Coral Gables Trolley and Miami Trolley connecting
Starting Monday, Coral Gables Trolley and Miami Trolley riders will enjoy seamless connectivity between downtown Coral Gables and downtown Coconut Grove, thanks to some strategic route realignment.
The joint effort between the Coral Gables Trolley and Miami Trolley has been months in the making and was most recently awaiting approval from the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works.
After meeting with the City of Miami to discuss coordinating Coral Gables Trolley service with the Miami Trolley’s Coconut Grove route, the final details were up to the Miami Trolley officials to handle, said City of Coral Gables Parking Director Kevin Kinney.
The Coral Gables Trolley’s 1.7-mile Grand Avenue Loop, which launched in July 2015 to better serve the residents of the MacFarlane Homestead Historic District, begins at the Douglas Metrorail Station.
“Once the Coconut Grove trolley stops at Douglas Station, patrons will be able to ride a trolley from downtown Coral Gables to downtown Coconut Grove and back by simply transferring between the Miami Trolley system and Coral Gables Trolley system at Douglas Station,” Mr. Kinney said.
The only missing piece, he said, was a Miami Trolley stop at Douglas Station, which could be easily established as their Coconut Grove route trolley stop was just across US 1.
“Like with all of our routes, we needed approval from the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation,” said City of Miami Chief Transportation Manager Sandra Harris.
Last week, the county department approved the realignment of the Coconut Grove route, Ms. Harris said.
In the days leading up to Monday’s launch, all that’s left is some driver training, she said.
“Just the logistics of doing it, how they’re going to go in there, some operational things – we don’t want them standing there. Just little standard operational things.”
In the past, trolley riders would have to cross the catwalk over US 1 to get to and from the Coral Gables and Coconut Grove trolley stops on opposite sides of the busy street.
“The connectivity was there, it was just not seamless,” Ms. Harris said. “Now, we’ll all be in the station together along with the Metrorail and the transit buses.”