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.

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

Lets also table the $300 million for buses and cut out the millions for studies which lead to no development. The region is booming, the city and county’s budget is also booming, and roads are being filled to capacity (which is what buses would use, Gimenez).

The other concern was operating cost. News flash, Washington DC spends over $3 billion annually, Boston over $2 billion. Miami? $1.3 billion, and Gimenez wants to CUT it. This should enrage everyone. Cant have a world class city with a shotty transit system. And these new trains coming into service are like lipstick on a pig. We need more lines.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I’ll also add that “over the next 40 years” is an absolute joke. We’ve seen what the city has become over the last 5-10 years. Multiply that by 4 to 8. If we’re still in the development or construction phases for transit by then, we’re doomed.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Reminder that 1(one) new metro rail station has been built in the last twenty years. Meanwhile, Orlando has built multiple SunRail stops during the same time period.

Reminder, despite what this site will have you believe Miami is not a real city. The only things they can get done here is approving more boring high rises and paying off their buddies to build stadiums.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Does this plan also include to extent the Metromover? I cannot tell by the map here and when you click on it, it becomes even smaller.

Anonymous
3 years ago

So the plan just lays out corridors I think, and doesn’t give what mode of transportation to achieve them. I’d say the majority of these SHOULD be heavy rail, like metro rail, rather than metro mover, due to their length

Anonymous
3 years ago

Not to mention capacity and fares to help pay for it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I am all for heavy rail but an expansion to the Metromover would also be nice.

Oscar
3 years ago

It does not.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Not if it’s BRT, which is grade-separated and can be upgraded to rail if ridership permits.

Anonymous
3 years ago

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2015/02/the-myth-that-everyone-naturally-prefers-trains-to-buses/385759/

I think this is an interesting investigation into BRT vs rail. Ultimately, they find that people much prefer rail. I think especially in Miami’s case, where bus transit is so inefficient, the pro-rail results over bus would be even greater

Anonymous
3 years ago

BRT is also a zero sum solution, in that in order to have bus lanes on, say, the Dolphin, you have to take away lanes from drivers. Heavy rail can accommodate both more traffic, and runs in dedicated lines instead of taking away lanes from drivers

Anonymous
3 years ago

I don’t like how theyre only meeting with lightrail and pod companies. We need more elevated metrorail not half ass solutions. Lightrail will get stuck in traffic and we already have people jumping into the express lanes so they would jump onto light rail tracks too.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Light rail streetcars can be grade-separated, you know! But yeah, Metrorail has better capacity for the likely ridership to and from Miami Beach than streetcars or Metromover.

Anonymous
3 years ago

When they cross intersections they will be on the regular street so people will be driving on those.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Traffic signalization would take that into consideration. I would see your point when some entitled cyclist douche is hit, however. We can’t even have HSR without people being run over because they won’t stay of the f-ing tracks.

Anonymous
3 years ago

off*

Anonymous
3 years ago

Very Simple. DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS.

Suomynona
3 years ago

You can do elevated pods much cheaper than elevated rail. Just saying.

If done RIGHT, I think pods could actually be a pretty good thing at a reasonable price point.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Meme transport for idiots.

Anonymous
3 years ago

“Mayor Carlos Gimenez is pushing for the county to build Bus Rapid Transit on the south Dade line, instead of rail.”

Hey Gimenez, when will you get it through your head that we must getaway from all of these air polluting archaic modes of mass transit?

Anonymous
3 years ago

The buses are hybrid, similar to DMU units Brightline trains are powered by, except diesel.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Lightrail transit systems are powered by electricity. A lightrail solar powered transit system is a win win solution for Miami.

Anonymous
3 years ago

And Donna Shalala is proposing Rapid Buses to run on US -1 Parallel to the existing Metrorail and to increase the number of Trolley Routes. Welcome to Miami 1990’s surrealism.

Suomynona
3 years ago

I don’t understand the purpose of free trolleys.

Anonymous
3 years ago

We already have bus rapid transit. The busway was one of the first systems in the US. Nobody likes it and no one with money would be caught dead on it. Heavy rail expansion or don’t bother.

Suomynona
3 years ago

ZERO reason to build rail to freaking Homestead. ZERO. There’s not even close to enough residents out there. Build rail to the Southland Mall area, and then buses from Southland to Homestead.

It is a massive WASTE of money to build rail all the way to Homestead when northern Dade, FIU, Kendall, the Beach, etc don’t have rail. Homestead should be the ABSOLUTE LAST place to get rail. (Unless you’re talking about using the existing CSX line that extends from MIA down to Homestead for Tri-Rail. I support that over some “Metro” extension to Homestead.)

Anonymous
3 years ago

How about building public transit along the track that extends from the airport South/Southwest that follows the Don Shula for a while and then extends directly Southwest (technically all the way to Homestead).

That rail could easily be integrated into the neighborhoods/city.

Suomynona
3 years ago

The CSX tracks. It would be a good Tri-Rail option for that area and a second rail option to coincide with extended Metro Rail from Dadeland to Southland Malls. The CSX Tri-Rail would also allow transit by rail to the MetroZoo.

A. Nonymous
3 years ago

Northeast Corridor is on existing track. Should just be a matter of building stations and coordinating schedules with Brightline, no?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Correct. The inept County leadership is unable to even build a few rail stations on existing rail lines. How can we expect them to build new transit lines?

Anonymous
3 years ago

They count on developers to build the stations as part of large projects in the NE Corridor. Which I think makes complete sense.

A. Nonymous
3 years ago

I’d hope that the line would attract riders from more than the areas immediately adjacent to the stations.
Depending on developers has been a poor strategy for Bay Walk.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I believe Brightline is trying to run the commuter trains themselves. https://www.thenextmiami.com/brightline-negotiating-operate-northeast-corridor-instead-tri-rail/

Anonymous
3 years ago

Based on large employment/population centers in Miami-Dade and large populated suburban commuter areas – I think one of the best routes for a new Metrorail line would be a modified version of the East-West Line.

The route could include Doral, Miami International Mall, Dolphin Mall, Sweetwater, FIU (main campus), MDC (main campus), and the craziness that is West Kendall.

Think about how many people commute to and from these areas…

Extend it west from the airport to NW/SW 107th Ave. Then South down 107th ave reaching SW 104th ST, and finally west on SW 104th St to West Kendall ending somewhere around SW 152nd Ave.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Might as well end at Zoo Miami if you’re going to go past MDC. According to the Visitors Bureau (GMBCVB) about 8% of all visitors go to the Zoo, making it more popular than parks, museums, art galleries, and theaters.

Suomynona
3 years ago

There are definitely A LOT more areas that need to be connected via mass transit.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes!! Can we please get the East-West corridor?

Anonymous
3 years ago

8 billion in 40! Years maybe sound good, but it is a drop in a bucket.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Washington DC spends 3 billion every year in transit and that’s just to maintain their systems, so no it’s not good

Anonymous
3 years ago

NE and Beach line would be most used and most stimulating to thier respective economies. Kendall and SouthDade should be further studied.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Kendall, yes. South Dade, no. Even the North Corridor is more feasible. Instead, East-West Corridor, please! Also, a further study on using existing CSX track for a Kendall extension of Tri-Rail from Hialeah Market.

Anonymous
3 years ago

They should build out the originally planned east-west route from the Government Center Station to the beach and all the way out to the Palmetto.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Also, from the airport down 27th Avenue to Douglas Road station, if we end up with the stadium at Melreese.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Also an extension of the green line from Palmetto Station to downtown Doral and potentially terminate and connect with the E/W line at FIU MMC.

Anonymous
3 years ago

There should be an extension northward into broward from palmetto station. A lot of the congestion on the 826 comes from Broward residenrts commuting to Dade. This extension would connect west Hialeah, miami lakes and miami gardens along the way

Anonymous
3 years ago

East-West corridor line should be a priority.

Anonymous
3 years ago

One of the priorities.

Suomynona
3 years ago

There are like 6 priorities, which is sad. Because it shows how poorly it’s been managed/neglected.

Anonymous
3 years ago

First NE and Beach corridors, them connect FIU with the rest of the Planet.
Simultaneously Rezoning the US-1 Corridor to increase population density around the existing stations.
I agree with Regalado (I hate to say it) rapid buses pass Kendall.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I meant Gimenez

Anonymous
3 years ago

Same shit different toilet

Oscar
3 years ago

I bet this money goes a lot further if they give those CSX tracks a second look. The alignment is not perfect, but those tracks could reach many of the same Western and Southern neighborhoods the SMART Plan is looking to connect.

Suomynona
3 years ago

The western line along the Dolphin is awful, too cut-off and secluded. Almost nobody lives within a half-mile of that line.

The southwest line that goes past the Zoo and to Homestead would be a pretty solid addition to Tri-Rail.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Is it possible to charge a .05 toll on top of current prices on all MDX roads within MDC and bond those funds out for transi? or maybe a P3 with some real estate component that will entice developers to build the stations and the county can be the one to lay the track down between stations in order to reduce cost? They need to think outside the box here. To much time has passed since PTP has been established and nothing has come about from it.

aceraroja
3 years ago

All of these corridors are good except the east-west, which should be from the beach to govt center and then straight up Flagler to the end. And to be honest, one up calle ocho to the end wouldn’t be bad either. That’s all densely built all the way west and it would massively relieve congestion and travel times in all modes.

Suomynona
3 years ago

Great corridors for an elevated multi-pod system. Cheaper than rail. Dedicated right of way. Presumably much less noise (Beach nimbys). Won’t be inoperable due to roadway flooding.

Anonymous
3 years ago

They should let the people vote on which two rail lines get built first.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I hate to say it – but that’s how we ended up in this mess in the first place.

The people of Brownsville and Liberty City need transit, but they don’t need fixed guideway transit (expensive heavy rail) to get to and from jobs in the central core.

The idea of transit is to provide frequent, high capacity transportation along corridors where there is a shortage of alternatives or a shortage of supply (not that many roads). The transit should be going from where people live TO WHERE THEY NEED TO GO.

You wouldn’t build a transit line from Kendall to a farm in west Dade County, and the true is for some neighborhoods which do not rely on downtown and other main employment centers within the region. This isn’t a debate on WHY those people don’t have those jobs, this is a debate on how to efficiently move the most people with the cheapest alternative.

Anonymous
3 years ago

This is probably the most important part missing from the debate in Miami transportation. Getting people to and from where they need to go, not where the politician wants to spur development.

Anonymous
3 years ago

metrorail extensions to the north should focus on providing transit alternatives to MDC residents as much as to Broward residents. A lot of the problems along the main highways (I-95, 826) are caused by broward residents commuting in/out of Dade. Removing the regular Broward commuters from Dade highways needs to be part of the solution.

Anonymous
3 years ago

That’s going to mean those stations will need massive parking garages to take all the Broward commuters cars for the day as they park-and-ride.

Anonymous
3 years ago

if thats whats needed, then thats what will have to be done bur perhaps not to the scale of “massive”. Broward County can also provide connecting service in order to discourage driving altogether. The point is to make the stations as convenient and bring them as close possible to these areas (miramar, pines, etc) to prevent the Broward’s traffic from being dumped on Dade highways.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The Metrorail already runs from Kendall to Downtown.

marc
3 years ago

Whatever mode they finally decide on, the more seamless the better, it needs to serve the densest parts of the county.

marc
3 years ago

Say what?!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Rapid bus would work very well on US1 and would allow for the NE corridor, beach link, and something jutting West either along 8th street/Flagler or more likely 836.

Only problem with constructing on a major highway like 836 is that you take away from the city living and also make it harder for the casual rider to jump on.

Anonymous
3 years ago

A light rail on NW 7th Ave will alleviate the traffic on I-95.

Suomynona
3 years ago

No.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Momoney for the politicians to grab!!!!?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I actually agree with Gimenez here. Build rail through central Miami’s built-out innards according to plans which already exist, and are more applicable than-ever.