Students across Miami-Dade and Broward counties have returned to school this week, joining children from Palm Beach County who are already a week into the new school year; and that means increased traffic throughout the region. As if congestion on local roads and highways wasn’t bad enough, the annual back to school rite equals slow going with more cars, buses and bikes transporting students to and from schools and colleges.
Here are some tips for dealing with the congestion caused by the school bells starting to ring:
- Plan to Leave Earlier/Later – Back to school traffic during peak times can add more than 30 minutes to a commute. Adjust departure times to leave earlier or later depending on school arrival and dismissal times, especially if there are school zones that on your route. In some cases, leaving later may be a better option.
- Take a Different Route – Avoiding school zones, where speed limits are typically 20 miles per hour or less, can help to bypass traffic back-ups. Plan ahead and utilize popular mapping tools, such as Waze or Google Maps, to determine alternate routes that are free and clear of school zones. If you do find yourself in a school zone, make sure to slow down and stay alert. Obeying the speed limit and being mindful of pedestrians and school buses is paramount.
- Stay Calm – After a summer of smooth sailing on the roads, increased traffic can raise stress levels. It’s
important to stay calm, take a deep breath and come to the realization that you will get to your destination, it’s just going to take longer than it did when school was not in session.
- Consider Other Transportation Options – Do your part to alleviate the congestion and consider carpooling or taking mass transit options such as Tri-Rail, express bus service or even biking to work (if you live close enough). Through the Florida Department of Transportation, South Florida Commuter Services helps promote ride sharing options for commuters in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties. Check out their website to learn more about the vast array of commuter transit options that are available.
For the 2017-2018 school year, commuters will have a brand new option for beating the back to school traffic as Brightline, the express inter-city train service, will be available to whisk guests between the urban hubs of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Riders won’t have to worry about increased traffic as Brightline travel times will remain the same year-round: 30 minutes from Miami to Fort Lauderdale; and 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. That’s the beauty of train travel – frequent departures, reliable and quick trip times and dependable arrival times. This new mode of transportation is going to revolutionize how South Floridians move about the tri-county area. Brightline will score high marks with those who want to ride in comfort and get to their destination quickly, while not having to stress about traffic. No matter what time of the year, taking Brightline will ensure that you get to your destination quickly and conveniently.