FYI Miami: March 19, 2015
ASIA AIR LINKS: Miami-Dade aviation leaders met last week in Taiwan with key government and airline officials in a bid to create a passenger air link. “Our MIA team is being very deliberate in its efforts to bring direct Asia passenger service to Miami for the first time,” said Emilio González, county aviation director, who along with aviation Director of Marketing Chris Mangos met in Taipei with airline executives from the Republic of China’s flag carrier China Airlines and with Taiwan-based EVA Air. They also met with the Taiwanese Civil Aeronautics Administration along with customs, immigration, economics and foreign affairs leaders. Miami has since 1997 had cargo links with China Airlines Cargo. Direct Asian passenger service would expand Miami-Dade’s international trade, tourism and business, said Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
OUTPOURING ON BRICKELL: What developer Florida East Coast Realty says will be the largest single concrete pour in Florida history will begin at 10 p.m. Friday as more than 175 concrete trucks make a minimum of 1,440 round trips from five concrete plants to 1101 Brickell Ave., where the company is building 83-story, 830-foot-tall Panorama Tower. The tower’s 19-story pedestal is to contain 100,000 square feet of medical office space, a 2,000-car garage, a 208-room hotel and 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. Above that are to be 64 stories with 821 residential rental units. The concrete pour is to take 26 to 30 hours over the weekend, with more than 600 people working, including 62 police officers to control traffic as the trucks roll in and out, over and over.
A FARE ISN’T FAIR: Miami-Dade commissioners overwhelmingly voted Tuesday not to charge a fare on Metromover. The measure needed a two-thirds vote but instead failed 11-2. Among other things, opponents of the measure have argued that if there were a fare on the currently free people mover, ridership would decrease. The Metromover has been free about 12 years. County voters approved in 2002 a half-percent sales surtax with the understanding that part of the revenue would support a fare-free Metromover. Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Sally Heyman pushed for a Metromover charge. Ms. Jordan said she might take the initiative to charge Metromover riders to the voters at a future referendum. “I really feel that if we went to the voters today and asked the voters, ‘Do we want downtown Metromover riders to ride for free?’, they would say ‘No’.”