Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) has proven once again that public transportation can save you time as well as money.
MDT held the 2nd Annual Commuter Challenge Race this morning in conjunction with Mercy Hospital. And for the second year in a row, transit beat out driving.
Mercy Hospital Health Information Manager Mayra Muntaner and Janis Ivory, one of the hospital’s organization development specialists, raced each other to work from the South Miami-Dade Busway Park & Ride lot at Southwest 152nd Street, one using transit and the other driving her car.
The race started at 8:20 a.m. Muntaner, of Kendale South, boarded a bus and cruised on the Busway’s exclusive lanes before transferring to Metrorail at the Dadeland South Station. She then took a shuttle bus from the Vizcaya Metrorail station to the hospital at 3663 South Miami Ave and was the first to cross the red finish line in the hospital lobby at 8:59 a.m.
“I’m relaxed, and I was able to read my book,” said Muntaner, a regular Miami-Dade Transit rider. “I carpool to the Busway with my husband, and we save $2,340 a year in gas.”
After battling the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic on U.S. 1, a frazzled Ivory pulled her car up to the hospital’s front door at 9:18 – almost 20 minutes after Muntaner’s arrival.
“Traffic was awful,” said Ivory, of Pinecrest.
Muntaner was awarded a free six-month Miami-Dade Transit pass, which she plans to give to her husband. Both participants received medals.
Mercy Hospital offers generous public transportation benefits as part of its compensation package. The hospital participates in Miami-Dade Transit’s Corporate Discount Program, which provides group discounts and tax savings to passengers who purchase their monthly Metropass through a pre-tax payroll deduction from their employer. To maximize the benefit, Mercy heavily subsidizes the cost of the pass.
Edward Rundle, Mercy’s vice president of human resources, said the transit benefit is a valuable recruitment and retention tool and helps employees arrive on time and with less stress. Added Mercy Hospital President & CEO John Mataska: “It’s better for the community because South Bayshore Drive is already overloaded, and there’s also a lot of road rage, so if we can take more cars off the road, it’s better for everybody.”
Note: Photos of the 2nd Annual Commuter Challenge Race are available upon request.