Igniting community-driven action to solve local challenges
FUNDER: Multiple, Lead Funder: The Miami Foundation | PARTNER: Radical Partners | LOCATION: Miami-Dade County | DATE: December 9, 2016 | WEBSITE: publictransitday.com
Solving challenges, like transportation, that affect all aspects of our cities and communities requires civic and community leaders and local residents to take collective responsibility and action. In Miami-Dade County, transportation and mobility issues quickly get complicated and sometimes frustrating, leaving both residents and leaders without a clear sense of how to move forward. The majority -- an estimated 90% -- of county residents do not regularly use the local public transportation system, yet over 50% of voters elected to tax themselves in order to improve local transit. As a result, only a small percentage of residents and local leaders have first-hand experience with the very transportation system they seek to improve.
What does it take to ignite an entire city around a shared community challenge? How do you get civic and community leaders and local residents to take a collective responsibility for solving that challenge together?
The most effective solutions emerge when an entire community understands the issue and is actively involved in the process. Public Transit Day challenged residents and local leaders to gain first-hand knowledge of Miami-Dade County’s transit services so they could develop a clearer understanding of the pains and wins of the system. Navigating and experiencing transit increased each participant’s personal commitment to improving the system for all.
All Miami-Dade County residents and particularly elected leaders who actively shape the transit system were asked to take a pledge to ride transit for just one day. Through the experience of mapping their route, planning their day around transit schedules and physically riding the train, bus, and trolleys resident and local leaders joined together in a day of action aimed at building long-term involvement. Public Transit Day grew organically to include numerous local partners and a number of related activities and events.
Urban Impact Lab worked closely with the Radical Partners team to plan and develop Public Transit Day. The Urban Impact Lab team worked on strategy development, branding, partnerships, funding, and outreach efforts. The team leveraged its long-standing relationships with the county’s transit department to secure a mutually beneficial partnership for the day of action. The team planned and implemented a countywide outreach strategy to secure participation commitments from elected leaders. Urban Impact Lab designed the project’s collateral and managed all social media outreach.
RESULTS & IMPACT
Participation of over 500 residents and 40 local elected leaders in taking a pledge and riding transit on Public Transit Day.
Cultivation of over 50 local partnerships, including funders, with active participation in the day of action.
Engagement of thousands of locals via social media with a potential reach estimated at 17.5 million social media users as #PublicTransitDay spread globally.
Official City of Miami and Miami-Dade County Designation for Public Transit Day.
Local institutions and organizations like Perez Art Museum Miami, History Miami, Baptist Health, The Underline, and The Miami Heat helped amplify and expand Public Transit Day. By offering snacks, discounts, and/or activities, these and many other local stakeholders made the day of action fun, inviting and engaging for all.
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