China’s BYD Wants To Build A Monorail Linking Miami To The Beach

China’s BYD is partnering with Genting on a bid to build the Baylink monorail train system between mainland Miami and Miami Beach, according to the Herald.

BYD has been aggressively pushing its new SkyRail monorail mass transit system technology to cities worldwide. It it said to cost around $48 million per mile to build (a fifth of the cost to build an underground subway) and can be built 75% faster than a traditional train system.

Skyrail is designed for speeds up to 50 miles per hour. It is fully automated and driverless, and is comparable in many ways to Miami’s existing Metromover system.

A system in Yinchuan, China was built in under 24 months, and others are now underway including in Salvador, Brazil.

BYD is the most valuable investment for Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway outside the U.S., according to a Bloomberg article in September 2018. Berkshire owns a 25% stake in the company, known for electric cars but now expanding to other fields.

Aqualand Development Ltd. is a third partner in the train proposal, and is controlled by top leaders of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s 2016 re-election campaign.

Genting is expected to offer its Resorts World Miami property as a station location, sources told the Herald.

Gimenez has 90 days to review the proposal and make a recommendation to the county commission. The county can then invite competing bids or reject the proposal.