Miami set to add 3 new trolley routes
By Meisha Perrin
Plans to extend the Miami trolley service are still coming down the line, with new routes expected in November, December and January.
The service launched its health district route just more than a month ago and is seeing about 250 riders a day, a number that is steadily increasing, according to Albert Sosa, city director of capital improvements.
The route runs from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and circulates to Miami-Dade Medical Campus, UM Life Science and Tech Park and Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center, stops at the Culmer Metrorail station and goes into the health district.
At the beginning of November a new Allapattah-Overtown route will start rolling from Northwest 20th Street to carry riders along the Omni area to Bayside and back, for which Mr. Sosa said he is projecting 1,400 riders a day.
After the Allapattah-Overtown route is successfully launched, Mr. Sosa said, he will move forward with plans to extend the Brickell Avenue-Biscayne Boulevard route down to Mercy Hospital and up to the Design District and Wynwood. With the expansion, Mr. Sosa said, he conservatively expects about 2,000 riders a day, which is just up from the route's current average of 1,800.
On every second Saturday, the route already extends into Wynwood to carry riders to the Artwalk, he said.
The final piece of the expansion, Mr. Sosa said, will be in January, when a new Coral Way service will be offered from 37th Avenue into downtown. It would tie into the Brickell Metrorail station and run along Flagler Street to Bayside.
On that route, Mr. Sosa said, he is projecting about 700 riders a day.
When the expansions of the rubber-tire system are complete, Mr. Sosa said, 15 new trolleys will have been added on Miami's streets at a cost of about $160,000 each, purchased by the city through federal grants.
Currently, Miami Trolleys provide service to the Marlins Park baseball stadium from the health district, but Mr. Sosa said he is reviewing the possibility of providing an additional route from the Brickell-Biscayne route to go to Marlins Park for the next season starting in April.
That possibility, he said, "is still being evaluated."
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