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Front Page » Transportation » Miami may run trolley route to Miami International Airport hub

Miami may run trolley route to Miami International Airport hub

Written by on May 29, 2018
Miami may run trolley route to Miami International Airport hub

City and county leaders are touting two transportation improvements to ease traffic gridlock. If the demonstration projects win final approval and funds, the city would run a trolley route to connect with the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) next to Miami International Airport and build a train station platform on the Northeast Corridor.

Last week, the Miami City Commission authorized administrators to submit the Northeast Corridor Proposal and the East-West Corridor Proposal (to the MIC), in response to the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO) invitation for SMART Plan demonstration proposals.

The legislation was sponsored by Mayor Francis Suarez, Vice Chair Ken Russell and Commissioner Manolo Reyes.

Mayor Suarez said, “These projects are a huge win for the City of Miami and a step towards seeing the SMART Plan come alive.”

The Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit, or SMART, Plan prioritizes light rail or premium transit technology along six priority corridors, and a bus express rapid transit network.

The regional TPO is governed by a board made up mostly of county commissioners, with representatives from municipalities and the school board.

Esteban Bovo Jr., who chairs both the county commission and the TPO, declared May 24 a “big day,” saying the city’s two demonstration projects launch SMART Plan service and will bring the area closer to interconnectivity.

In a press release that day, Mr. Bovo welcomed the city’s applications, including the Northeast Corridor Proposal, which would establish a train station for Midtown/Design District.

“Working to develop a demonstration project that will service the Midtown and Design District area along the northeast corridor, which will have both Tri-Rail and Brightline service, is a great way to begin activating the vision of the SMART Plan,” Mr. Bovo said.

“We still need to continue working with all stakeholders including Tri-Rail, Florida Department of Transportation, Brightline, and City of Miami to fully implement the project, as well as ultimately connect communities along the entire northeast corridor,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Bovo said he’s looking forward to advancing all proposed SMART demonstration projects endorsed by the TPO Transportation and Mobility Committee.

“Together, all of these projects combined will significantly increase accessibility to transit and offer new congestion relief options to the residents of Miami-Dade County as well as the South Florida region,” he said.

The city runs a free trolley system, and an east-west route through Flagami is the last to be set rolling.

The MIC is a transportation hub linking multiple modes of transit to the airport: trains, buses, trolleys, rental vehicles and more.

Each demo project requires a local minimum pledge of 50% of the estimated cost from the sponsor.

TPO Executive Director Aileen Bouclé wrote to the city: “Funding is a collaborative effort, and depending on the scope and cost of the demonstration project, the TPO may seek federal and/or state funds to be allocated up to one half of the net project cost, but not more than the amount of funding committed by the project sponsor.”

7 Responses to Miami may run trolley route to Miami International Airport hub

  1. Migeul

    May 30, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Now that these “trolleys” are a success, can we move to *real* buses that are comfortable (low floor) and have a higher capacity?

    And how about some of these routes turning into light rail and/or street cars.

    Let’s see some real vision, instead of a token effort that ticks some checkboxes off for the politicians who want to run for higher office.

  2. Jose novoa

    May 30, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Incredible instead of allocating these funds to purchase more new County buses that can safely accommodate and transport more citizens of this County including our elderly and veterans and avoid them from climbing a flight of stairs to sit on a wooden trolley this government decides to buy more trolleys. Typical county corruption I wonder who else is getting paid underneath the table for this project.

  3. Sylvia

    May 30, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    What a waste! We already have a metrorail that goes directly from the airport to downtown miami. What kind of scam are you all running this time ?

    • John Hacker

      May 31, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Yes, dig more, it goes to the ball park, although not across 17th Ave.

  4. Oscar

    May 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    The trolleys run by the cities are staffed by non-union drivers.
    County transportation system requires union drivers.
    The costs to the county are much higher.
    We should welcome alternative systems.

    • John Hacker

      May 31, 2018 at 10:28 am

      What’s the starting wage? $3.00/hr?

  5. Ejs

    May 30, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    OK, if this is part of the SMART plan, they need to rename it the DUMB plan. Where’s the need for a trolley to MIA when the Orange line gets the job done? Miami politicians need to stop talking simple nonsensical solutions between taking bribes, and get started to meet the needs of tying together Design District, Wynwood, Overtown with downtown, Brickell and East Little Havana. It’s called dedicated bus lanes, light rail, and MetroMover expansion, not some stupid wooden tourist trolley doing a task rail is already doing.