Discounts! Freebies! Prizes! Oh, and you’ll have to take the bus

Chris Cutro

Ever taken this bus to work in Miami? This Friday there will be so much going on in Miami’s public transportation that you might want to give it a try.

Even if you love your car, kiss it goodbye for a day and say hello to the bus or the train.

That’s what the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works is asking you to do Friday as part of the first-ever “Public Transit Day.”

The community-wide day is aimed at encouraging people to use public transportation and use the hashtag #PublicTransitDay on social media while they commute. What started out as a Miami-focused effort has now expanded to include transit riders and leaders in Broward and Palm Beach counties as well.

“I hope I’m not all by myself this Friday! Music, art, pop-up happy hours & more #PublicTransitDay,” tweeted Ken Russell, a Miami city commissioner.

Public Transit Day is brought to you by civic innovation groups Radical Partners and Urban Impact Lab with help from the county’s department of transportation It’s co-hosted by organizations and businesses that are eager to improve South Florida’s transit system.

So far, 22 public officials have signed on with their support and 433 local residents have taken the pledge.

If you’re anything like Eugene Flinn, mayor of Palmetto Bay, Public Transit Day is just another day. The avid bicyclist routinely rides his bike to a Metrorail station and then takes the train to the courthouse in downtown Miami.

Small businesses also are taking part by offering discounts and freebies for hopping on public transit.

In Doral, 14 local businesses have signed up to participate and give a 10 percent discount to anyone who takes the trolley Friday.

“In Doral, every rider of the free Doral trolley will receive a “Public Transit Day!” sticker, redeemable for a 10 percent discount at participating businesses,” said Doral spokeswoman Maggie Santos. “Riders can also enter a Twitter raffle for a $50 gift certificate at premiere eateries Bulla and Pisco y Nazca by tweeting a selfie wearing their Public Transit Day sticker while riding public transit to #DoralPublicTransitDay.”

Ride-share company, Lyft, will also have a special offer Friday for new users. With promo code MIATRANSITDAY, users get $5 off each of 10 rides in a two-week period.

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