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Front Page » Transportation » Transit team told ‘Think small’

Transit team told ‘Think small’

Written by on July 21, 2015
Transit team told ‘Think small’

While many grand plans – and ways to pay for them – were discussed at Monday’s Fiscal Priorities Committee meeting of Miami-Dade’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), one member asked the committee to think small.

“Let’s look at our mistakes,” said Carlos Hernandez, an MPO board and committee member who is mayor of Hialeah. “We need little wheels.”

While the Metrorail runs through his city, residents have a problem getting to stations from home and from stations to their destinations, he said.

“They can’t get from the train station on East 21st Street to City Hall on East Fifth Street,” he said, particularly if they are elderly. “How are we going to make transit more accessible for them?”

He was describing what’s known as the last mile – the distance between a rider’s home to rapid transit, and from rapid transit to the destination. It is perceived to be a significant challenge to ridership, observers say.

“This affects how residents move around their city,” said Oliver G. Gilbert III, MPO board and committee member who is mayor of Miami Gardens. “This shouldn’t just be for someone who flies in and wants to take the Metrorail,” he said, referring to the Airport Link that allows travelers to use the rail. “People want to go to City Hall. But I think this is better suited to do on the municipal level.”

“In South Florida, we need to look at better coordination of the circulators,” said Daniella Levine Cava, county commissioner, MPO board member and committee chair. “The trolley works well in Coral Gables,” she added, referring to the free service that connects the Douglas Metrorail station with Ponce de Leon Boulevard as it runs through the city’s downtown. Every day, more than 5,000 commuters use the trolley, according to that city’s website.

Mr. Levine Cava agreed that the committee needs to discuss last-mile issues, and added it to the agenda of the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for July 27.


2 Responses to Transit team told ‘Think small’

  1. B

    July 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    We do need to think big. And small.

    Because we have an extremely limited rail system for a city of our population, the last mile becomes more like the last 5 miles. This is simply impractical on an old school bus in Miami traffic. At the very least, we need a network of modern bus rapid transit lines which run in dedicated bus lanes.

    Not to mention that it may not be safe for that senior citizen to even walk to a trolley stop because sidewalks and crosswalks are inadequate. Biking is one green, sustainable way to overcome the last mile, but only if we have safe biking conditions.

  2. Adam Old

    August 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

    First and Last Mile shouldn’t be considered “thinking small.” Adding pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, and limiting the dominance of high speed automobile traffic not only makes it easier to get to transit and to work, but it also adds vibrant social life and economic prosperity to a neighborhood.