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Dade Leaders Disagree On Mass Transit Expansion; Mayor May Be Waiting For Driverless Cars

There isn’t consensus among county leaders on how to expand mass transit.

County Commission Chair Esteban Bovo said yesterday that he thinks a Metrorail extension from Dadeland South station to Florida City should get first priority among six possible new routes, according to WLRN.

At the same time, Miami-Dade’s transportation director Alice Bravo said she wanted to look at all six projects proposed as part of the SMART plan comprehensively, including building park and ride lots to feed the system. She and Bovo both want to ‘begin funding’ one of the rail lines at this time next year.

According to the Herald, Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez may now be advocating for bus rapid transit or driverless vehicles as a solution to transit in South Dade.

The total cost for all six lines is expected to be $3.6 billion to $6 billion, and county leaders are hoping for federal funding.

 

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59 Comments on "Dade Leaders Disagree On Mass Transit Expansion; Mayor May Be Waiting For Driverless Cars"

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Anonymous
Anonymous

East west line that connects FIU is a no brainer

Dave
Dave

“An” East-West line is a no brainer but someone with no brain picked this particular East-West route. It goes to the airport rather than Downtown and goes along the north side of the 836 where no one can get to it, stays well south of the Dolphin and International malls.

aceraroja
aceraroja

Exactly the problem. A train running the length of Flagler would be packed. Instead, they made a park-and-ride system plan which benefits nobody who doesn’t already have a car.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I give up. This city is run by buffoons.

Edin
Edin

More I read about “DADE LEADERS”,more I like my dogs.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Every corridor on that list is necessary.

suomynona
suomynona

There is no justification for extending rail south of the Southland Mall area. Sending ral south to Florida City is absurd and a waste of taxpayer money.

Alice Bravo is right, though. You have to look at the plan comprehensively. The whole “system” needs to be taken into account when making these decisions.

mike
mike

GIMENEZ IS A CLOWN!!, he needs to be selling coconuts because he has destroyed the city.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thank God Gimenez is out after this term…The man is a moron, but we really did have any good candidates to vote for this time around. Hopefully we can get a more progressive mayor in a couple of years. I.e. some one like Ken Russell if he doesn’t go to congress.

Marc305
Marc305

Indeed, “advocating for bus rapid transit” a moron making an oxymoron statement, buses are anything but rapid.

suomynona
suomynona

If you literally commandeered a whole lane – one each way – on major roads like Flagler, 8th, Kendall, Dixie, Miami, Biscayne, etc, then perhaps BRT might work quite nicely. But there is 0% chance they are actually going to do that.

Do other cities and transit systems use buses to funnel people efficiently to rail stations? Buses would only be to drive within neighborhoods/smaller communities, such as busing people in Miami Gardens to NW 27th Ave (if that line is ever built). Whereas the rail system would interconnect those neighborhoods/cities, such as taking a person from Miami Gardens to Coral Gables for their daily commute (and then using a different bus in Coral Gables to drop them off close to where they work).

In other words, no more cross-county bus lines. They’re all locally oriented with the sole purpose of feeding ridership to the rail system.

Or is that proven not to be a valid option? It would seem to be a full-proof way to increase rail ridership (ie, increase revenue/offset costs) and might even decrease the need for such an extensive bus system (though I don’t know for certain one way or the other).

suomynona
suomynona

I can understand the need for a few bus routes that aren’t solely rail-oriented, but the idea would be to eliminate as many as possible.

marc
marc

The disagreements on prioritization will be the downfall as it has been in the past. Nothing will get done. again

Jesus
Jesus

The biggest agreement is that we want to recall these guys. Sadly, everyone is to busy to fix their own cities.

arturo
arturo

AND the current system keeps falling apart. I use the metro rail every day and there has been a full screen of malfunction announcements for the past three months. Not to mention that the A/C is usually not working properly, making rides at 5PM very hot (on top of very crowded).

Anonymous
Anonymous

Metro to Miami Beach should be top priority, reason why? They are going to reconstruct the I-395 bridge and the Super Bowl will be here in 2020. They may not be done with the bridge by then but either way can you imagine the traffic to Miami Beach for the next couple of years until its done? It’s going to be really bad, at least a Metro connection would alleviate some of the congestion until it’s done.

Jesus
Jesus

I haven’t followed it well lately. What is the status on that?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Don’t worry about traffic going to and from Miami Beach, as soon as the voters there vote “yes” to cut the clubs and bars hours to 2:00am for alcohol sales, that place is going to be a ghost town.

suomynona
suomynona

Say bye to all that tax revenue.

Wang
Wang

I read somewhere the following:

1995 Metrorail: 41.5 miles
2017 Metrorail: 44 miles (+6%)

1995 Expressway network length: 122 miles
2017 Expressway network length: 126 miles (+3%)

1995 Metro population: 4,300,000
2017 Metro population (est.): 6,400,000 (+47%)

The picture of Miami’s skyline appears in every dictionary under the the entry “lack of long term planning”.

The numbers speak for themselves. Enough said.

Oscar
Oscar

This is an excellent post and a fantastic indictment of our leadership over the past 30 years. I wonder what the rate of growth was in the 80s vs 90s and today. That’s the only possible excuse I can think of why our leaders back then didn’t plan for our future better. To be fair though, this is a problem you run into pretty consistently around the country. It seems like, after so much investment in the middle part of the 20th Century, we all forgot that infrastructure mattered.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Blame most of it on the “NIMBY” (not in my back yard) crowd.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I repeat myself, only in America, more precisely speaking, only in the U.S. a city is undecided where to build a Metro system. Metro systems should be built in the city centers where there is congestion, where parking should be limited, where density should not matter. No need to do a study. The Baylink and access to Midtown, Edgewater and Wynwood should be top priority. The more parking they build, the less people will be inclined to ride Mass transit.

Jesus
Jesus

It’s ridiculous that One Bayfront Plaza has about a thousand parking spaces. I would incentivize them not to as they will add to the beauty of the skyline from above yet to the desolution of the area itself.

Anonymous
Anonymous

No you anti-America this isn’t only in America and most of the people running Dade county wouldn’t even born in America !

Anonymous
Anonymous

Metromover to the beach, that should be priority number 1. Get the tourists out of the MacArthur.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Expand MetroRAIL to the beach and collaborate with CSX to use their airport and South Dade spurs for expanded Tri-Rail service.

suomynona
suomynona

Metrorail to the beach won’t work. Miami Beach doesn’t want it. That’s been made painfully obvious over and over again. It would almost certainly have to be a metromover type system, as Miami Beach even put the kibosh recently on light rail.

I would love to use the southwest CSX tracks that go from the airport to Tamiami Airport/Zoo Miami. But are those feasible for commuter rail? I don’t see how there’s enough right of way to add a 2nd line along some segments of the rail line there, and I’d imagine a 2nd line would be an absolute must if there are going to be freight trains as well as commuter trains running in both directions all day. I don’t know if the current TriRail had similar issues or not, or how they resolved them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

If Miami Beach doesn’t want Metrorail or light rail, obviously they wouldn’t want Metromover. You have to convince and/or appease them to get the yes.

The CSX ROW is indeed tight for a second track in some places, but it’s certainly possible. Don’t forget the same was said about the main line, and Tri-Rail operated for over ten years with one track. The Hialeah Market Station area has been planning for TOD for several years with speculation it will become the transfer point.

aceraroja
aceraroja

At what point do we tell MB that they are part of this metropolis and generate enough traffic backdraft into the mainland that they need to just shut the fuck up and accept a proper MetroRAIL extension right up through Collins and into at least Surfside? Sorry, you don’t get to clog our airport and highways and keep the cash and still have the workers who clean it all up take a shitty bus or pay a fortune to park the cars they probably can barely afford. Transit NOW, and Miami Beach must be made to integrate completely into the county’s systems. It took a generation but LA County finally got a train through Beverly Hills. And Miami Beach is no Beverly Hills.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Extension to Wynwood, Midtown, Edgewater and the Beach Corridor is the most urban and logical expansions

Anonymous
Anonymous

East/west corridor should go futher west and then come south to connect with the Kendall corridor, creating a full loop.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Agreed. We need to connect West and South/West. Doral, West Kendall, and MetroZoo areas are heavily populated and everyone relies on cars to get around. Those are the areas that need rapid transit (metro rail) access. I would run an East/West line above 36th street, not next to the 836, and have it reach all the way to Int’l Mall/Dolphin Mall, and FIU. Run another East/West line above Kendall Drive all the way to the Hammocks. Another one down US1 (over Busway), and split at 152nd street. One goes East/West over 152nd all the way west to 137ave. The other continues south to Southland Mall. In a perfect world, I would also include one running North/South, adjacent to Turnpike/117Ave from 152nd Street, to meet with FIU.

Alpina
Alpina

I know I am dreaming but it would be awesome to have an underground metro in the urban core as every major city does. I know they say it wouldn’t be possible because of water intrusion but I am sure there has to be an economic and possible solution…we only need to hire an engineer firm with brains and creativity. Imagine living in downtown without the need of cars??? After all, other sea level cities around the world like Hong Kong, Bangkok or even London have proven that it is possible. I know Boston’s “T” was constructed on reclaimed land that had recently been a marsh land. What about the marvelous work they had done in Amsterdam???

Anonymous
Anonymous

even Amsterdam and Copenhagen have underground trains!

Oscar
Oscar

The common response is that we can’t because of the water table. I’m no engineer but, looking at geological maps of Miami, it appears that there’s enough clearance to build a subway system using the cut and cover method (not with boring). I believe that, even compared with elevated heavy rail (Metrorail), it is significantly more expensive though. We’re having trouble even getting a potential streetcar or Metromover to the beach funded.

Marc305
Marc305

Why is it that people on this site live in fantasy land believing that if Miami had an expanded Metro system all our traffic woes would go away. I am from Washington DC where our Metro goes everywhere and still traffic on the Beltway and other roads from MD and VA are completely horrendous! NYC has arguably one of the best Metro system in the planet and still they have traffic up the tail. I am all for public transportation, the more the better, but I do not believe that it will solve everything Miami is a metropolis and horrible traffic comes with that, if you want to live here you have to deal with it, if not move North Dakota, period.

aceraroja
aceraroja

Marc, buddy, more mass transit is not to make driving easier. It’s to make TRANSIT easier. if people still choose to drive, they deserve what they get.

marc
marc

I’m pretty sure our geological make up down here makes it practically impossible. Can you build tunnels down here sure but the cost would be prohibitive.

aceraroja
aceraroja

No. if they can build 6 stories of parking garage right on the ocean, they can cut-and-cover a fucking subway. We have a port tunnel. Right? Did I dream that? Very easy, especially since it only has to be 20 or so feet down, and we’re on a coastal ridge downtown. Anyway, elevated lines are fine. Let’s build shops and offices below and above them tho!

Anonymous
Anonymous

We are so far behind in this department. The next 20 year period has to be one of continuous transportation improvements

Jesus
Jesus

Are you serious about this? Driverless cars will be the solution? Perhaps but we already have too many cars that even a coordinated public driving system for all cars can mean delays compared to an expanded public transport system. Also, did they forget that what makes cities nowadays much more livable is having good public transportation? Do they want to destroy the ambitions we and they supposedly have? You want to fix transit here? Raise gas taxes by just 6 cents and maybe that funding will come down to the coffers within a decade. Or, sell bonds as an investment in paying it off on its own in no time as congestion declines. Then again, I would like to fix the problems, not leave it stranded.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Commuter rail not heavy rail is what’s needed for South Dade.

La Mala
La Mala

We have three North/South highways and just one East/West. I would start with the Kendall and Miami Beach Corridor.

Dave
Dave

South Dade already has Bus Rapid Transit. You know, the busway?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Expansion to Wynwood + South Beach is a must. I would like the entire thing to go through. The city is growing, the transit has to grow before or with it.

City Commissioner
City Commissioner

THE CITY MAKES MILLIONS EVERYDAY WITH THE NEW & IMPROVED MDX OWNED HIGHWAYS…WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO GIVE US A REASON TO NOT DRIVE OUR CARS ON THE TOLL FLOODED HIGHWAYS??!!!$$$$$$

Anonymous
Anonymous

I’m waiting for flying cars..
“Meet George Jetson.
His Boy Elroy.
Daughter Judy.
Jane his wife.”

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree with Bovo and Suarez…we need action. The Transit Way (former “Busway”) is just the place to start. The ownership of the right of way is already taken care of.

We need to show the Feds we can actually get our act together and this is a good place to start.

Fredric
Fredric

Gimenez wants to wait for driverless cars? What?? Cleary, Gimenez does not understand even the concept of public transit, much less the need for rail transit.

How exactly will driverless cars ease traffic congestion any more than the people-driven variety? Answer–they won’t and they cannot. BRT is in truth little more than a cheapo alternative escape route for politicians who do not want to do the honest heavy lifting that is required to make rail transit happen. Fortunately not everyone in Miami-Dade government shares Gimenez’s total lack of vision.

suomynona
suomynona

Well you’re wrong about driverless cars. They would be able to drive faster, safer and closer together than human drivers (ie, improved traffic flow/congestion). In time, they may even be able to communicate with each other and with traffic systems such as street lights in order to dynamically change routes and improve speed/congestion even further.

If autonomous vehicles were already here, I’d understand on scaling back some mass transit plans in order to implement “smart” solutions to better allow the cars to interact dynamically with the roadways and infrastructure.

But we are probably 5 years away from even beginning to seriously consider these cars as approved by regulators for consumer use. Even once approved, they likely won’t be available from all manufacturers early on and they will cost a premium to add to your vehicle purchase. It will be decades before there are enough of them on the roads to truly affect congestion. And by that time, the population in Dade will have likely boomed even more, assuming climate change and what not hasn’t made things a real pain (spread of tropical diseases, flooding/inundated roadways and neighborhoods, longer/hotter summers, more frequent/stronger hurricanes – but still not the football team lol, etc).

Danny
Danny

ULI recently came out with an article breaking down the pros and cons of driver-less cars based on what Spain and other countries have tested. What they found is the “drive faster, safer and closer” only proved to work on highways and not city streets.
They found that driver-less cars actually increased the amount of vehicles on the road, users took longer drives due to the convenience, and that the need for parking for increase significantly. Then to add cars just driving around for cheap rides to be in use as well as looking for cheap parking.

Spain tested buses of 4 and 12 compared to the traditional 40-60. In the trial run, they were able to increase the amount of passengers by nearly 40% per lane. So far (based on the tests) the only positives shown by using Autonomous Vehicles has been with bus transit and not with cars.

They wrote quite a good article with much more items for discussion.

https://urbanland.uli.org/industry-sectors/infrastructure-transit/autonomous-vehicles-hype-potential/

aceraroja
aceraroja

Correct me if I’m wrong, but driverless cars still take up physical space? Google hasn’;t solved that problem yet by having them teleport into outer space after the morning commute? We’ll still be a city of giant roads crammed with cars and loomed over by ugly parking garages. Fuck that.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Why can’t it be picked depending on surrounding population affected / usage?

Self driving card rotfl

Anonymous
Anonymous

I can’t anymore….. idiots.

William
William

The lowest hanging fruit is Tri-Rail Coastal link. Private, Brightline, has done an amazing job in delivering a service in just a few years. All action, less talk. Now the track is ready, all Tri-rail needs to do is piggy back and create stations in areas like Wynwood or Midtown, 79 street etc., up to Aventura and then up to the FLL airport. This could be delivered in months rather than 5-10 years on the other plans. 99% of the infustructure is complete.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Completely agree. However since so much money has been spent on the boondoggle of station at the airport there is pressure to route service through there.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Please don’t forget that most of our local politics live in the suburbs and they have zero background in architecture or urban planing, consequently subjects such, public transportation, living, don’t have to use you SUB to go to a fast food restaurant are completely incomprehensible to all of them.
I hope I’m wrong, but I we keep electing people like them, we will ride the first SMART train in 2059.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Since 2011 the metrorail was supposed to get new trains.
So far nothing has happened.
http://www.thenextmiami.com/miami-metrorail-new-vehicle-replacement/

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