For transit riders, timeliness trumps all
Written by Lidia Dinkova on November 12, 2014
As Miami-Dade works on studies aimed at fixing traffic woes and improving public transportation, the public has spoken on the matter as well.
People’s top priority is for existing mass transit – buses, Metrorail, Metromover and other modes – to arrive and leave on time.
Of 3,917 people Miami-Dade surveyed, a sample that includes public transit riders and non-riders, 87% prioritized on-time service, county records show. A close second on the priority list is more frequent service.
“They want to arrive on time. They want reliability. They want more frequent services,” Transit Director Ysela Llort said at a recent mayor’s roundtable when the survey came up in discussion. “They do want expansion, but more than anything else they want more frequent services.”
Indeed, 71% of those surveyed called for public transit to expand to new areas.
Miami-Dade and other public entities are working on studies on proposed additions to the transit system. Among them: a Miami-Miami Beach link, a Miami streetcar and a downtown-Aventura commuter train to run along Biscayne Boulevard.
“So what’s the challenge for us? How do we expand and at the same time provide that which the public wants, which is more frequent service, more reliable service.” Ms. Llort said.
Fewer people put a priority on extended service hours or weekend service (55% each), more direct routes (53%), or routes with fewer stops (44%), according to the survey.
Miami-Dade conducted the survey when preparing the transit department’s 2015-2024 development plan. The plan is to go to the state as a prerequisite for state government allocation of grant funding to the county’s transit system. Miami-Dade could get about $20 million a year in state grants for the county’s transit department.