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There are no tricks in this month’s edition of MOBILITY 305, just treats. Read an inspirational story about one of our employees, get to know The Underline, learn about how we transformed an ordinary sidewalk into art, travel back in time with EASY Perks and much more!
Supervisor by day – Judoka by night!
With over four thousand DTPW employees, our family is comprised of plenty of unique characters. Take, for instance, Mr. Jose Duarte, Supervisor of the Public Works Neighborhood Enhancement Action Team (NEAT). Duarte is a 13-year County veteran who started working as a semi-skilled laborer for the Department’s canal maintenance team. Now, he supervises 12 employees. The NEAT Team’s main job is to proactively find and repair potholes, clear vegetation and prune trees in the right-of-way, and perform preventive storm drain maintenance countywide. In the last year, Duarte and his team repaired over 14,000 potholes. 

By day, Duarte might be working on building a strong team, but by night, he works on cultivating a strong body and mind as a national martial arts champion. Duarte is quick to contribute his professional successes to his Judo training. He told us that Judo helps him communicate better and interact with his team. It also helps him to balance priorities and manage stress.

Also commonly known as Jujitsu, the combat martial art originated in Japan and was developed from ancient fighting techniques used by samurai. The supervisor began practicing  Judo when he was five-years-old. He is a two-time Junior National Champion and a five-time Florida Champion. He also picked up a state championship in Georgia, all when he was a teenager. After a long break from the sport, Duarte decided to compete again in 2015 after learning of the passing of his mentor and coach. He went on to earn two gold medals in the Veterans Division of the 2015 US Open, making him an international champion. Recently, in 2018, he won a silver in the same competition. Last month, Duarte trained with the US Olympic team and represented the United States in the Veterans World Championships of Judo in Mexico.
The Underline breaks ground
Construction of The Underline, a linear park underneath Miami-Dade Transit’s Metrorail tracks, is set to begin by the end of this year. A groundbreaking is taking place tomorrow, Thursday, November 1, for the first phase of construction: The Brickell Backyard. The Underline will transform 120 acres of County-owned land below the existing Metrorail guideway into a world-class, multimodal urban trail from the Miami River near Brickell Metrorail Station to the Dadeland South Metrorail Station.

This linear park is a public-private partnership between several municipalities, the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County, and the nonprofit Friends of the Underline. The Underline will provide a walkable and bikeable corridor that will improve connectivity between surrounding neighborhoods, enhance accessibility to eight Metrorail stations within its path, and serve 107,000 residents within a 10-minute walk. Once completed, it will provide a transportation solution with a dual purpose: it will enhance mobility while also acting as an anchor for smart development.  
Reaching a milestone 
Our fleet of brand new clean energy, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses has reached a milestone. DTPW officially has over 100 new buses in service, which means we are one-third of the way into the most aggressive bus replacement program in Miami-Dade County’s history. The County’s bus replacement program was one of the 107 nationwide projects that were selected to receive funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) last month. This means that we will receive $11 million to replace existing diesel buses, enabling Miami-Dade County to continue increasing its clean energy fleet.

The new CNG buses are being placed into service at a rate of approximately 20 per month and all 300 are scheduled to be in service by the fall of 2019. These new buses will greatly improve Metrobus reliability and reduce emissions. The new CNG buses will also reduce parts and labor costs for the repairs of older buses. Overall, public response has been very positive. Not only are our CNG buses quieter and a more comfortable ride, but they also look great on the streets of our County. 
Winning ways
Left: "Abuela’s Transit Tips" received three of DTPW's five marketing awards from FTPA, including the prestigious Member’s Choice Award and the Best in Marketing Judge’s Choice Award. Right (left to right): DTPW General Superintendent of Bus Maintenance, William A. Campbell;  FPTA 2018 Operator of the Year, Charles Bell; Outgoing FPTA Board Chair, Brad Miller.
The Department received top honors from the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) at last month’s annual conference. These honors include five Marketing awards and FPTA’s 2018 Operator of the Year award.

Among the awards DTPW received was the prestigious Member’s Choice Award for its " Abuela’s Transit Tips" campaign. DTPW teamed up with Content Creator and YouTube sensation Jenny Lorenzo and the Miami-Dade Communications Department to produce four videos featuring her popular and recognizable "Abuela" character. The videos feature "Abuela" offering riders tips on proper transit behavior in a fun and relatable way. All four videos had more than 70,000 unique views combined on Facebook and Instagram. The "Abuela’s Transit Tips" videos are available on DTPW’s website. The campaign also took home first place in the Digital Media Category and the Best in Marketing Judge’s Choice Award.

DTPW also won first place in the sustaining campaign category for "Pay.Scan.Ride." – a campaign that encourages the use of the newly redesigned EASY Pay app. In the special event category, DTPW picked up first place for coordination and marketing of the inaugural ride on November 30, 2017 of Miami-Dade County’s first new Metrorail train since 1984.

Veteran bus operator, Charles Bell, was also recognized as the 2018 Operator of the Year, the highest honor any bus operator can receive in the state. Throughout his tenure, Bell has received more than 15 customer service awards for his excellent performance and courteous nature. Moreover, Bell has received several safety awards for his ability to operate multiple vehicles without any preventable accidents within more than 1.4 million miles of service.
Lacing up for a great cause
Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 6, the Honorable Rebeca Sosa, joins DTPW’s Team TOOT during The American Cancer Society’s Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Marlins Park.
October was Breast Cancer Awareness month and thousands laced up their shoes to make strides for a cure. The American Cancer Society’s Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk took place at Marlins Park on Saturday, October 27, where our Department was present with Team TOOT (Totally On Our Tracks). Earlier this month, the DTPW also rolled out two pink Metrorail cars and two pink Metrobuses to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness.    
Turning sidewalks into art
Remember doodling on sidewalks as a kid? Well, this month we teamed up with Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, O, Miami Poetry Festival, and Miami-based, Argentinian-born artist Agustina Woodgate to introduce a new art installation along a side street in West Kendall.

The newly-installed sidewalk art, which has transformed the County’s walkways into playful streetscapes of visual poetry, is part of O, Miami’s Concrete Poetry project. Spearheaded by Woodgate, the project places words and poetry on sidewalks in various locations countywide. The installation on SW 149th Avenue and 42nd Street was the first in Miami for this project. The West Kendall installation was inspired by the board game Scrabble. In order to get the poems to fit onto the sidewalk, the artist designed tiles of interchangeable letters that were then stamped onto freshly-poured concrete. Woodgate hopes that by dressing up sidewalks, it will make for a more walkable community.     
Book your ride
Coming up next month is the annual Miami Book Fair. For those attending, remember that you can ride Metromover for free and get off at College Bayside or College North Station. You can also purchase an EASY Card or Ticket, or use our EASY Pay app to ride Metrorail to Government Center and transfer to Metromover Inner Loop. Parking at any of our Metrorail stations is only $4.50 a day. Also, Metrobus has several routes that will take you to Downtown Miami. Check our MDT Tracker app or our website to plan your trip to the Book Fair or anywhere around town. While you’re there, visit our DTPW booth during the Street Fair from Friday to Sunday. The festival runs November 11-18, with the street fair taking place that Friday through Sunday, November 16-18.     
Bright savings with EASY Perks
Now through the end of the year, EASY Card or Ticket holders can save 30% off the Smart service ride on Brightline from Downtown Miami to Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach. Use promo code MDADE30 to take advantage of this EASY Perks discount. Offer expires 12-31-18.

And for a ride back in time, EASY Card or Ticket holders can enjoy 15% off tickets to Thursday and Sunday performances of the Miami Motel Stories: MiMo immersive theater experience taking place inside The Gold Dust Motel on Biscayne Boulevard. Miami Motel Stories will take you back to the 1950s in Miami. Participants can immerse themselves in a Tiki Party on the Boulevard, mingle with hotel guests or enjoy nightcap. While you’re there, check out our vintage transit exhibit. To take advantage of this EASY Perk, use our discount code MiamiMotelEASY at checkout. (Offer subject to availability). 

If you own a local business and would like to participate in our EASY Perks program, signing up is easy and free. Just fill out our online application.
Have a fun and safe Halloween  
This year for Halloween, we dressed two pups as DTPW workers. Thanks to our Animal Services Department for their help! PS: Both pups are still available for adoption! Have a doggone happy Halloween! 
If you’re planning on going out to trick-or-treat tonight, please keep these safety tips in mind from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
  • Avoid using handheld electronic devices.
  • Remember that as soon as you step out of your car, you become a pedestrian.
  • Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited.
  • Keep your windshield clean.
  • Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic. 
  • Drivers do not expect to see pedestrians in the roadway or to come out from between parked cars or behind shrubbery.
  • Expect that drivers will not see you and wait for them to pass.
  • Follow the rules of the road at driveways and intersections. 
  • Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible. 
  • Carry your flashlight on the side closest to traffic.
  • Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night. 
  • Check the MDT Tracker app to plan your trip with Transit where you’re headed tonight. 
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