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🚌 Meet the guy who is fixing Miami’s bus system
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🚌 Meet the guy who is fixing Miami’s bus system

Azhar Chougle from Transit Alliance Miami
(📷: Alexa Caravia)

HOP ON THE BUS WITH AZHAR CHOUGLE

Ever ride the bus for 24 hours for fun? We didn’t think so, but we found someone who did.

You won’t meet many people like Azhar Chougle. During the day, he’s either “thinking about transit, talking about transit or on transit,” he said.

Azhar is the director of Transit Alliance Miami, a non-profit organization advocating for walkable streets, bikeable neighborhoods, and better public transit. Their goal is to get Miami moving safer, faster, and happier through data-driven research, community engagement, and policy advocacy.

Az believes it’s possible to get around in Miami without a car – he doesn’t have one. “But there are very few places where you can do so happily, and not everyone can live there,” he said.

Two years ago, Transit Alliance reversed $15 million in transit cuts. Now Az and the group are advocating for something new — an overhaul of our bus system. This is the first community led, advocacy driven bus-system redesign in the country. It will increase frequency, improve connections and expand service to make transit more accessible to places with increased demand. The redesign will take two years to complete.

“We can have a city that’s more mobile and where people can get around in ways other than being in a car, and that’s the way I live my life and I want people to have access to that,” said Az.

Learn more about Transit Alliance Miami on their website, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.

Check out the other changemakers we’ve been featuring this month who are helping us get around our city.

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YOUR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD

Shout out to Sydney C., Monica P., Twaniece W., and the other readers who became New Tropic members last week, and to everyone who’s supporting what we’re doing here! As members, these awesome people get access to event discounts, special giveaways, a swag kit, and more, plus they support your fave local newsletter.   Join up for $8 a month to support The New Tropic (hint: that special launch price won't last long).

LIBERTY CITY’S PIONEERS

We’ve spent the past few weeks digging into some notable and historic spots in and around Liberty City in Miami. And that exploration led us to ask you, our readers, what questions you had about the neighborhood and its history. After taking in those submissions, and having you all vote on the winning question, we’ve narrowed it down to this:

“What’s a list of famous black locals that helped shape the city?”

So we did some research and looked into a few Miami history archives to find the answer.

Check out the full piece on our website.

Thanks to Lexa for posing the question and to all of you who wrote in with questions of your own. Stay tuned as we explore other South Florida neighborhoods this year.

 

MADE POSSIBLE BY GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

WHAT’S NEW IN THE 305

What emergency? After failed attempts to get funding for a border wall, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border as a way to get the billions needed to build a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. Members of the U.S. Congress from both parties are questioning the constitutionality of his decision. And Florida’s congressional delegation had mixed reactions with Sen. Rick Scott praising the President’s declaration and Democratic representatives criticizing the move. (Tampa Bay Times)

What a difference a year makes. State Sen. Lauren Book visited Parkland after the tragic shooting that left 17 people dead last year and helped build consensus to pass a landmark bill increasing gun restrictions, mental health funding and school safety measures. But as legislators return to Tallahassee in a few weeks for a new legislative session, it’s unclear what changes they will make to the law, and what they will be able to agree on. Republicans and Democrats have mostly returned to their entrenched positions on issues like gun control. Book says the political climate has changed and the law would have never passed today, without the urgency following last year’s tragedy.  (Miami Herald)

We knew traffic was bad… But it’s really bad. Miami drivers lose four days of their life a year stuck in traffic. That’s according to a study by a transportation data group based in Seattle. But hey, at least we aren’t the worst place when it comes to hours lost by commuters. Boston, Washington D.C. and Chicago take those prized slots. (Miami Herald)

If you’ve ever wanted a vial of unicorn tears…we know where you can get one. Next month, Unicorn Factory is opening up in Wynwood. It’s a sensory wonderland with rainbows and unicorns and cool lighting where you can get plenty of shots for your Instagram feed. You can also buy merchandise, like unicorn tears. But as with any dream that fades, the unicorn factory won’t be around forever because it’s only a pop-up. (Miami New Times)

THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY.

Catch you here tomorrow for more action.

 

– The New Tropic

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