Metrorail leg to north could depend on state, federal funds
Whether Metrorail rolls northward could depend on state and federal fund pledges, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez says.
His office last year drafted a request for proposals (RFP) for 9.5 miles through Miami Gardens known as the North Corridor in the county Smart Plan, he said in a Jan. 7 memo.
But the RFP for the “design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance” of a transit mode for the corridor, ordered Sept. 4 by commissioners, hasn’t gone out to bid.
Instead, he said, it’s been revised based on comments from state transportation personnel and could change again if that would attract more matching funds.
“Prior to the issuance of the RFP, it is important to secure and understand funding commitments or options,” he said.
The county, he said, is now in talks with the Federal Transit Administration to see if the project, as described in the draft RFP, qualifies for federal New Starts grants.
New Starts-eligible projects, the federal website says, are fixed-guideway transit systems costing $300 million or more to build or seeking more than $100 million in aid.
“Additionally, we have approached [the state] to determine what their funding participation will be,” he said. “Once these questions have been addressed, [staff] will be prepared to issue the RFP.”
Miami-Dade’s transportation planning board on Oct. 31 unanimously endorsed elevated rail for the North Corridor, a $1.9 billion line along Northwest 27th Avenue to Broward County.
It was the third approval of a transit mode for one of the six Smart corridors targeted in 2016 as needing upgrades.
The board voted 15-7 Aug. 30 for a $300 million rapid-transit bus line on the 20-mile South Corridor from Kendall to Florida City. Less than two months later, commissioners OK’d a $76 million station for Brightline, which plans to run the Northeast Corridor between downtown Miami and Aventura.