Ysela Llort puts transit on track to open airport link station while trying to restore federal faith in the system's controls
Ysela Llort has spent a quarter century in transportation.
Before joining Miami-Dade County Ms. Llort worked as an assistant district engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation, overseeing the Virginia portion of the Washington, DC, region.
She was assistant secretary for intermodal systems development at the Florida Department of Transportation, where she was responsible for the executive management and operation of the department's planning, environmental management and public transportation programs.
Upon moving to Miami-Dade, Ms. Llort served as an assistant county manager overseeing the county's many transportation departments, including the transit department, the public works department, the aviation department, the seaport, the Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Following the 2011 county restructuring, Ms. Llort served as Miami-Dade Transit's interim director from August 2011 to February 2012, when Mayor Carlos Gimenez officially appointed her to the position.
"One of the interesting things about working in government is that you have an opportunity to change people's lives, but in order to do that you have to understand what it is that people want in terms of service," she said. "Then you have to understand the options on how to make that happen. That only happens if you listen actively."
In her first month in her new post, Ms. Llort said, she has been working on the county's airport link Metrorail project, which will offer an extension from Earlington Heights to Miami International. The project, she said, is 97% complete.
"That's going to be a fabulous service," she said. "The other challenge is to make sure that project could be delivered timely and cost effectively."
Ms. Llort discussed her push to open the airport link station and increase transit ridership with Miami Today staff writer Ashley Hopkins in her downtown office.
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