vendor coupons, learn to mount a bike on a bus rack, participate in an educational obstacle course for prizes, get fitted for a free bike helmet and back pack, participate in fun bike activities, join bike advocacy groups, and share their experiences.
Innovative Program Award
Workplace Connector Program
reThink Your Commute
Courtney Reynolds
CHALLENGE: Answer the need for “last mile” connectivity solution from SunRail stations to worksites 5+ miles away.

• Partner with LYNX and SunRail marketing teams to brand the vanpool program as a “Workplace Connector” program, encouraging commuters to form vanpool groups to travel from
their SunRail station to work.
• Meet with employers and property managers, requesting opportunities to appeal directly to commuters to create vanpool groups as a “last mile” solution to SunRail connectivity.
• Create magnets that can be placed on LYNX vanpool vehicles to provide a visual cue that the vans can be used for “last mile” SunRail connectivity; include reThink’s commuter call center
phone number to field inquiries.
• Post signage at SunRail parking lots for the Workplace Connector vehicles, providing a preferential parking space for the groups while also providing another visual cue about the
connectivity option.

• As of February 2015, we have four commuter-funded vanpool groups leaving from the Sand Lake SunRail station.
• Two groups travel to Darden’s headquarters; one travels to Lockheed Martin; and one is composed of employees of several employers located in South Park Center.
• The South Park Center van includes employees from Starwood Vacation Ownership; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Mark Travel; CHEP; Catamaran; and ABT Solutions.
• We also have three additional vans in formation, representing employees from Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Osceola County Government.
Leadership Award
Lars Houmann, President & CEO
Florida Hospital
Support for SunRail
Lars Houmann, President and CEO of Florida Hospital, is a strong supporter of mass transit. When it was unclear whether Governor Scott would approve SunRail, Lars Houmann led a delegation of executives from the private sector on a trip to Tallahassee. Their message was clear: mass transit is about business and SunRail would improve their business. The message was heard and fortunately, SunRail was allowed to move forward. Now, Lars Houmann rides SunRail about twice a month, and enjoys seeing Florida Hospital employees on board as well. His support for SunRail was a big motivating factor for setting up the pre-tax commuter benefit for employees, as well as providing a 25% subsidy for SunRail passes.