Archives

  • www.miamitodaynews.com
Advertisement
The Newspaper for the Future of Miami
Connect with us:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Linkedin
Front Page » Transportation » Miami-Dade County considers flood of water transit solutions

Miami-Dade County considers flood of water transit solutions

  • www.miamitodaynews.com
Advertisement

Written by on July 19, 2016

Miami-Dade County considers flood of water transit solutions

Miami-Dade County is considering a fleet of water transit solutions to lessen the traffic gridlock that is daily Miami.

Miami city commissioners last week got a county preview of its probe of water transportation, from public transit via the water with a fixed schedule to private water taxis.

Even the term “water bus” is being used as the county examines all aspects of water transportation, from the size of vessels to fares to projected ridership.

Commissioner Wifredo “Willy” Gort was happy to hear it. For more than a year he’s been calling for a waterways transportation plan.

Irene Hegedus, the new chief of transportation enhancements at the Miami-Dade County Transit Department, speaking at the invitation of Commissioner Francis Suarez, said the county began by poring through old studies of water transportation ideas, including one from 2003 by the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization.

She said the county is looking at both a water bus, with a fixed schedule and route, and water taxis.

“We want to compare apples to apples,” she said. It’s important to determine projected costs of waterborne transit to ensure it’s affordable, she said.

The county, or the county and city, or both with private partners could run the water transit, she said.

“We all have to work together as a team,” said Mr. Gort, who also pushed for connecting the region’s municipal trolley services. “We can connect to the other cities. It would be more efficient for everyone.”

“It is very important,” Ms. Hegedus agreed. “Connectivity is going to be critical.”

More study is needed, she said, with many moving parts to any water transportation plan, from adding docks along the bay and on the Miami River, and getting others involved including the Department of Environmental Resource Management, the state, the US Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife Service.

The ideal size vessel would carry the most passengers but be low enough to pass under bridges. Forcing more bridge openings would only make roadway congestion worse, she said.

The report encouraged Commissioner Ken Russell, who said the Downtown Development Authority, which he chairs, has created a waterfront task force looking to improve access to the water.

The group is considering ways to allow and encourage private boats to dock along the riverwalk. “There could be some synergy here,” he said.

Ms. Hegedus said the county is looking at north-south routes and east-west routes for its plan for water taxis and water buses.

One express route from Aventura to downtown Miami might shave 15 minutes off a commuter’s travel, she said.

Mr. Suarez said the county’s proposed water transportation plan could be “a significant mass transit option.”

Ms. Hegedus and city officials said they’re encouraged about water transportation by the successful use of a fleet of water taxis during the 2016 Miami International Boat Show.

Water taxis ferried more than 53,000 people to the boat show’s new venue on Virginia Key, representing more than half of the 100,000-plus who attended, according to show organizers.

7 Responses to Miami-Dade County considers flood of water transit solutions

  1. sean

    July 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Gimmie a break. Most don’t live or work near water . Where are you going to park to get to this boat? Or how many buses does one need to then take to get to work? This is another waste of time and money Mr. Commissioner. This is not Venice or Hong Kong. Let’s work on real mobility solutions and not this slow boat to China (Miami).

    • Laz

      July 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      100% with you Sean. this city keeps forgetting where people work, there is no Top employer in downtown or brickell, they are all in the suburbs.

      Why dont they make an incentive to bring the top 10 employers to downtown and brickell then you will enough people invested in public transportation and people that are currently in the suburbs wanting to move into the downtown core.

    • Laz

      July 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      100% with you Sean. this city keeps forgetting where people work, there is no Top employer in downtown or brickell, they are all in the suburbs.

      Why dont they make an incentive to bring the top employers to downtown and brickell then you will enough people invested in public transportation and people that are currently in the suburbs wanting to move into the downtown core.

  2. B

    July 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Sean clearly doesn’t live or work near the water, but plenty of people in Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Brickell, downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles, and Aventura do. Yeah, basically the most densely developed, walkable parts of the County. Possible to do some TOD along the river front inland,too. With the exception of Aventura, which may need a park-and-ride, people could walk, bike, bike share, or take the local circulator bus or Metromover to access the stops. The whole point is to NOT have to use a car. Just because it doesn’t serve you, doesn’t mean it’s not a “real mobility solution.”

    • Alicia carrazana

      July 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      Just like everyone else – I want my tax dollars to be maximized for the benefit of most of the people. As you can see , I don’t want the transportation to be used for my convenience. Sure , I won’t used it to go to work , but here and there I might. I do think people who live west have a true disadvantage in getting to work – it takes some people 2 hours !!

      Whatever they decide to do is hopefully for the benefits of all – it just seems that everything that is done is planned by mediocrisy , and not fully thought out.

      Btw – I am sure not afraid to use my full name…no need to respond though

      Have a great sunny and blessed day…

  3. Alicia Carrazana

    July 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    This is a total waste of money. Why don’t you spend this money in opening more marinas for the people to enjoy their time off?

    If people are not using public transportation – what makes you think they will get into a hot wet water taxi?

    I don’t see it happening .I live in Key Biscayne and I don’t see me getting a water taxi to go to Coconut Grove or Miami Beach ( this one might have a chance- since the bridge to get in is always packed !)

    Why don’t you spend the money Creating a metro system that takes those who live way west something that is viable. Create a huge parking by 117-137av, and have an express Metro with no stops to Dadeland – those who live by 97av – can go against traffic to get into the “express Metro” get on and be on their way. Parking is a must for this to work – I have tried getting the Metro at Vizcaya and there has been no parking so its just easier to get in my car and go south.

    If you believe in what you are doing – do it right. Dont make a project “Pa’ resolver”…. There was an ad many years ago that said – ” we are 20 minutes from wherever you are” – and it was true – now Miami is 45-60 minutes anywhere you go –

    Its crazy.

  4. Frank Hernandez

    August 7, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Belated response as I was out of town. Multiple modes of transportation can work and they do, look at San Francisco, and to the nay sayer’s pleas remember that “You cannot be everything for everyone all the time” especially in transit. A transit agency, be it public or private or combination thereof I know can defiantly work. As stated in this article we must have a coordinated (Connectivity)effort from all that are involved. Reviewing previous studies first is a great start kudos to the MPO, Commissioner Francis Suarez,Commissioner Wifredo “Willy” Gort, Commissioner Ken Russell and all the officials involved with this option. All of our elected officials and the citizens that could benefit from projects like this need to be involved. I encourage everyone in the Miami area to be involved with Transportation planning as this is a “Regional Issue” that we all must be part of the solution.

Advertisement