FYI Miami: October 6, 2016
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
CONSTRUCTION STARTS DOWN: As the value of construction starts in South Florida fell 22% in August from August 2015, the value of construction starts for the whole of 2016 slipped slightly into negative territory, down more than $11 million from the first eight months of 2015. Construction starts for the year for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties now total a bit more than $7.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, which closely tracks construction in the area. In August alone, non-residential starts fell 31% in value for the area from August 2015 and residential starts fell 20%. For the whole year, non-residential starts are up 7% and residential starts down 4% in value, according to Dodge’s figures.
MIA-ONTARIO FLIGHTS: Canadian carrier First Air will begin charter passenger flights to Miami International Airport from Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario, on Feb. 4, 2017, on behalf of Celebrity Cruises. The carrier will use B737-400 aircraft seating 136 passengers for the weekly charter service. First Air will add to MIA’s current service to Canada, which includes flights linking to Montreal by American Airlines and Air Canada, as well as to Toronto with American Airlines, Air Canada and WestJet. Canada is MIA’s eighth-busiest international market, with more than 765,000 passengers a year. First Air is the leading airline in Canada’s Arctic, wholly owned by the 9,000 Inuit of northern Quebec through the Makivik Corp.
BUS FARE CUT: To encourage more use of public transit, officials have cut fares for express Metrobus routes operating within Miami-Dade lines from $2.65 to $2.25. Routes 150, 338, 272, 288, 204, 34 and 95 Express Golden Glades now have a 40-cent lower cost per trip. The 301 Dade-Monroe Express, 302 Card Sound Express and four 95 Dade-Broward Express routes remain at the old fares. Changes took effect Oct. 1. County commissioners approved Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s budget Sept. 22, which included the reduced fare. The resolution that led to the fare cut was sponsored by Daniella Levine Cava, who said express bus service like the 95 Express routes and Busway Flyer is important for thousands of people already and will be a critical link in the SMART plan that is eventually to add six transit routes. In a written statement, Director of Transportation and Public Works Alice Bravo said express Metrobus route fares now match Metrorail rates.
GAS TRICKLES UP: Miami retail gasoline prices averaged $2.25 a gallon as this week opened, 1 cent higher than last week but 4.4 cents per gallon lower than a year earlier.