Miami-Dade mass transit riders to get shorter wait times, 24-hour service
South Floridians riding Miami-Dade County's Metrorail and Metromover will soon get shorter wait times and 24-hour service.
The upgraded schedules, expected to go into effect June 8, are an effort to better serve commuters who don't work regular hours, said Roosevelt Bradley, director of the county's Office of Public Transportation Management.
"There are a lot of job opportunities out there for folks to work beyond normal hours and who need reliable 24-hour transit service," he said.
The reduced wait times and nonstop rapid transit services are reasons voters passed a half-cent transportation surtax in November.
That tax and its estimated $17 billion spending plan will eventually double the county bus fleet and add about 90 miles of rapid transit lines crisscrossing the existing single-line system.
"We have a responsibility to deliver everything we promised under the plan, and we're sticking to it," Mr. Bradley said.
New services to go into effect next month:
Metrorail and Metromover's Inner Loop will run 24 hours.
Metromover's Outer Loop will run until midnight.
Metrorail's maximum midday wait times will drop to 10 minutes from the current 15.
Evening and weekend maximum wait times will decrease to 15 minutes from the current 30.
Metrorail will begin service to Palmetto Station.
Bus routes L, S, 3, 11, 12, 27, 40, 54, 77, 88 and Busway Max will run for 24 hours.
Additionally, bus routes C, J, 2, 8, 22, 24, 37, 52, 62 and 83 will begin running for 24 hours in September.
"This all came out of the community," said Michael Decossio of Miami-Dade Transit. "There are people that work hospital jobs in the civic-center area and service jobs downtown and on the beach that need to get to and from home late at night."
He said the new 24-hour service lends critical support to the county's health and tourism sectors, both of which are 24-hour economic engines, he said.
According to the Office of Public Transportation Management, the expanded services will increase Metrorail car miles to about 9 million annually from the current 7 million. While costs will increase, financial planners do not have solid numbers, said Daniel Alfonso of Transit's budget department.
The office projects that Metrorail ridership will increase to 14.22 million this year from 13.75 million last year and Metromover ridership will jump to 5.65 million from 4.77 million.