Vote Could Mean Billions In Funding For Miami’s Smart Rail Plan

A vote last week by a Miami-Dade board could mean billions in funding for the county’s Smart plan to build a mass-transit system.

In 2002, county voters approved an extra half-percent sales tax, with promises that it would be used to expand Metrorail.

The tax now generates $290 million per year. The county commission has been using at least $95 million of it to maintain the system, rather than expand it, however.

That may now be changing.

The Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust voted to last week to block the use of those fund for maintenance, and require that it be used for expansion as originally promised, according to the Herald. Those funds will be available for expansion one year from now, unless the county commission votes by a two-thirds majority to override the CITT vote.

Miami-Dade commissioners Xavier Suarez wrote that the county could issue up to $1.8b in bonds based on the annual revenue from those funds. That would cover around half the construction costs of the $3.6b Smart plan.

The vote last week is said to be unprecedented, with little reaction from county officials. Miami-Dade transit chief Alice Bravo threatened though that redirecting the funds towards expansion could lead to a reduction in service from transit or other departments.

 

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

First two extensions, FIU and rail to Miami Beach.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Then Kendall!

Anonymous
3 years ago

you either

Anonymous
3 years ago

Build those two Metrorail extensions, and then redo the “SMART” Plan taking Coastal Link and a Tri-Rail extension to Kendall using existing tracks into consideration.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Brightline is going to do the coastal link.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Brightline is holding the right of way and thus holding Coastal Link hostage. They are “deciding” whether or not they want to operate it. The public and County needs to wait until Brightline “decides” whether they want to operate Coastal Link or not. They are real turds.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Northeast corridor first please.

Anonymous
3 years ago

good thing your not in charge

marc
3 years ago

So you mean to tell me that only $95 million from the 1/2 cent tax which was meant for mass transit is going to the maintenance of said mass transit? Why are services being cut, maintenance so poor and where is the rest going?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Gimenez’s trips to China to see virtual train-buses.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Don’t ask questions like that

Anonymous
3 years ago

Simultaneously expand it and Rezone and redevelop the areas around ALL the existing and future Metrorail Stations, to increase population density and increase the number of passengers.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Sorry, can’t do it because you make too much sense.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Reading this article, what one can deduce from it is more squabbling and the same ole same ole….

Anonymous
3 years ago

Sadly it was the County Commission that weakened the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust over the years to get at that money. The Trust had been created from the get go to protect and oversee spending of that 1/2 cent sales tax, to make sure it was used as promised to the citizens who voted for it.

Anonymous
3 years ago

No to bonds and more interest.

Instead let’s self fund at 300 million a year. Why pay 2 billion in interest?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I’m here for the parking garage comments

Educated Opinion
3 years ago

Parking. Garage.

*crowd goes wild*

Anonymous
3 years ago

WHATS GOING IN WITH A HE OTHER 195 millions? Since it’s 290milliond minus 95 for maintenance… where is the other 195 millions???!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

thats to fund the never ending transit studies..lol

Anonymous
3 years ago

That went to fund our great public schools and public parks.

suomynona
3 years ago

I can’t be the only one that expects Miami/Dade to screw this up.

Roy R Jr, Miami Springs, Fl
3 years ago

I posted a comment criticizing the do nothing on mass transit lifer county commissioners and it was removed — how about that ?

Anonymous
3 years ago

So….they can not afford to maintain the fleet, and rather than spend the $100M to maintain the fleet, the solution is to ADD to it.

Only in government and academia does this make any sense.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Homestead is going to be one…they already started construction on a mass transit hub

John lozano
3 years ago

Why don’t they just bring the orange line into Miami Beach. Run it through Washington Avenue Underground. A train that comes from Miami international airport to south beach will Be a game changer. Run it through Washington Avenue and make the last stop Be Lincoln road mall. This should’ve been done years ago.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Use a fraction of the cost to build dedicated lanes for self driving door to door transport.

Anonymous
3 years ago

we likely would accommodate both for the future but a true world-class & liveable city must be walkable (i.e. have a metro) regardless of self-driving tech. also that self-driving technology won’t even be available, unanimously adopted & federally regulated for many years to come. Miami has to build out the metrorail, asap.

Roy R Jr, Miami Springs, Fl
3 years ago

That may be like a demolition derby in Miami streets

Anonymous
3 years ago

We should wait on the personal drones that are expected in 2150. Bus and rail are out of date. Why invest in these? It just doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes Alice’s husband is getting most of those millions to “expand” the 836 and the new bridge, which solves nothing, but they are doing it anyways.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Posting just for the hell of it, with no regard for actual facts. The expansion of 836 and new bridge is a State of Florida project, you fool.

Anonymous
3 years ago

And it will be subsidised by highway tolls and gas taxes forever because no lazy fat american will use a train in tropical climate. Its not rocket sciene to predict that.