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Front Page » Top Stories » County readies pact for Miami-Miami Beach monorail

County readies pact for Miami-Miami Beach monorail

Written by on August 31, 2021
County readies pact for Miami-Miami Beach monorail

Miami-Dade County is finishing pre-development and preparing an agreement for a monorail and rapid mass transit line that would cross the MacArthur Causeway, connecting Downtown Miami to Miami Beach. 

The Department of Transportation and Public Works is working with MBM Partners LLC in an interim agreement to finish pre-development work and prepare the final project agreement for approval by county commissioners, said Luis Espinoza, Department of Transportation and Public Works communications and special projects administrator.

The department anticipates having a project agreement ready for commission review next spring, he said. No price tag has been unveiled. 

An interim agreement that the county executed Oct. 31, 2020, which commissioners approved, has an 18-month schedule to do pre-development work and negotiate an agreement to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a monorail connecting downtown Miami and Miami Beach for the segment of the county’s Smart transportation plan called the Beach Corridor Causeway Extension Trunkline. A final plan and budget would have to go before the commission again.

The expected completion of a 3.45-mile monorail is 2026, the department says. Two trains would run constantly at 12 trips per hour, each with a 300-rider capacity, according to the Miami Beach Monorail Consortium, whose main investor is Meridian.

The Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (Smart) Plan intends to advance six rapid transit corridors.

In parallel to the ongoing work for the Beach Corridor Causeway Extension, the Beach Corridor Project Development and Environment study is underway for all three segments of the corridor. They are the Miami Corridor Extension, which is to run along North Miami Avenue from Northeast 15th to Northwest 41st streets; the Beach Corridor Causeway Extension (Trunkline) from Herald Plaza in the Omni area to Miami Beach along the MacArthur Causeway; and the Miami Beach Convention Center Connection, which would run along Washington Avenue from Fifth Street north to the Miami Beach Convention Center. 

Also, the project team is working on the National Environmental Policy Act process, which requires the government to consider how a project will affect the environment and its local communities, including public outreach and obtaining permits for the adopted locally preferred alternative for the Beach Corridor. The Department of Transportation and Public Works anticipates having these elements completed by this fall, Mr. Espinoza said.

Genting Group successfully bid to undertake the $14 million first phase of design and development of the Beach Corridor. Along with its consortium of developers, the casino giant was approved by Miami-Dade County in March to work on feasibility studies for the monorail project that would connect its Resorts World Miami location at the sites of the former Miami Herald building and Genting-owned Omni Mall to Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

“Mobility is something that is extremely important for any community,” said Miami Beach Public Works director Jose Gomez. “We’re growing more and more every year and we have to be able to move people and facilitate them going from point to point. So, anytime we can do that means the good for the city.”

10 Responses to County readies pact for Miami-Miami Beach monorail

  1. NP Reply

    September 1, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    At the end of the day, people are going to do what’s most convenient, so the goal here should be to make transit as convenient as possible. By having 4+ transfers onto 4 different forms of transportation, each one of those decreasing convenience and attractiveness which greatly reduces the viability of people seeing this as an alternative to driving.

    We need to streamline this project in order to attract the riders to it because Metrorail->MetroMover->Monorail->bus? is definitely not the answer.

  2. DC Reply

    September 1, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    This idea has been tossed around since 2007 That idea included a north/south run up the beach with a terminus behind the Convention Center. A later version had a stop at Watson Island at a proposed Disney Cruise line port.

  3. Gerwyn Flax Reply

    September 1, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    This will fail if the Monorail does not include a stop at Government Center / Brightline. Imagine a tired traveler leaving MIA via the connector tram to the Intermodal center, then taking Metrorail into downtown, then a Metro Mover to the Omni station, then the Monorail to the beach, and finally a cab/Uber/Lift to a hotel. Lunacy!

  4. Kway Reply

    September 2, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Miami Beach shouldn’t become Mainland Miami, urbanized in its feel. The humane pedestrian experience is what people venture to Miami Beach for.

    This initiative isn’t about people movement, it’s about money movement from venue to venue. Quality of Life matters should take precedence.

    We need your counter-stance on this, Mayor Levine Cava. Help save Miami/Miami Beach from self destruction.

  5. Jorge C Sague Reply

    September 2, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    The simplest was to just extend the people mover to the beach and also to the Miami Design Center. A west line should go through Little Havana to the Marlins Stadium. This would connect close to 200K via the People Mover, and also Brightline, Metrorail, and the MIA. But this is not about helping people. This is about Genting stealing people from the beach for their casino at the old Herald site.

  6. James Franciscus Reply

    September 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    More one useless construction to expend tax payers money.

    • Kyle Reply

      September 10, 2021 at 9:23 pm

      This is not useless…. Especially due to terrible traffic to the beach and Uber/Lyfts that price surge.

      This is a win for the city.

      There are a lot of recent transplants like me who do not want to be forced to only drive or Uber when there are accidents or traffic jams.

      It’s also ridiculous you can’t get to the beach from the airport unless you took the train to a bus. Nobody is doing that with luggage.

  7. Piotr Reply

    September 3, 2021 at 5:55 am

    Better invest in having secure buildings and streets in MB or there will be nobody willing to be transported there.

  8. JLS Reply

    September 6, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Once Miami Beach is open to the masses, one can only look at Coney Island and Rockaway Beach in NYC to get a good idea of what it is going to look like in the future.

  9. Elliot Adams Reply

    September 8, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    The article states that the so-called Downtown terminus would be located at the Omni. Wouldn’t it be more prudent for the terminus hook up directly to the Metrorail. That way you could create easier accessability for riders and promote and streamline ridership directly to and from Metrorail. It would be a “win-win” for both corridors of transportation.

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