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Commuter Services

Travel Choices Awards 2018

The 2018 Florida Travel Choices Awards were presented at the 2018 Florida Commuter Transportation Summit on May 9, 2018.  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

2018 Travel Choices Awards

Marketing Excellence Award
CarFree Key West
South Florida Commuter Services
Jim Udvardy

South Florida Commuter Services, in partnership with the City of Key West and District 6, developed the CarFree Key West campaign that supports pedestrian and bicycle safety within the city, and also created branding of for the start of the new downtown circulator, the Duval Loop. Efforts including the development of a website, online bicycle and pedestrian map, and collateral materials to support the campaign. To make this a true community effort, SFCS and the City outreached to businesses, organizations, etc to become partners spreading the word about the effort. To-date, there are over 75+ partners. In the first three months of operation, the Duval Loop had a 300% increase in ridership. The second phase of the campaign is to work with local employers to promote the use of transit and encourage commuters to download the on-demand carpool application, RideFlag.
Innovative Program Award
Micro-Transit Service
Tampa Downtown Partnership
Karen Kress

After five years of planning, on October 20, 2016 the Tampa Downtown Partnership launched an innovative micro-transit service to complement the existing downtown mobility options. Made possible through the generous support from both the public and private sector, this mobile app-based, on-demand free ride service, Downtowner, was quickly adopted by workers, residents, visitors and students. Within the first month of being launched, nearly 13,000 riders were served and over 7,840 miles were covered using the Downtowner app. By its first anniversary, Downtowner announced a ridership of more than 180,500 while eliminating 164 tons of CO2 emissions by using fully electric vehicles in Tampa’s Downtown. Almost one and a half years in, the service carries over 500 passengers per day and has become a reliable service many Downtown workers and residents count on to get across the urban core without getting into their cars. The main transit hub is always in the top 3 pick up and drop off locations. The budget is approximately $1 million annually and has been sourced from federal, state, city and 15 private sector funders.


Leadership Award
Jill Hamilton Buss
Executive Director, Healthy Central Florida

As Winter Park’s most fervent advocate for healthy living, Jill Hamilton Buss talks the talk, walks the walk and even runs the run. For the past five years, Buss has been executive director of Healthy Central Florida, a partnership of Florida Hospital and Winter Park Health Foundation. Her mission: get residents of Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville off their sofas, out of their cars and into more active pursuits. Under Buss, HCF has organized all manner of walking and biking events, and pushed for sidewalks and bike lanes.

Buss, a former marketing VP for Heart of Florida United Way, says walkable, bikable communities aren’t just healthier. They’re also more successful economically, because they enhance home values and retail spending while attracting millennials. Buss says HCF is making progress; its own studies show a significant increase between 2011 and 2014 in the number of residents using a park or trail at least weekly, for example. But she knows that expensive structural changes will come only as attitudes evolve. “You have to stay at the table and keep working at it. We need to design roads for walkers, bikers and children going forward,” says Buss, who envisions a less auto-centric city for the next generation.

See 2017 Travel Choices Awards Winners

See 2016 Travel Choices Awards Winners

See 2015 Travel Choices Awards Winners

See 2014 Travel Choices Awards Winners