State transit funds cap off Miami’s transit legs
Written by Miami Today on March 17, 2017
The Florida Department of Transportation issued an opinion stating that a state cap on funding for transit projects won’t apply to the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan, City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez says.
This is a huge victory for city residents and Miami-Dade County as a whole, Mr. Suarez said, since the SMART Plan is now eligible for state funding up to 50%, making the plan substantially easier to implement.
State transportation officials said a Florida statute that provides that if a transit project doesn’t receive federal funding the state will only award up to 12.5% of costs for the project is not anticipated to apply to any of the SMART corridor projects.
Mr. Suarez is vice chair of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Council and president of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities. He spearheaded efforts to increase state funding for the SMART Plan on behalf of Miami.
“Traffic and congestion continue to be one of the greatest quality of life issues facing our residents. FDOT’s favorable interpretation of Florida law makes it easier to fund the SMART Plan and advance transit solutions long deserved by our constituents,” he said.
Mr. Suarez thanked Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Nicholas Duran, who advocated for this issue in Tallahassee, along with state transportation District 6 Secretary Jim Wolfe and interim department Secretary Rachel Cone.