Funding Available To Build Rail Lines Sharply Increases To $8.5 Billion

Miami-Dade County now has more money available to build new rail lines – but it still isn’t enough to build the entire SMART Plan.

According to an updated projection of financing available, $8.457 billion is available over the next 40 years, an increase of $2.5 billion from a previous projection.

The half penny sales tax surcharge is growing significantly. Two new revenue sources have also been added – the creation of Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Districts, and joint development.

According to the Herald, the new revenue projection is enough to borrow and build two of the SMART Plan rail lines.

The county has scheduled meetings with private companies including Spain’s Sacyr (a company also among the bidders to build the Miami Beach light rail line in 2016), Australian infrastructure firm Plenary, and Ultra, which built a podcar personal rapid transit system at Heathrow Airport.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez is pushing for the county to build Bus Rapid Transit on the south Dade line, instead of rail. A key Transportation Planning Organization meeting on accepting the recommendation is scheduled for tomorrow.