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Front Page » Transportation » 836 express buses start in 2019

836 express buses start in 2019

Written by on January 28, 2015
836 express buses start in 2019

Plans to provide express bus service on the Dolphin Expressway are moving forward as buses are to start running on the route in 2019.

The $38 million project includes two park-and-ride facilities, a bus terminal at Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus and 11 buses.

The planned service is meant to alleviate the traffic congestion on the Dolphin Expressway, or State Road 836, which connects the suburbs in the west and southwest to employment centers such as downtown in the east.

The park-and-ride facilities are located so that residents from the northwestern and southwestern parts of Miami-Dade County would have access to the facilities.

The Tamiami Station park and ride is to rise at Southwest Eighth Street and 147th Avenue in West Miami-Dade, and the Dolphin Station park and ride is to rise at Northwest 12th Street and 122nd Avenue.

“The opportunity would be that you could literally get on the Turnpike or Krome [Avenue] and park at the park-and-ride,” said Albert Hernandez, assistant director of engineering, planning & development at Miami-Dade Transit.

Miami-Dade Transit is looking at three proposed routes for this project:

•Line A would take off from the Tamiami Station and go straight to Government Center in downtown.

•Line B would take off from the Panther Station and go straight to the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), a transportation hub just east of Miami International Airport.

•Line C would take off from the Dolphin Station and head straight to Government Center in downtown.

These routes aren’t set in stone and might change.

For the Dolphin Expressway service, Miami-Dade County is obtaining 11 articulated buses, which are the same as the I-95 Express and Kendall Cruiser buses, said Monica Cejas, a senior professional engineer head of the Planning and System Development Division at Miami-Dade Transit.

Each bus is 60 feet long and has a capacity of 100 passengers, with 60 of them sitting, Ms. Cejas said.

The Dolphin Expressway express bus service will run with the regular traffic unless there is congestion, in which case the buses would be allowed to run on the expressway’s shoulder, said Mr. Hernandez. If a vehicle has stopped on the shoulder, then the buses would merge back in traffic.

The $38 million cost is to be funded by the Federal Transit Administration, the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County.

The Florida Department of Transportation is providing the land where the Tamimai and Dolphin stations park-and-ride facilities are to be built – and that has significantly lowered the project’s cost.

“If we were to acquire the 8 acres at Tamiami Station and the 15 acres at Dolphin Station, that would be another $15 million to $20 million,” Ms. Cejas said. “We haven’t calculated it. But it’s huge.”

The county is partnering with Florida International University (FIU) for the bus terminal, or the future Panther Station, at Southwest Eighth Street and 109th Avenue. Miami-Dade County is retrofitting the lower level of an existing FIU garage to turn it into a bus terminal.

“We still have to work out the details of the memorandum of understanding, but in essence we are putting the money in order for us to make it a hub. We won’t be paying any fees” to FIU, Ms. Cejas said.

Ultimately, if buses leaving the Panther Station head to the MIC, students, faculty and neighborhood residents would have a connection to the entire county – and even beyond.

“We are bringing our transit riders to a centralized location, a hub, where they can come and transfer to other routes,” Ms. Cejas said, “as well as bringing people from the rail, whether it’s from the Kendall area or Hialeah to FIU.”

16 Responses to 836 express buses start in 2019

  1. marc

    January 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Better than nothing.

  2. Adam

    January 28, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    $38M, 4 years, 23 acres for 2 parking lots, and not even one of the five essential components of a “Basic-level” BRT route:

    Dedicated Right-of-Way
    Bus-only lanes fully segregated from mixed traffic
    Busway Alignment
    Bus-only lanes aligned to the middle, not the curb, of a road
    Off-Board Fare Collection
    Turnstile-controlled or proof-of-payment fare collection system
    Intersection Treatments
    Mixed-traffic is prohibited from making turns across the busway
    Platform-Level Boarding
    Station platforms level with bus floors when boarding and alighting

  3. Carlos

    January 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Get MDX to pay for it. The buses the park-and-ride lots everything.

    • Ben Grimm

      January 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Possibly the best idea yet. MDX should pay for transit on their corridors. It would be the only time they wouldn’t be lying when they say they’re reducing congestion. Turning car drivers into transit riders is the ONLY way to reduce congestion.

  4. Brandon

    January 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Here are some things the County can focus on and improve existing bus service THIS YEAR, at little cost. Some of this can be done NOW:

    -Implement GPS tracking on ALL busses. This is the year 2015!!! Busses will often get delayed in traffic, but “knowing is half the battle.”

    -Have Bus #3, #93, #120, C, and S stop right in front of the Government Center where the #11 currently stops. Make the right lane be “bus only” and keep car traffic on the left two lanes (even one lane would be plenty for the low volume of traffic there). The way it is now, you need to walk two blocks through a desolate, poorly lit part of downtown–not good for ladies or the elderly/disabled!!!

    -Make the right lane on Biscayne Blvd. be bus and taxi ONLY during events at the AAA.

    -Put “bus boxes” in front of left turns at major intersections, so the bus can skip in front of the left turn queue.

    -Sell transit day passes at stores and supermarkets, especially in Miami Beach where there are ZERO easy card vending machine. And why is there no vending machine at Lincoln Road????

    • Ben Grimm

      January 30, 2015 at 10:13 am

      The county’s transit agency has been able to track their buses since the 1990s. They know where their buses are at all times.

  5. gregory

    January 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Yet another JOKE ! A poor plan with a piss poor date of 2019 ! Just extend the metrorail from the airport to FIU !

  6. Ben Grimm

    January 30, 2015 at 10:05 am

    2019? That’s 4 years to you and me! Demonstrable proof that South Florida government values transit below everything else. Especially toll highways and pay lanes which it takes considerably less time in building and implementing.

  7. Skip Van Cel

    January 31, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Are these people serious?!! This is unbelievable. Joseph Heller would have a field day with these bureaucrats.

  8. Mitchell

    January 31, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    This is funny…….they may have good intentions, but 2019?? to build a parking lot and buy some busses?? As long as we do not hold our elected politicians accountable for their nonsense behavior they will continue to do just that “nonsense”!! Who is going to leave their cars in a parking lot to sit in a bus in the same traffic as everyone else?? Using the shoulder?? hello!!! if we are able to build fast lane with tolls all over the county in a few months why not build a low cost express lanes for these busses?? What about when busses get off the expressway?? Same traffic??
    What about getting those 38 millions to expand Tri-Rail to 8st and 147ave?? and FIU? It is time to think big or we will never get better. MDX should stop building more lanes and more tolls and fixing expressways and give their money to Mass Transit projects!!!

    • Ben Grimm

      February 2, 2015 at 8:46 am

      The commission has traded people-centric mass transit for money-centric toll roads. It’s the future! 😀

      • marc

        February 2, 2015 at 11:21 am

        Quiet Ben, you’re depressing me. 🙁

  9. Toll Hater

    February 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    OMG! This is great news!! The money I will be saving!!! No more tolls, no more fuel, no more wear n tear and no more paying the Miami-Dade County a monthly parking fee to come to work. And yes, I agree that MDX should contribute in financing of this new service that may take place four years from now.

  10. Ray

    February 11, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Are these people serious? A bus that can fit a 100 but only seat 60??…so you want me to leave my car in a parking lot to take a bus, which will still be stuck in traffic on the highway and when it gets off too, all while standing up? Get the F&$k out of here. Run a train directly from dolphin mall to government center, with one stop at the airports MIC station on the way to downtown and two stop on the way back. The airport and FIU. The politics in this city are ridiculous.

    • Ben Grimm

      February 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Dolphin Mall isn’t a destination. There nothing in that area but that mall. And most of the people there are from that area so the ridership numbers won’t be enough to justify the expense. The airport is the most western destination in the county to have the ridership needed for such a project. Anyone thinking about FIU with a Metrorail station IS thinking politically.

      • marc

        February 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

        Actually Ben, that mall is heavily frequented by South American tourists, don’t know why but it is. I never go there but when I have in the past I could easily spot them with the size of their purchases, bags are usually heaping full.