Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) was recently honored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) with an Achievement Award for its Kendall Cruiser bus route.
The Kendall Cruiser, which began service on June 28, 2010 with improved frequency and more fuel-efficient vehicles, is a premium bus service which runs along North Kendall Drive in South Miami-Dade County, relieving traffic and congestion and allowing passengers to glide above traffic in a comfortable, Wi-Fi-equipped bus.
Looking to improve travel time, provide reliable service and increase fuel efficiency, MDT began to run nine environmentally-friendly and distinctly branded 60-foot articulated diesel electric hybrids on the heavily traveled east-west corridor. The bus route was developed with stops located approximately every mile along the 10-mile service corridor.
Two park-and-ride facilities, one with parking available for 100 vehicles and the other with parking for 40 vehicles, add to the service.
The Kendall Cruiser runs peak commuter service from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the mornings, and 4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the afternoons, Monday through Friday. The route carries approximately 800 riders daily, translating into an annual ridership of approximately 200,000.
By using aggressive advertising techniques and heavily promoting the route to choice riders, the Kendall Cruiser has seen a 40 percent increase in ridership.
Technological features of the Kendall Cruiser include free Wi-Fi access for all riders and transit signal priority, which saves an estimated 5 percent of the travel time for the route. The use of the hybrid buses results in a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to a similar size diesel-powered vehicle, according to MDT officials.