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Dade Mayor Wants To Bring Chinese ‘Virtual Train’ To Miami

This is the “virtual train” that Mayor Carlos Gimenez is touting as a cheaper alternative to rail for Miami-Dade County.

Gimenez recently showed WLRN an article about the Autonomous Rapid Transit (Art) that was unveiled in Zhuzhou, China. The mayor claims that “the passenger doesn’t know it’s not a train.”

The vehicle uses rubber tires, so it resembles a bus more than a train. It runs slower than both buses or trains however, with a top speed of 43 miles per hour.

Instead of a driver, the vehicles run by following painted lines in the roadway – especially helpful for Miami Dade Transit, where over 20% of workers don’t show up every day. They also operate on battery, with a 10-minute charge said to be good for 15 miles.

A 4-mile track is scheduled to open in Zhuzhou in 2018.

In Miami, Gimenez sees the possibility of these vehicles on the north corridor, which runs from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Metrorail Station through Miami Gardens to the Broward County Line. It could also be used on the south corridor, from the Dadeland South Metorail Station to Florida City.

The mayor says they would be given dedicated lanes and automatic green lights.

Gimenez says that northeast corridor is still planned with actual trains on the Brightline tracks, although he has called rail a “19th century technology.”

 

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27 Comments on "Dade Mayor Wants To Bring Chinese ‘Virtual Train’ To Miami"

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Anonymous
Anonymous

So a larger, slower bus with none of the benefits of a train and all of the problems buses already have…and then you want them to have their OWN LANE?

Hard pass.

Miami Hurricane
Miami Hurricane

LOL at this working in Miami. In a city where we welcomed red light cameras to intersections would not be blocked during Miami’s dual 4 rush hour blocks, these guys will never make it when it matters.

Oscar
Oscar

This guy will literally back anything at this point to avoid having to commit actual resources to rail. It’s unbelievable. First it was the dumb catamaran bus from China. Then, when everyone found out that was basically a scam, here comes the “virtual” train. He backed autonomous vehicles and I even think sprinkled a dash of “hyperloop” in between. Of course all of that technology is untested and years away from being implementable which suits him perfectly. How about instead of repeatedly deriding rail as an “18th century technology” less than 12 months after campaigning on more rail, you actually do your job and try to deliver on some of the promises you (not to mention leaders before you) made?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Please no. We don’t want Chinese vaporware here.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Comical. This will never happen.

Fredric
Fredric

I think the real problem is finally coming into focus. And the issue is not about money, taxation, financing or anything having to do with economics, as one might suspect. The real problem is that mayor Gimenez hates trains or anything that operates on a system that includes either rails or a fixed guide way and not on open asphalt or concrete. One man’s personal prejudices must not and will not obstruct progress here because thankfully, most others in government at least understand the long-term wisdom of rail transit.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is the stupidest idea.
This mayor is an embaressment.
Even developing countries have modern metro trains ex) Panamá City and Medellín. This bus nonsense has to stop.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Moves like a bus, looks like bus,….. IT’S A …

Micheal Cody
Micheal Cody

More fantasy tech to bailout bad planning. Just because they threw up some highrises does not make this a real city. Its still the same half assed banana boat city its been since the 80s.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You mean, Miami is not real but just a “virtual” city too?”

Paul
Paul

The traffic seems pretty real to me.

Anonymous
Anonymous

FACEPALM

Isn’t Dade Transit cutting busses and metrorail service anyway?

Anonymous
Anonymous

“The mayor claims that “the passenger doesn’t know it’s not a train.”

Look at how mad these guys on this site are…see, you messed up mayor, you had everyone fooled that these were real trains and then you blurted out the truth!

Anonymous
Anonymous

If people actually used the trains in Miami this wouldn’t be so funny.

La Mala
La Mala

This is what happens when we elect people who don’t F! get it. They just don’t see it as the investment it is, they think of it as a waste of money. We need to get rid of them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Please, the Chinese haven’t invented anything useful since paper, which was the ancient Chinese, not the present-day descendants of mongols copying everything the West and Japanese (legit descendants of ancient Chinese people) built.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Giménez is a joke.

Yohan Perez
Yohan Perez

How much money is this dude going to pocket on this shady deal and technology is the real question.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This would work for the South Dade Busway because it is literally just a larger bus. And both videos shows it being operated by a driver.

Cully Waggoner
Cully Waggoner
What could possibly go wrong? An autonomous driverless bus powered only bay batteries with a limited range, driving in a dedicated lane that takes a lane of traffic away from other Miami drivers, that are largely clueless and will no doubt try to use that lane themselves and possibly hit the driverless bus. Not to mention the lack of safety for the passengers should something happen when there is no bus driver there to look after them. The voters passed a tax increase to pay for new rail in 2002 and it generated millions of dollars. So, the Mayor has a plan to use more Buses that will run on the same roads as the cars and trucks do and add to the traffic congestion that the rail lines are trying to eliminate. They should call that idea, the Not-SMART Plan. New Buses are at best a short-term solution, they need to look at a long-term solution. Otherwise we will be right back where we are now in a few years. Mayor Gimenez needs to give the people of Miami-Dade County what they paid for, not new sports stadiums. Gridlock in the County will only get worse, you can only… Read more »
Paul
Paul

It’s a nice idea but it’ll fall foul of the regulators pretty much from day 1. Really, the mayor et al needs to suck it up, and get a proper Metrorail extension funded and started. Light rail, BRT, etc, are band aids. The reason Metrorail’s voter-mandated expansion hasn’t happened is because politicians keep using “cheaper” vaporware technologies as an excuse to put it on the back-burner. They need to knock it off, and politicians who refuse funding for this while still funding massive road expansions that end up causing more traffic to be forced out of office.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Didn’t this ass hat block attempts at creating a Chinese Consulate here because he doesn’t want to deal with “communists”

Saltern
Saltern

Gimenez is the same joker that wanted to pave the elevated railway and run busses, delayed the new rail cars by TWO years with his dreamy slope nose redesign, touted his trip to Denver RTD as the answer to Dades traffic woes, now wants to run Chinese busses that do not meet US safety standards on roads that are jam packed as it is.

Once again The Mayor provides the entire civilized population with (Third) World Class entertainment. How did Tampa get FDOT to pay for a 1.5 million dollar light rail engineering study, when DADE taxpayers get hosed 12 million for another “engineering” study. Parsons hires Sandy Amores as a consultant?
FTA rated Miami busses as the worst in the nation with Sandy at the helm.

Now if we could get little Marco to tear himself away from the Marlins to bring back some Fed $$$ for Transit…

Anonymous
Anonymous

third world solutions for a world class city

John
John

Extend the orange line from Miami international airport into south beach. Make it elevated stations. It will be a game changer. Do it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is not a bad idea if you implement it as a BRT system in the lines like Kendall and the beach corridor and also have stations that are under A/C.

suomynona
suomynona

I agree that something like this could have a place in a region’s comprehensive transportation system. Like you said, it’d need its own dedicated lanes.

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