All Aboard Florida is preparing to begin separate express Brightline service from MiamiCentral to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach later this year. Plans for a Tri-Rail Coastal Link along the same tracks with local service from Miami to Jupiter are also in the works.
FTA APPROVES PROPOSED OPERATIONS CHANGE ON SOUTH FLORIDA RAIL CORRIDOR
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved the South Florida Regional Transit Authority’s (SFRTA) revenue operations changes to begin serving downtown Miami through the Miami Central Station. The SFRTA has designed a service plan that will allow Tri-Rail to provide a one seat ride into downtown while also maintaining current service to the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC).
The SFRTA is planning to initiate revenue operations for Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Link (TRDML) by the end of 2017. The plan minimizes changes to our existing service and for our current customers. Most customers not traveling to either the MIC or Hialeah Market Station will see no changes beyond the new options to travel directly to downtown.
“The SFRTA is extremely grateful to the FTA for its continued support of our efforts to enhance and expand the Tri-Rail system. By approving our TRDML, our ability to better serve our customers will be significantly increased. The approval will subsequently enable us to run passenger service along the FEC tracks, allowing us to reach key urban population areas and employment centers along the east coast,” said Jack Stephens, SFRTA Executive Director.
The key change for current riders is that about half of the trains will divert to the Miami Central Station, requiring passengers traveling to the MIC to disembark at the 79th Street Metrorail Transfer Station and catch a “shuttle train” to take them to continue their journey south. Passengers traveling north from the MIC on a shuttle train will have to transfer at the Metrorail Transfer Station to a train coming out of the Miami Central Station to continue their journey north.
Fifty trains will continue to operate on weekdays between the Mangonia Park and Metrorail Transfer stations. Of those, 24 trains will operate the full length of the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC). The balance of 26 rains will operate directly into the new Miami Central Station.
An FTA review of the plan was necessary to ensure that it complied with the terms of the SFRTA’s Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), which was awarded in 2000 to allow the Agency to complete the double tracking of the SFRC. The FTA determined that the service extension requested into downtown Miami is consistent with the project scope found in the FFGA.