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County Will Privatize, Eliminate Some Bus Routes To Help Pay For Rail

A Miami-Dade Committee voted last week in favor of a plan to reduce and eliminate bus service on some routes while outsourcing others.

The plan will result in $24 million a year worth of savings, which is expected to help pay for the $3.6B SMART rail plan.

Dade transit ridership has dropped for 23 consecutive months, despite the area’s booming population growth. Transit officials blame low gas prices and rising wages, according to the Herald. Other factors include Uber and free city-operated trolleys.

The private company that currently operates City of Miami trolleys will operate certain routes at a cost of around $50 per hour, compare to the $130 per hour that it costs Dade Transit, saving over $6 million per year on 14 routes.

Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez also wants the new rail lines to be built and operated privately.

 

(photo: phillip pessar)

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22 Comments on "County Will Privatize, Eliminate Some Bus Routes To Help Pay For Rail"

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Anonymous
Anonymous

The article forgot to mention that buses make too many stops. If the system would eliminate half its stops, it would run much faster, save on fuel, and better serve the community. How can you run a bus system that stops in every block? It’s preposterous!
Imagine running a Metro system with stops every other block. It wouldn’t work. Some bus routes are running on huge buses with 4 passengers on board. Airlines gauge their routes, distance and market and accommodate accordingly, bus systems should do the same thing. It would be like running a 747 between Miami and Nassau.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Totally agree.
I live in South Miami. Old Cutler for example, it’s a one line street. The Buses stop at every corner, blocking all the trafic.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Only 150 years! Maybe my great grandchildren will see it.

William
William

I think they’re setting it so they can switch the entire system to ferry service (once we all have access to water :)))))

Wang
Wang

I park my car at Palmetto Station and ride it to Coral Gables to meet my tutor.I could drive there but with the parking fee the difference is not that great and I gain two hours of study during the steering wheel-less.

While originally I found the idea of street level Metro Rail a huge letdown I’ve now’change my mind. Not ideal but it does have two big pros:

1. If it means it will get built sooner rather than never great. Once the heavy rail is set down it is not going away which is good.

2. It will make traffic congestion worse. Great. People that carpoool and ride public transportation should have priority. I will probably curse at this when I am inside my one passenger car, but it is only fair the more efficient mode of transportation get right of way. Hopefully that will get people to ride more and eventually allow for the self financing of elevated tracks.

Obviously a line up US 1 and and a bay link should be the top priorities.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The whole strength of the metrorail system is that it is above traffic. If you remove that, you take away its only advantage over cars. If they are going to go to street level they should do it with a new light rail system and preserve the metrorail as is.

Anonymous
Anonymous

These free tolleys are so Third World looking.

Anonymous
Anonymous

thats the stupidest comment of the year

Anonymous
Anonymous

They suck compared to regular transit type buses.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Privatize the new rail lines but front the entirety of the bill to build it? Republicans never seize to amaze me.

Anonymous
Anonymous

republicans love big government money to bail the private guys out when they fail too

aceraroja
aceraroja

Eliminate duplicate bus service WHEN the trains are in. Ridership is falling but those left are the most in need. And it’s nice that people are getting better wages and this opens more transportation options, but this is really secondary to the fact that riding the bus is often horrible. And the trolleys are even worse — much slower — but free is free, so of course they’re cannibalizing the bus ridership.

We can’t afford to NOT build the trains right now. Pinching pennies here and there as if trains are frivolous is more typical Miami bullshit. Expand Metrorail NOW.

(And put some fucking bike lanes in for fuck’s sake.)

Anonymous
Anonymous

They are privatizing one of the buses i take, meaning i will have to pay more. The buses I take to work are always packed, I usually have to stand. I can’t imagine it being “more efficient” than sardines.

Anonymous
Anonymous

These “trolleys” that have been popping up all over the county are awful to ride.

– High floor: steps to climb.
– Wooden park benches: Uncomfortable and unsafe.
– Limited seating and no back door: slow to load/unload.

Then they wonder why people don’t ride transit in Miami?

Anon
Anon

The trolleys have cannibalized the country bus transit system. From personal experience, I take the Coral Way trolley instead of the 24 bus because one is free and the other isn’t. I know others do that too. Why should our limited transit money be spent on duplicate service? The previous poster is correct. The trolleys are very uncomfortable and slow. You will see city and county commissioners praising the trolleys and patting themselves on the back for a transit “solution” when they are really a waste of money.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Those down votes are probably from people who have never stepped foot on a county bus or city trolley.

Anonymous
Anonymous

As if many people actually ride the bus in South Florida.. I don’t think so.

wait
wait

I’m sorry did I just read that you are complaining about a service that’s free aka at no cost to you?

Anonymous
Anonymous

In what world does anything operate “at no cost”?

Anon
Anon

No. You misunderstood. I am complaining that we are spending tax money on duplicative service. Either fund the trolley or fund MDT buses, but not both. It is a waste of money and we have so few dollars for transit as it is.

City Commissioner
City Commissioner

“Transit officials blame low gas prices and rising wages” no real data just speculation, that is the way to make an educated guess or “decision” in this city.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I “credit low gas prices and higher wages” for giving more people more options. But then I think that is a good trend.

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