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Front Page » Transportation » Free Metromover may face extinction

Free Metromover may face extinction

Written by on March 8, 2016
Free Metromover may face extinction

Something unusual happened Tuesday when Miami-Dade Commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Javier Souto and Xavier Suarez voted against an ordinance on first reading that would ask voters to eliminate fare-free service on Metromover.

It’s common practice for commissioners to pass measures on first reading without discussion yet orally vote “Yes, for now” to indicate they’re not fully supportive or will seek additional information after the legislation goes to committee, where it’s thoroughly discussed and, if recommended, comes back to the full commission for final approval.

Given that there’s ample opportunity to express disagreement, an initial vote against an ordinance is a strong statement to constituents or other commissioners.

Prime-sponsored by Barbara Jordan and co-sponsored by Sally Heyman, the legislation would amend by a two-thirds vote, subject to voter approval in the general election Nov. 8, free service on the Metromover and allow commissioners to set a fare consistent with other modes of transportation provided by the county.

The 4.4-mile electrically-powered Metromover, which connects with Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell stations and Metrobus at various downtown locations, wasn’t always free. The fare was 25 cents but was eliminated after voters approved the half-penny dedicated sales tax in 2002 that county leaders said would go toward transit projects.

The legislation is scheduled for a public hearing before the commission’s Transit & Mobility Services Committee on April 13.

Also on Tuesday, Ms. Jordan and Audrey Edmonson voted on first reading against a proposed ordinance by Juan Zapata co-sponsored by Daniella Levine Cava that would provide reporting requirements for county and municipal elected officers and candidates regarding soliciting contributions for organizations exempt from taxes and political parties as well as penalties for failure to report.

That legislation is scheduled for a public hearing before the Strategic Planning & Government Operations Committee on April 12.

10 Responses to Free Metromover may face extinction

  1. DC Copeland

    March 9, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Commissioners Barbara Jordan and Sally Heyman should be ashamed of themselves. They show a distinct disconnect with the people– especially Jordan whose constituents NEED all the help they can get in surviving here. The Peoples Transportation Plan tax incentive originally was passed by a public vote BECAUSE of the promised free Metromover. Now, not only has the 1/2 cents sales tax not been implemented as promised, these two commissioners want to take away one of the few good things that came out of that initial vote.

  2. DC Copeland

    March 9, 2016 at 9:59 am

    BTW, your picture of the Metromover is muy symbolic of our elected leaders vision of mass transportation: its truncated. The picture is the end of the run of the Brickell Metromover. Plans were to continue it onto the eastside of Biscayne Blvd. That, of course, never happened and the way the 1/2 cent sales tax is being used for improving our mass trans opps, it probably never will.

    • Ben Grimm

      March 30, 2016 at 7:48 am

      There’s no need to extend it. Then density has leveled off in that part of Brickell.

  3. Oscar

    March 10, 2016 at 2:20 am

    If I remember correctly, before it became free, the act of collecting fares for the Metromover was more costly than the revenue generated.

  4. Dan

    March 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    People aren’t going to pay for something that frequently does not work.

  5. B

    March 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Judging from the success of increasing Metromover ridership at getting cars off of downtown streets and reducing parking demand, despite the lack of actual transit expansion under the PTP, shouldn’t the Commission be considering making all of the busses free as well as Metromover?

  6. David

    March 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    The Atlanta streetcar was a success until they started charging a fare. Now is running empty. Just saying.

  7. Fed up rider

    March 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Miami transit system is a total failure, including the Metromover. When will these inept politicians ians do something to actually improve it???

  8. Brandon Berretta

    March 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I frequently park on the outskirts of the metro mover limits and then take this train around town! I love that it’s free! Great to charge for metro, All Aboard, and TriRail then allow people to move “freely” around The City.

  9. Ben Grimm

    March 30, 2016 at 7:42 am

    They’ve been over this: the cost of putting up a fare collection system will cost more than the Metromover will ever make in revenues in 20 years. Leave it free, that’s why we pay a 1/2 penny sales tax.

    Miami Today reporters seem to write press releases instead of articles that show pros and cons or questions the content.