Rail Or Bus To South Dade? Big Decision Expected August 30

Miami-Dade’s Transportation Planning Organization is scheduled to decide August 30 on whether to move forward with rail or bus for a new transit system to South Dade.

The advantage of a bus system is that it can be up and running in three years, instead of seven to ten years. It also will cost $350 million, instead of $1 to $1.5 billion for a rail system (that will still be at grade, impeding traffic).

A rail system would have the advantage of requiring no transfer from the existing Metrorail line, which would be extended south. It’s also regarded by riders as much more reliable, comfortable and efficient compared to a bus.

Former Dade mayor Alex Penelas blasted Dade politicians this week for redirecting the half-percent sales tax increase approved 16 years to fund maintenance of the transit system, rather than expansion. He urged the TPO vote for a rail system, as originally promised to voters.

According to Pinecrest councilmember James McDonald, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is supported by three of the five municipalities situated along the route – Pinecrest, Homestead and Florida City, as well as Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the county’s transportation and public works department.

Even if bus is chosen, it could be converted to rail once certain ridership targets are triggered, McDonald wrote.

Rail advocates say that even a bus service designed to look and act similar to a rail system won’t attract ridership, however.

 

Four alternatives are being considered: heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and autonomous vehicles:

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

Rail. Enough said.

Miami1
3 years ago

RAIL!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

I’m a big proponent of extending metro rail, but a connection to Florida City/Homestead is WAY too long for that to be effective. If anything it should be a commuter rail/tri-rail connection. Metrorail/mover should be extended to the intermediate area like to Westchester, North Miami, and Miami Beach.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Metrorail to Miami Beach and FIU, and a Tri-Rail extension from Hialeah Market into Kendall would be ideal.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Totally agree. Tamiami, Kendall, N Miami, and Miami Beach are the most populated/congested routes, and theyre much closer than Florida City/Homestead. Extended the metro to these areas would be cheaper, faster, and have a biggest impact on traffic. I mean look at the Dolphin, 95 northbound, and 395/195.

Bryan
3 years ago

Kendall has no Right of way. Same for the others. NE miami does but just needs tri rail and the stations to be built. Should have been done years ago.

They have the reports showing the plans for BRT for all the corridors. They can’t get the land for rail. No money for elevated anything. They have diagrams of how intersections will look and what side The busses will board. The mayor is going to say the same thing over and over. It’s too costly. Let’s try to look like we are doing something.

Plus other areas in the county will not support it because they did not get what they wanted. Probably the strategy for the BCC to get BRT to everyone.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes! Please Metrorail to FIU !

Anonymous
3 years ago

They need to connect Both FIU campuses with a rail system. I hated the days when I had classes at both campuses the same day

Anonymous
3 years ago

Did you take the FIU shuttle or take the 3 and then the number 8 bus ?

Anonymous
3 years ago

The shuttle most of the time.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Too costly before you even get to the train part. You Need land, Right of ways. NIMBY people which will be a problem with all the corridors that don’t have an existing ROW.If they won’t put it in a area that’s almost ready to go, u think your getting rail. Hehe

Anonymous
3 years ago

properties are cheaper in those southern areas , this will help people relocate and purchase south is they have a way of gettting to their jobs..

Anonymous
3 years ago

South Dade is growing so much faster than the North side of Dade County. Right now these seem to be the most needed. But in five years, the communities to the South will surpassed the need. Also this was promised decades ago.

Bryan
3 years ago

Yup. With the TOD they are doing now along the Corridor and new developments in the thousands of homes and apartments, they are going to need to do better than BUS. We have BUS now. These people are just going to congest the roads all up and down the county. But hey we got some government funds so let’s do it (A joke)

Anonymous
3 years ago

if you want rail to homestead continue the airport line south, follow it on google maps

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes i know about the line but we also need a a holistic approach. The local job centers are centerd around the malls (Florida City, Southland, Falls and Dadeland, Miracle Mile, Aventura and along US1 all the way to Downtown). Development has corresponded with that ie higher aparment buildings along US1. They are building more, all the way to Homestead.

The CSX rail would be purely commuter since its west. Its better than BRT but nothing was built to support that vision. That corridor doesn’t have the employment centers and I can’t imagine anything but the Zoo being well connected. For decades, our development has focused on US1 being the Corridor all the way to Key West. I think we should leverage that

Anonymous
3 years ago

Rail please! Thank you

Anonymous
3 years ago

You say rail and they say trolleys.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Oh yeah

marc
3 years ago

You know they’re going the cheapest route.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yeah, after everything is said and done, we’ll get more trolleys.

LoL
3 years ago

Yup. The leardship with no vision continues. What has been done for our communities that has taken bold leadership in Miami?

Land Giveways (mayor and sons
will get cheap land for steel mill In Homestead)

Stadium Subsidies

Trying to Subsidise an Asian carrier for flights

Developer concessions

Housing schemes, Tax credit schemes

Miami. We are bold

Anonymous
3 years ago

-The public schools are a shining example of community leadership.
-The Miami Port tunnel has won multiple international awards and required great leadership from the public and private sector.
-our Arts & Cultural Institutions are world class.
Etc. Etc. Etc

Anonymous
3 years ago

1.5 billion??? thats such a gross over estimate of a perfectly straight piece of rail

Anonymous
3 years ago

Ssshhh, quiet.. gotta grease some pockets ya know….

Anonymous
3 years ago

would you please share your list of rail projects in the united states that came in under cost? very interested in seeing…

Anonymous
3 years ago

It’s all a scheme. They are trying to get as much federal money/ state money as possible. They pay a portion and we pay the rest. But this is so short sighted. We need a vision based off our current and future needs. Not how much Federal funds we can get. This is a joke.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Not exactly.
Dont hate the player, hate the game.
Federal money is predicated on a scoring system. Now way heavy rail scores high compared to other cities in the world.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Lets see: BRT has the same speed of rail. It has lower capacity per vehicle, but can be more easily expanded/reduced depending on demand. It is estimated (and these things always go WAY UP with capital costs) to be ONE BILLION dollars less to build and a third of the cost to operate.

Why the hell are we still talking about rail to South Dade? With the money we save, we could actually think about adding more rail in the core, where it is really needed, or transit out to the beach.

I know why: none of the people advocating for rail care about costs, at all. Live in fantasy land all you want, where the money is endless and we don’t have to pay for operations. Insanity.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Exactly, The beach, midtown and miracle mile are all areas with far greater density AND far closer to the existing lines that are SOOO much better a fit for a small spur off the main line to run to them! They will have far more riders from day one.

Anonymous
3 years ago

In that list, only the beach has the ridership on public transit and imagine this (they also use bicycles). The other areas have the density but people don’t ride the trains or trolleys like you think. Miracle Mile, short trolley to the train at coral gables. Midtown short trolley to train. They can bike to the metromover and rail.Plus tri rail will serve this easily. Wynwood can be biked from MetroMover (School Board), I don’t see that enough. Meanwhile people bike from Dadeland Station to South Dade along the busway trail. I have done Dadeland to Cutlerbay in about 40 mins after School at night from UM. Not bad at night. Straight shot 16 miles I think. I was not alone.

These urban areas are expensive,most have cars and Car culture (nice cars you don’t mind driving) looking good in while going out on the town. Hard to get them out of the car, even with serviceable public transit. Cost/access and sometimes even being able to save time doesn’t really matter. People watching the train from their cars while it passes them to downtown. Lmao

Anonymous
3 years ago

Don’t Downtown-Aventura in the list of the corridors with more ridership.

Anonymous
3 years ago

We already have bus rapid transit on the busway.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Bus. Build rail in the form of lines proposed for decades in Central Miami’s developed core.

Paul
3 years ago

They should focus on Aventura and the Beach, two destinations that would stimulate ridership across the entire metro system. Extending to South Dade would have no impact on the rest of the system other than incrementally adding a few surbuban commuters.

The local tourism industry would massively benefit from connections to the city’s main hotel and restaurant market, and its largest shopping destination. No tourist is going to ride the metrorail down to Goulds.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Or to the Everglades National Park
and Biscayne National Park or the keys. Tourist don’t go to these deadzones lol.

The county needs to start addressing it residents. Not just the tourist.

Look at the Metro rail numbers at the airport. I was shocked that it has less boardings then South Miami, Dadeland, Brickell etc. They are not riding. Even to get downtown and Brickell.

You can catch a bus to the keys from Florida City. Tourist who stay in my BNB do it all the time. This will remove residents and Tourist from the roads

The NE corridor can be done cheaply as well and I will fight just as hard for the rest. It’s just that we have seen transit and access made for the dense areas and still no riders. Even the airport. Where are the riders?

A. Nonymous
3 years ago

Rail, built going south, in phases so benefit can be begin sooner.

Grovite
3 years ago

Why aren’t we adding rail incrementally? Could be completed in phases, with requirements that future station sites be upzoned in advance of rail…

Anonymous
3 years ago

We are! 10-15 years… Sit tight!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Agreed. Split the difference. Rail from Dadeland South to SW 200th Street.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Because the vision of our leaders is to get things done for as little cost as possible. Not to get rail on the corridors. Everything for looks down here. Look busy

Anonymousg
3 years ago

Put it on the Ballot.. Let voters decide

My vote: Rail

Anonymous
3 years ago

You have to put it in a ballot in a presidential election year. If not, we will get nothing (or more trolleys). Most people who vote in the nonresidential election are suburban retirees, they hate public transportation.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The best argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.

CEC
3 years ago

Why must the people responsible for public transportation build something that is obsolete before it is built? The ONLY system that is functional is elevated rail similar to the existing Metro-rail system. Instead of building 80 miles of something that does not work (bus or rail at grade), build 8 miles of elevated rail that works and will never have to be replaced. Money is always a problem but spend it wisely. As money becomes available, build the system a mile at a time, if necessary. A system at grade will only make traffic worse. At best a system at grade is a stop-gap measure that in the future will need to de abandoned are demolished. All the investment funds will be wasted.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Agree

Anonymous
3 years ago

It cost that much an take that long to build rail a few miles long? Wtf is going on with modern technology? It probably didn’t take that long to build rail from north Florida to south Florida over 50 years ago! An bus 3 years! Gat damn a couple bus stops an buy a few buses take 3 years!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Regulation my friend REGULATION!!!!!! The death of America!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Light Rail is cheaper

Anonymous
3 years ago

The article did not mention that EVEN IF Miami wants rail, it has to go to a Federal Scoring system. Many cities are going after the same Federal dollars. South Dade is not dense enough to win that contest compared to the other competitors. If you don’t score well…NO MONEY for you. No heavy rail money, NO BRT money either.

BRT would be funded quickly, no risk in losing out on the money. The BRT proposed uses the same type of station, the same type of ticketing system, the air conditioned stations, the same guardrail systems etc.

It is like putting in all the essentials within 2 years. Immediate problem solved. If enough people ride, tear up the road and lay down some heavy rail tracks.

Anonymous
3 years ago

If Miami decides to blow its wad on this S. Dade leg with heavy rail, all that money is gone for other legs. BRT is the obvious answer, and there is money available for other communities to get connected.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Capital Costs Annual Operating Costs
BRT $243 Million $15 Million
Heavy $1,332 Million $67 Million

Plus, Busses can leave the “tracks” easily if you wanted to go circulate at the Falls or Dadeland, and then get back on the rapid transit thoroughfare, trains can’t. The more you learn about this, the more obvious it is to choose BRT.

Anonymous
3 years ago

_____________Capital Costs___________Annual Operating Costs
BRT………$243 Million…………….$15 Million
Heavy…….$1,332 Million…………..$67 Million

Rail is 5.5x’s more expensive IF they stay on budget, and it takes 8-10 years, if they are on time.

La Mala
3 years ago

I can’t believe this is even a question.

John lozano
3 years ago

Bring the orange line into south beach. Run it through Washington’s avenue and it stops on Lincoln’s mall. It should’ve been done years ago.

Paul
3 years ago

SPOILER ALERT: they’re going with bus.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Trolleys

Anonymous
3 years ago

Bus & trolleys.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Take to the voters and put a mandate on the penny tax to be only used for expansion

Anonymous
3 years ago

whatever type but a RAIL OF SOME KIND, PLEAAASSSEE!!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Rail

aceraroja
3 years ago

Rail. There already IS an express bus and BRT would barely be an improvement. As for “impeding traffic” — don’t just say things. This is already a transit corridor with priority. Nothing would change except that many more people will be attracted to riding real, rapid, heavy rail directly to their real jobs downtown.

Anonymous
3 years ago

They can’t see the drivers from this part of the county also congest their roads in the core. Higher use because of access, cost, and time savings.

Anonymous
3 years ago

You are not educated on this issue.

Anonymous
3 years ago

for 1.5 billion you might as well put it up biscayne Blvd io

Anonymous
3 years ago

$1,500,000 initial cost to serve 17,000 riders per day.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Correction…$1.5 Billion. That’s $88k per rider.
But, like the politicians told me about Marlins Stadium….just build it,spend the money, and we will worry about filling seats later.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3 years ago

Bus! Now before you guys crucify me hear me out. I would LOVE for rail to be the preferred method of mass transit in Miami-Dade but I just don’t think it will be practical that far down south. In the central part of the city and to the airport yes, but not in suburbia. Plus I would like to see it up and running in my lifetime thank you very much!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Miami-Dade can only provide low cost services despite massive development. This will never be much more than a beach, a cruise port, and a hub for Latins from the third world. Miami-Dade will never accomplish the infrastructure commonplace to thriving cities and metro areas.

Anonymous
3 years ago

For bus to work, funds have to be available to create overpasses at each intersection. Platforms that facilite and expedite boarding. Otherwise, bus makes no sence.

Anonymous
3 years ago

no one will use the same bus they dont want to use…

Anonymous
3 years ago

even atlanta has 6 rail lines connecitng its suburbs… miami sux for transport!