Investment Firm Offering To Build Streetcar System In Miami Beach For Zero Down

Miami Beach has received an unsolicited proposal to build a streetcar system in South Beach – but it won’t take you to across the bay.

An investment firm that includes Alstom is proposing to build the system for $148 million, according to documents obtained by Doug Hanks (Miami Today first reported it.) Miami Beach would pay $1 million per year for 35 years, including the cost of operations, and could avoid a lengthy application for federal funding.

The streetcar wouldn’t cross the causeway to connect with the mainland, and would only include eight to ten stations in South Beach, but a former lobbyist for Alstom said that he hopes that the city and county might step in and build the remainder of the Bay Link project, which is estimated to cost a total of $532 million.

In Miami Beach, the system would utilize the same clogged lanes of traffic and run along the same route that buses now use.  A website called Brokensidewalk.com claims that streetcars have the advantage of making the route more obvious to passengers and offer more comfort, attracting more passengers than buses.

Mayor Philip Levine is recommending that commissioners reject the proposal which had a deadline of October 22, in order to give competitors more time to bid.

 

 

 

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marc
5 years ago

Great, another option for getting stuck in traffic. If it’s not a dedicated lane it’s useless.

Gables
5 years ago

Don’t worry Marc. The story in the Miami Herald said the train would run in dedicated lanes.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Its not as effective, but definitely not useless. As long as there is mass transit, hundreds of cars will be taken off the road. That certainly does reduce traffic.

I agree with you though, a dedicated lane would be better. But at a time when our population is booming and fast solutions are needed, anything is better.

MrDreTheOne
5 years ago

This IS the way to go Marc, heavy rail / metromover will never make it to the beach. Look at the different trolleys that loop around parts of the beach, they are full and they don’t even link the island together (yet). Imagine a network of speedy light rail zooming to all parts of Miami Beach in dedicated lanes, it would be an astounding success. And if you baylink it to Miami, oh boy, now you have solved the problem! Thousands of cars off the roads!

Anonymous
5 years ago

I commend Mayor Levine for pushing this issue and trying to spur the county on with the project. He is also taking the time to do the project RIGHT, instead of rush into a poorly planned-first option- system. I only wish I could say the same for Regalado…

Hopefully Levine and Miami Beach, and other Dade-County cities, continue to press Miami on the mass transit issue. We need to see some progress soon as residents continue to come in.

Anonymous
5 years ago

I agree with you as far as the Mayor being progressive in trying to get rail to Miami Beach which is awesome. However I’m still shocked as well as perplexed as why to some in these comments feel like streetcars can share the streets with buses and cars. Out of places Mia Beach is developed very pedestrian friendly like so you should be easy transition.

Jacob
5 years ago

Since the government is all but useless in this town, we need more forward-thinking public-private partnership ideas like this! Hey, this proposal is probably not ideal (it was just proposed!), but we should encourage any innovation we can get. At least give us another option aside from the inept Powers That Be.

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

Dedicated ROW: good luck building under ground in Miami Beach. And they would never pass anything that included a superstructure like metromover in their precious micromanaged beach. It’s going to be at grade or no grade. Although a middle of the street tram/light rail is the best fit for MB aesthetically. As far as permanently closing lanes for it, doubted.

Martim
5 years ago

Any news or update on an actual right of way for the track? Having trams on the same street as other buses and cars is a fail.

As for rail on the City of Miami side, they would, obviously, along with the County, be responsible for their portion. Who is responsible for the McArthur Causeway, though? Is it a shared cost between City/County/Miami Beach?

marc
5 years ago

I believe Watson Island is City of Miami while the causeway itself is county.

David
5 years ago

Almost every city in Holland has a network of trams like what is being proposed for Miami Beach. It’s the most common sense method of mass transportation out there.

marc
5 years ago

Question, are the streets as crammed with vehicles and people in Holland as they are on South Beach?

REinMIA
5 years ago

No of course not. They have the same territorial area as New Jersey with almost twice the population living in much denser urban areas. Surely the streets are more crowded not less cress crowded.

marc
5 years ago

It was a rhetorical question. Comparing one place with the other and claiming it makes common sense because it works somewhere else is incorrect. If its not dedicated or separated from the congestion on South Beach it’s useless.

David
5 years ago

Holland is one of the most populated countries in Europe. That’s why used this as an example. The Dutch are extremely efficient. Miami Beach can learn lessons from them. This Tram concept is an excellent start!

suomynona
5 years ago

Can’t they turn a parallel parking lane into a dedicated streetcar lane? It looks like there’s parallel parking lanes running both north and south for most of Washington Ave.

But I don’t understand why this Alstom proposal and the picture in the Herald article doesn’t include an Alton line? That makes way more sense to me. And I’d do the same thing on Alton as Washington by turning parallel parking into a dedicated streetcar lane.

By only taking up one parking lane on each road, you still keep on-street parking on both roads. And if keeping a larger number of on-street parking spots available was a requirement, you could look into turning the parallel parking spaces into angled parking spaces.

I’d even consider moving it further south than 5th St (to 1st?), but that’s less important.

I agree with allowing other companies to make bids on the project, but haven’t other companies been allowed to do so this entire time? And how many other bids have come in during this period? And how is more inaction by our public officials any different than the last year or two or twenty?

Anonymous
5 years ago

According to the planning documents, the left-hand lane of Washington Avenue will be closed permanently for the train. Passengers will board from the median. There will be no concern with the train getting stuck in other traffic as it will have it’s own lane. The same is true on 5th Street.

Renzo
5 years ago

This is actually very good news especially if, eventually, trams will make it to downtown. The city is really congested and many roads/highways look more alike parking lots than anything. Building more lanes or roads will only make it worse so I hope Miami will reinforce public transportation and makes us less dependent of our own cars…I dream one day to not having to own a car at all!

Anonymous
5 years ago

I agree.

Anonymous
5 years ago

What a TURD!!! minor rain will render this useless and major expensive repairs will be needed. Nevermind if a real hurricane hits Sobe. This has to be elevated as to provide a real relief and benefit, a system that locals could depend on at all times.

Oscar
5 years ago

Sigh

Anonymous
5 years ago

LOL, hey, can’t say he isn’t on to something!

Anonymous
5 years ago

marc is that you ?

marc
5 years ago

nope

Anonymous
5 years ago

Not to mention the first King Tide.