FYI Miami: May 18, 2017
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RAIL SERVICES CUT: Faced with plunging mass transit ridership in all forms, Miami-Dade County this week reduced operating hours on its Metrorail and Metromover systems and cut frequency of its Metrorail service to Miami International Airport. In February, the most recent month for which the county has made figures public, Metrorail ridership fell 8.1% from February 2016 to 1.68 million rides and the free Metromover fell 9.3% to 780,514 monthly rides. Bus ridership fell 10.1% in the month. Starting May 22, the two rail systems will now run from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to midnight Friday, 6 a.m. to Midnight Saturday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. The county’s most recent rail addition, Metrorail’s service to the airport, will now run every 30 minutes instead of every 15 minutes on weekends.
TICK, TICK, TICK: Miami-Dade’s Transportation and Public Works committee on May 11 approved a maximum taxicab meter rate for for-hire vehicles and eliminated a cash discount. If the full commission approves, this will revise the cab flat rate to and from Miami International Airport and PortMiami. This will allow taxis to have flexibility in their rates, said Alice Bravo, director of transportation and public works. The recommended maximum meter rate is $2.95 for the first one-sixth of a mile and 8 cents for each one-sixth of a mile until it reaches one mile. Thereafter, it would be 40 cents for each additional one-sixth of a mile. Recommended waiting time rate is 40 cents a minute.
TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT: Miami-Dade’s Transportation and Public Works Committee last week gave preliminary approval to apply for a $960,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration for transit-oriented development planning. The funds would be used for the master transit-oriented development plan for the east-west corridor project, one of the six corridors included in the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) plan. The legislation says the aim is a plan to create transit accessible mixed-used development that connects residential areas with employment centers throughout the corridor and major economic generators, including Miami International Airport and downtown Miami. The estimated cost for planning the development of the corridor, which extends from the Miami Intermodal Center to Florida International University, is $1.2 million. The federal funding is to be 80% of the cost of the planning, with bond proceeds from the county transportation surtax used for the required 20% local match of $240,000. The measure now moves to the full county commission for action.