Miami Comissioner Says MetroRail To Florida City Should Be Top Priority

Some Miami leaders want the county to place a priority on extending Metrorail south from Dadeland to Florida City, above all other possible rail construction.

At a recent Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Panel, Dade commission chairman Esteban Bovo and Miami commissioner Francis Suarez both agreed that the Florida City extension should be the top priority of six possible SMART rail expansion routes proposed in Dade, according to Miami Today.

The Dadeland-Florida City route runs through the least densely populated areas of all six proposed routes, giving it the lowest chance of success. Bovo and Suarez argue however, that the right-of-way is already in place allowing for a faster start to construction.

Dade transportation chief Alice Bravo also noted at the panel that tracks were already in place for the northeast corridor to Aventura (to be used by All Aboard Florida).

 

 

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

I believe the County charter should be amended to require any commissioner or mayor or manager to rely on public transportation as the ONLY means for traveling the county and see how quickly things change. the reality is that they either don’t know or don’t care, or are paid off not to know and not to care. Transportation in this region is beyond awful, it’s a huge deal and I feel as though we have past the tipping point where we could ever get a handle on the situation. The problem is so bad now I’m not sure if it can ever get to a more manageable level.

Yet Another Anonymous
3 years ago

I’ve never seen such a copout design in urban transport. Basically every line avoids the tough, also known as dense areas that actually might need it. Using existing rail roads and dancing around the most useful places tránsit could go.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Some of these should be commuter rail, some heavy rail (maybe), and some light rail / street cars.

To say these will all be heavy rail is absurd.

Oscar
3 years ago

How have we gone from confidently, simultaneously “pursuing” all 6 corridors to prioritizing the least impactful line, waiting for robotic cars, and cutting current transit in just a few months? It’s unbelievable. We need to make up ground for decades of missed opportunities and poor planning, not settle for laying tracks solely on a corridor that can easily have bus rapid transit with some better light coordination.

Also, while we’re at it, we need to seriously reconsider the alignment on the East-West corridor. This could arguably be the most popular route but running it along the highway instead of through more accessible, densely populated areas is myopic. Whatever they’re planning on doing with the Kendall and North corridors, which run along main roads (Kendall Dr and 27th Ave, respectively), is what they should be doing with East-West. Flagler and / or 8th ST are far better options than SR 836 and it should run directly to the Government Center platform as originally intended. We can alway extend the North Corridor a bit south to connect E-W with the airport.

Obviously I know none of this is easy and all of it costs money but if we can spend $1.5 billion on the 826-836 interchange, $1 billion on a port tunnel, and another $0.8 billion on a signature bridge, why not on rail? The money’s there, we just need to have a coherent plan and go get it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Coastal Link makes the most sense… thus will probably never happen.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Honestly what is wrong with Miami? How would going into sparsely populated areas make more sense then going into one of the highest population densities in the country –miami beach?

marc
3 years ago

Baylink first. Kendall Corridor second, Aventura third, Out to FIU but via Flagler or 8Street, 27th ave, then to Southland Mall.

Wang
3 years ago

Of course the most successful line would be the one that is not on any plan, nor is it any of the six corridors. A TRUE urban metro line: from Miami Beach (5th and Alton), to Downtown (Overtown Station), on to Culmer Station west to the future MLS stadium and through Marlins Park, then along NW 7th through the densest part of Little Havana. Finally at 37th through East Coral Cables and then turn south through the Entire Coral Gables and Miracle Mile, transfer station at Douglas, and finally down looping onto the terminal station at Coconut Grove.

Now that would be a badass line. Imagine one metro line getting you to South Beach, Downtown, the stadiums, and servicing Edgewater, Overtown, Little Havana, going accross the whole of Coral Gables, allowing you to transfer to the Green line south to Dadeland, or otherwise connecting all the above to Coconut Grove.

But again, pipe dream that can never happen in Miami.

Marc305
3 years ago

As a Brickell resident I of course would like Baylink to be done first. As the owner of a Real Estate company I can also see the need for Metrorail down to Florida city. If it ever gets build it would allow for many projects to be constructed along those stations. Having said all that though, my vote is still for Baylink.

Suomynona
3 years ago

Rail to Florida city is a waste of money. A complete and utter waste. Stop at Southland.

Add
3 years ago

You obviously never go down south, or live in those areas, where they are expanding and building, hard working mislddle class people! You plan gor the future which miami dade county is far behind

Anonymous
3 years ago

I’m all for the Florida City corridor. Obviously it is not that populated as the beach but all along Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Homestead you have families moving out there to new construction. There is a reason the turnpike has expanded to extra lanes (including express lanes) down south. Having the city already so spread out is already an issue and when prices are constantly increasing in areas that are not high rises or apartments, people move south to get more bang for their buck on single family homes. Take a look at how much areas like Homestead have grown not only businesses but in residential. Having the south corridor makes sense for someone who works in brickell, the gables, downtown and can just focus on catching a train and not sitting in traffic adding more congestion to the city. I’m obviously for all corridors but seeing how there’s already ways to get to downtown or wynwood from the beach via bus or even uber, it makes more sense to get something going for the south when the growth is happening exponentially

Anonymous
3 years ago

It’s still sprawl. We should be retrofitting existing suburbia from over fifty years ago. Further sprawl is only appropriate when costs are too high.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I say there should be a survey of the areas to see 1) who drives down the proposed metrorail tracks and 2) would they take a train Moore often than a car. I know many friends who moved south and deal w that traffic bc they can’t afford it up here. Yes they have families and yes they are hardworking but it many will take the train. They want the convenience of their cars to take their kids to school or for kid emergencies or often travel in large groups. Let’s not assume.

Mayor Peggy Bell
3 years ago

Traffic is now at gridlock on Old Cutler, the turnpike and US 1. We are in a traffic crisis mode in the South part of the county. It takes hard working people 4 hours a day to go to and from work.
Come sit in this traffic just one day and you will understand why we need the rail.

City Commissioner
3 years ago

“Bovo and Suarez argue however, that the right-of-way is already in place allowing for a faster start to construction”….seems like someone needs to start construction fast to cash in… And again, Why would the city want to get us off of the highly profitable highway system.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Ask the commissioners why they didn’t buy the track and bedding that was already there?(busway)

Anonymous
3 years ago

The most needed lines are the beach and probably the East-West corridor. IMO those would probably reduce traffic the most. Kendall drive on a Saturday from 11-4pm is a nightmare to drive on but the east-west corridor will probably have a more sustained ridership than the Kendall line just cause of the daily commute to DT is 1 HR plus going all the way to 137th.

I dont get expanding service first all the way to Florida city when most of the population lives out west and further north of DT. These guys are just doing what is the easiest first to the detriment of the whole system TBH.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Even after fifteen years of broken promises for proper transit, people still can’t be this stupid. There has to be money under the table.

aceraroja
3 years ago

Totally understand the frustration with this corridor, though as a park-ride line it will be VERY successful and prove that rail is needed, and pump the existing system full of more riders. IF they are serious about building it, I am happy to see it happen.

I do agree with nearly all the commenters here, ESPECIALLY on the East-West line which is a massive cop-out running along the highway. We need less park-and-ride lines, which are for people who already have cars, and more true intraurban transport for people with no other mode of transport. That means, as suggested below, that a line must go down Flagler or SW 7th, and go all the way west. Love the idea for a line from the Beach through downtown, Little Havana, Gables, and the Grove, that line would be the heaviest used of all!

But yeah, we need them to actually get the shovels in the ground, and if that starts with Florida City, ok. Do it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Miami citizens are over these idiotic commissioners who think they know what Miami Publuc transportation needs!!! Love the idea of having the commissioners forced to take public transportation and then lets see what happens… Hey commissioners are you reading this ….. wake up!

Rafael
3 years ago

Yes the rail must expand. It also has to change its hours of service one of the biggest work force is at the airport the first shifts Start at around 4am and the Train starts at 6am and second shift leave around 11pm and the Train closes 11pm come on poor planning !

Dave
3 years ago

At most it should be extended to the Southland Mall area. BRT is fine south of that. A stop could be placed at the Mall, another in Palmetto Bay’s new “downtown” that they are developing a stop at the Falls. Maybe a park and ride station where the Target is now off Killian. Could easily be light rail if we had multiple light rail lines around. Wouldn’t make sense for it to be the only light rail built. Maintenance would cost too much.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Absurd

Cully
3 years ago

Miami-Dade County has a new SMART Transportation Plan that they have been touting lately. So, I thought I would look back 12 years ago at a 2005 Proposal to what was promised then vs. what we are being presented with today.

MetroRail:

To the Northeast the MetroRail line was to continue north of the Overtown Station and go to as far north as Aventura, which included a spur that ran east to Miami Beach and as far as the Convention Center. That rail line never got built.

It would NOT use the FEC Tracks that are in place for use by the Brightline/All Aboard Florida trains. Doubtful the FEC or their parent company Groupo Mex to allow it either.

To the Northwest there was supposed to be a spur that continued north from the Martin Luther King Station to NW 151 St. That rail line never got built.

To the West from the Government Center Station it ran all the way to Midway Mall, now Mall of the Americas. That rail line never got built. I also had a spur at LeJeune that went north to Miami International Airport, which would have been a shorter route than the one from Earlington Heights to the Airport that was built, only a few years ago.

To the South it went from Dadeland South to Cutler Ridge. That rail line never got built, but a Busway to Florida City did.

That’s about TWICE as much MetroRail as we currently have today.

What our elected officials don’t seem to understand that MetroRail is electrified and generates 700 volts via a Third Rail. You can’t run MetroRail on the open ground as it would electrocute people and animal that try to cross the tracks. In order to do it, the MetroRail cars would need Pantographs installed on the roof and use overhead wires, like they do in the Northeast corridor. Either elevating MetroRail, which would be the best option or adding Pantographs and overhead wires adds a lot more to the cost.

Not to mention, most of the corridors listed in the SMART Plan do not have enough space for additional Right of Way for rail, not even the Busway has the space and it is the widest corridor of the lot.

CSX DOES have existing track that runs west of the airport and south to Homestead that would need to be upgraded to accommodate passenger service and use Diesel/Electric locomotives the way Tri-Rail and Brightline do and not electrified MetroRail cars. MetroRail cars are complete trainsets and the couplers do not match regular standard gauge couplers. CSX is not likely to allow use of their rail, not even the Homestead Sub that only sees one train a few days a week run down it.

No matter how you look at it, the SMART plan is not very smart at all. Once again it is the way it was with MetroRail back in 1984, it runs where the people and companies who paid off the local politicians want it to run.

So, today while we contemplate the future of light rail and mass transit in the new SMART plan, the only question is how much of it will exist 12 years from now? MetroRail was 21 years old when the 2005 plan was presented and we see how much of it we the taxpayers NEVER got, even though we approved and paid taxes for it. How much are we NOT going to get out of this SMART plan?

Starapple
2 years ago

why cant miami take a page from New York city and see how their transit system run through the the city

Anonymous
3 years ago

SOMEONE WITH A BRAIN PLEASE SPEAK UP!!!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Rail transit is not a belief system. Your opinions don’t matter. The only requirement is that the density of potential riders within walking distance to stations has to be high enough to provide enough ridership to make the cost of building and operating the system feasible. Transit systems built to low density areas, like the idiotically proposed Florida City line and much of the existing Metro Rail, will always be a billion dollar failure. All of the propsed new stations should have the density of the existing successful stations like Brickell, Government Center, etc. Otherwise the new system will fail as much as the existing one has.

aceraroja
3 years ago

“Transit systems built to low density areas, like the idiotically proposed Florida City line and much of the existing Metro Rail, will always be a billion dollar failure.”

FUN FACT: All of the NYC subways built in the boroughs were built when it was all farmland. Only THEN did anyone begin developing these areas. You have to plan for transit and the future of a city. Yes, South Dade is built out at a low density. This is changing especially along the Dixie/Metrorail corridor. Again, I don’t agree with this being the first project to be built but it will not be a failure, especially since of course there are going to be a billion parking spots at each station.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The suburban mentality of our local politicians is simply out of control….Public transportation through the least densely populated areas is the priority. The second priority will be to built a train station at the soon to be approved American Dream Mall project.

Jose
3 years ago

We sure need to expand our Rail system. I will encourage the city to expand it towards Florida City, and the Northern corridor of Biscayne connecting Downtown all the way from Avetura. This will just improve our city for major Sporting and Art related events. More tourists, more money for the city!!!

http://www.facebook.com/josega.martin.realty

William
3 years ago

Brightline is the only group that is delivering! The only hope is the coastal link to Aventura then to FLL airport that could be operational in a year. Just piggy back on Brightline. We will have flying cars before government completes any of the other lines.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Correction: We will have flying cars before government APPROVE any of the other lines.

Charles
1 year ago

Brightline aka Virgin rail, will be our best bet for the FEC line. Aventura, Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. We need this yesterday! It will be available long before the Government run systems get off the ground.