FYI Miami: January 30, 2020
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.
TRI-RAIL RIDERSHIP HIGH: More riders used Tri-Rail in 2019 than ever before, according to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), which said it served a record 4,495,039 passengers in the last calendar year – 1.8% above 2018 and a continuation of a three-year upward trend. “People in South Florida are appreciating more and more the role that public transportation plays in their lives,” said Steven Abrams, SFRTA director. “This record underscores the growing need for the reliable and economical service that Tri-Rail provides.” SFRTA – whose members include Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties – attributed the increase to improved service, over 90% on-time last year. The increase is also in line with a national uptick reported by the American Public Transportation Association, which in December reported that transportation ridership grew 2.2% nationally in the third quarter of 2019; and a report by Visit Florida that showed a 3.7% growth in visitors to the state through October.
HOUSING PLAN WAITS: Miami commissioners last week acknowledged receipt of, rather than outright approving, the city’s affordable housing masterplan, setting a special meeting to dig into the issue tomorrow (1/31). Commissioner Joe Carollo said the masterplan tilts toward the same train of thought of rental housing rather than homeownership. Commissioner Ken Russell said FIU and the city had already participated in a presentation on the plan, which he and commissioners Manolo Reyes and Alex Díaz de la Portilla attended. The affordable housing masterplan, developed with the FIU Metropolitan Center, sets a goal of preserving or developing 32,000 housing units over the next 10 years, with the city leveraging its $85 million in bond money to meet the goal.
HOLOCAUST BILLS AIDED: Miami-Dade lawmakers threw support behind two bills moving through Washington, DC, that, if passed, would help survivors of the Holocaust here and across the nation. County commissioners voted unanimously for resolutions sponsored by Esteban Bovo Jr. urging Congress to enact the Trauma-Informed Modernization of Eldercare for Holocaust Survivors Act and the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act of 2019. “So many of us have perished – there’s so few of us left,” said David Schaecter, a founding member of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, who joined fellow Holocaust survivor David Mermelstein in speaking to the commission Jan. 22. Mr. Bovo thanked colleagues for voting in favor of his items, adding, “While we can never fully right the wrongs of the Holocaust, we must never stop pursuing justice whenever and wherever we can.”