The Florida Department of Transportation has a new program for commuters looking to make a little extra money. The 826/836 incentive program is offering qualified travelers the opportunity to carpool for cash.
The goal of the program is to help alleviate the traffic along State Road 826 and State Road 836 in Miami-Dade while the interchange of the two highways is reconstructed. The project is expected to last through the fall of 2015.
FDOT is offering up to $75 for four or more carpoolers who drive within the incentive zone, which is defined by the boundaries of NW 87th Avenue to the west, NW 57th Avenue to the east, SW 8th Street to the south, and NW 25th Street to the north.
Travelers who "vanpool" or take mass transit within that zone are also eligible. Three travelers can get $50 a month, and two travelers can receive $25 a month.
“In order to make the commute more productive on the Palmetto and Dolphin, we are offering an incentive to help remove single-occupancy vehicles from the road to alleviate congestion," said Jim Udvardy, project manager of the FDOT program South Florida Commuter Services, in a statement.
Those who use the Palmetto Metrorail station will receive a $10 reward card and preferred parking on a first-come, first-served basis.
Christine Bucan of South Florida Commuter Services said that the incentives will be issued on a Visa card, and will last for one year.
There are 29 people enrolled so far, Bucan said, was primarily through word of mouth when registration for the program opened in February. Marketing didn’t begin until this week, she said.
Along with the cash incentive the FDOT is offering, registered commuters will also receive free membership to WeCar and Emergency Ride Home.
Bucan said FDOT has been associated with Emergency Ride Home for several years and has heard great testimonials about the program, so they decided to throw it in along with the cash incentive. It allows you to get a free taxi ride home in an emergency when you don’t have your own transportation to get home.
“They can use the service up to six times a year,” she said.
If you are interested in the carpool incentive but don't have anyone to commute with, you can check out a list of possible carpool partners at www.1800234ride.com/826-836project.