Oscar J. Braynon chairs the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust to improve transportation infrastructure
Oscar J. Braynon is the chairman of the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT). His commitment to improving transportation infrastructure and experience in logistics earned him a place on the Transportation Trust. Mr. Braynon has worked in military and airline transportation and logistics long enough to qualify him as a recognized authority in the industry.
We had the pleasure of talking to him and two members of the Office of the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (OCITT) team to discuss the challenges, goals, and future aspirations of CITT. Continue reading this post to get all the details.
What inspired Braynon to be part of the CITT?
Oscar J. Braynon told us that he wasn’t expecting to chair the Transportation Trust. He was nominated vice chair and later a chairman of the CITT due to his performance and commitment.
His experience in the transportation and logistics industry has played a pivotal role in getting him this position. Talking about his previous experience, Mr. Braynon shared that transportation has been the highlight of his career and professional life. He started his career as a military pilot and later worked in military logistics.
So, moving things from point A to B has been part of his professional background. For example, when he left the military, he worked as an aviation property manager for Miami International Airport, handling facility maintenance, upkeep, and client relationships.
Though he left the military and airline industry, he worked for an elected official in Miami-Dade County, where transportation was part of his main responsibilities. He said that it involved more than managing land transportation. He also oversaw airport and seaport transportation.
While transportation and logistics have been his lifeblood, Mr. Braynon has also served the Office of Community Advocacy as the community project coordinator. He directed projects to improve community relations in the region.
Being a married man and a father to a beautiful daughter and a son who is a former state senator, he understands the prevailing issues of traffic and transportation infrastructure. All of this has led him to chair the CITT. “I will continue to stay on the Trust after my time as chair because I feel like I have something to offer as well as enjoy doing,” said Mr. Braynon.
What are the biggest challenges facing transportation in Miami?
We wanted to learn more about the Transportation Trust and how it aims to alleviate transportation problems in Miami. Mr. Braynon summarized these issues in two categories.
First, the difficulty of getting the necessary funds to improve the infrastructure. Second, the willpower to take that funding and put it where it’s most needed and not where it’s the easiest. He said that it’s easier to spend a little bit of money on the wrong thing, but it takes hard decision-making to make things right.
“Adding a lane can be very expensive, but it really doesn’t improve the flow of traffic on any highway” he explained his point. According to him, nothing has been done for mass transit in the North corridor in the last 20 years, and that’s a real issue.
What the CITT Ambassador Program is about?
Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) is a 15-member body that administers the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP) and how the half-penny sales surtax is used in local transportation improvement projects.
The PTP is a long-term and broad program incorporating transit improvements and roadways critical to the rapid transit corridor outlined in the SMART (Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit) Plan. CITT was created by voters as an independent body consisting of volunteer citizens who oversee the expenditure of surtax revenue.
Under the CITT Ambassador Program, citizens or frequent transit riders can volunteer to share their observations and experiences of using transit via CITT in exchange for rewards. Mr. Braynon said that people often don’t provide feedback because they think their opinions don’t matter.
Through this Ambassador Program, they’re creating a platform for end users to directly share their experiences. It’s a two-way program where CITT learns from its ambassadors about their transit experiences. The CITT uses this information to improve the transit system.
Through this program, CITT Ambassadors can share their feedback by completing surveys via a mobile application. Volunteers can also participate in focus groups to further help the transit program. This way, municipalities and DTPW (the Department of Transportation and Public Works) get to learn about service performance and any improvements that are needed.
The CITT intends to curb transportation problems at the grass-root level so that everyone’s quality of life improves. He explained that these transit corridors could reduce the time it takes to travel to and from work. That’s time that a person can spend with their family rather than commuting.
The program uses sustainable and eco-friendly transportation solutions such as electric buses and smart routes to reduce fuel costs and urban pollution. The goal is to create “the most intermodal system” in Miami to make life better.
Anyone interested can apply to become a CITT Ambassador. Check the eligibility and other information.