The Daily 305 talks transit, Baylink and horrible student commutes (includes podcast)

Podcast #1 From bus stops to graduation: A student’s journey on Miami’s public transit

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 42% of all undergraduate students in the United States reported using some form of public transportation to get to campus in 2015. And the average one-way travel time for full-time undergraduate students was approximately 26 minutes.

Florida International University (FIU) is the largest university in Miami-Dade County, and a significant portion of its students are commuters. According to FIU’s 2020 Fact Book, around 70% of undergraduates and 45% of graduate students are commuters. The university also operates a shuttle service that connects the main campus with other locations in the area. Many FIU students use a combination of public transportation and college transportation, depending on their needs and schedules.

In this episode, we’ll be speaking with Luis Acuna, a FIU alumnus who solely relied on public transportation to get an education. Luis will share his story of navigating the public transit system to attend classes, meet with professors, and study for exams. He will discuss the challenges of relying on this type of transportation, including navigating multiple bus or train transfers, dealing with delays and cancellations, and finding a quiet place to study. Join us as we explore the world of public transportation through the eyes of a student commuter.

Podcast #2 Driving Change: A Vision for Improved Public Transportation in Miami with Matthew Gultanoff

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the average commute time for workers in Miami-Dade County was approximately 30.3 minutes in 2019. This is slightly higher than the national average of 27.8 minutes. Miami-Dade County’s average commute time is relatively high compared to other cities and counties. However, commute times can vary significantly depending on the location and transportation options available. For example, New York City has one of the most extended average commute times in the country at 38.4 minutes, while other cities such as Wichita, Kansas have much shorter average commute times at around 19 minutes.

Miami-Dade Transit provides a comprehensive network of buses, trains and trolleys that serves many areas of the county. The system has relatively high ridership and affordable fares compared to similarly sized cities. However, some critics argue that the system could be more extensive, particularly in suburban areas, and that service can be unreliable. Currently the BayLink project is a proposed public transportation system that would connect Miami-Dade County to Miami Beach via a light rail system that would cross Biscayne Bay. The project was proposed to alleviate traffic congestion on the MacArthur Causeway, which is currently the main route connecting Miami Beach and the mainland. 

In this episode, we’ll be joined by a special guest, Matthew Gultanoff, a leading advocate for better public transportation in Miami and founder of Better Streets Miami Beach. He will outline innovative solutions and initiatives, like the BayLink project, that could transform the transit system in Miami. From expanding bus routes and creating bike-friendly lanes to implementing new technologies and investing in sustainable transportation options, he offers a compelling argument for why better public transportation is crucial for the future of Miami-Dade County.

Gabriela is a Senior at Florida International University obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Science in Digital Communications and Interactive Media. She’s interested in pursuing a career in communications and marketing.

Victoria Romero is a Senior at Florida International University majoring in Digital Communications with a track in Digital and Interactive Media. In addition to her bachelor's degree, she is pursuing a minor in Social Media Marketing and E-Analytics. Apart from studying at the university, she is exploring design principles and user research strategies. Her goal is to be in the tech industry as a Senior UX/UI designer where her creativity is limitless while providing a positive user experience.

Nicolas Alvarez is a junior at FIU majoring in Digital Communications and Media and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2024. His entire life has involved sports, whether it was playing, watching, or coaching. With his passion for sports, and working for the Miami Marlins as a brand ambassador, Alvarez sees himself working for a professional sports organization in the future.