Dade Mayor Gives Update On New Rail Service, Flights To China

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez delivered his 2018 State of the County address yesterday.

In the speech, Gimenez provided an update on transit and the airport:

Smart rail plan:

  • The North Corridor (through Liberty City, Opa Locka, and Miami Gardens) and South Corridor (from Dadeland to Homestead) have been identified by the TPO as first priority of six lines – despite running through the least densely populated areas of any proposed route
  • Gimenez isn’t sure if rail, bus or another technology is the answer for those corridors
  • All corridors should be planned at once, instead of focusing on just two, Gimenez said
  • Gimenez wants stations to be indoor and air conditioned. They should be able to accommodate both rail and bus rapid transit

Northeast Corridor Rail Line:

  • While Gimenez thinks rail is not necessarily the best choice for certain corridors of the Smart plan, the Northeast Corridor will definitely be a rail line
  • Brightline is being called a “partner” on the corridor, which will run through a densely populated area from downtown Miami through Aventura
  • Cities along the route must be engaged in order to build stations, he said

Road:

  • Gimenez wants a new highway – the 836/Dolphin Expressway expanded south – while protecting the UDB. The new highway will be called Kendall Parkway

Airport:

  • Gimenez will travel to China this year will the goal of securing a nonstop flight
  • In November, a passport and customs check reopened in concourse E, for a total of three Federal Inspection Stations airport-wide (an airport spokesperson confirmed the opening)
  • MIA now has 107 airlines, more than any other airport in the U.S.
  • 2017 was the best year ever for tourism, with a record 15.8 million overnight visitors spending a record $25.9 billion in Miami-Dade