Gridlock, A Fact of Life in South Florida

Does it seem like you’re always stuck in traffic as you try to get to work? It turns out the daily commute in Miami is one of the worst in the country.

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South Floridian commuters spend on average 52 hours per year stuck in their cars according to a survey by the Auto Insurance Center. The wasted hours sound even worse when you calculate on a lifetime basis: That’s a total of 4.3 months of a 40-year career that you’ll spend dealing with traffic jams.


Commuting costs South Floridians substantial time and money, including all that gasoline you are burning while idling.


You can try to beat the congestion when commuting from, say, West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale or Fort Lauderdale from Miami by hitting the back roads or working off-hour periods.


Or you can get off overcrowded highways altogether: You’ll soon be able to travel by train in Florida. Brightline, the only privately funded express passenger rail system in the country, launches in summer 2017.


Imagine heading to your closest train station, easily parking your car, and taking the 30-minute ride from Fort Lauderdale to Miami or the one-hour ride to West Palm Beach from Miami in a Brightline train, that’s been designed with every detail in mind. Instead of staring at your car’s dashboard you can sit back in a comfy seat, up to 21 inches wide, and use the train’s complimentary Wi-Fi to check email, play games or read the news. Or you can just veg out and look at the views – car-free and carefree. Need some coffee? A Brightline attendant will be coming through the car with some freshly brewed java and snacks.


For those reluctant to give up their cars, consider that Miami comes in at No. 7 in the U.S. in terms of having heavy traffic congestion, as detailed in a iStock_93747373_MEDIUM (1)recent survey by navigation and mapping company TomTom. And the evening commute is even worse than the morning trek. South Florida’s  highways are already clogged and the challenges of transportation in Florida are likely to get even worse given that the state has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. Last year, Florida’s population topped 20 million, as the Sunshine State added more residents than every state but Texas during that time span, the U.S. Census Bureau said.


But wait, there’s more. It turns out sitting in traffic is bad for your health. Studies have shown being stuck in traffic tie-ups causes stress, anger, high blood pressure and even high cholesterol (since like your car, you are not moving). You can try listening to the radio and deep breathing, but that only goes so far in the calming department. You may feel like half your day is gone by the time you get to work.


Traffic congestion is a serious issue. Travel by train is a timesaving and healthier option. Brightline will be a great alternative to driving starting in less than one year.

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