New Plan For Miamibeach Rail Link
By Meisha Perrin
Miami-Dade’s Metropolitan Planning Organization is studying again a rail corridor to connect Miami to Miami Beach, but this time the focus won’t just be on light rail as it was in 2004.
The 2004 study didn’t result in action, said Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo, who was hesitant as the commission last week OK’d the city’s $25,000 funding share.
But the money was already allocated from the city’s transit department, said Capital Improvement Director Mark Spanioli, and Miami-Dade Transit, Miami Beach and Miami’s Downtown Development Authority are each putting in $25,000, plus $75,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation and $150,000 from the planning organization itself.
The nine-month study is to cost $325,000.
After the 2004 study, the project didn’t reach the engineering stage because of concerns about technology, funding and other transit prioritization studies, the city legislation says.
But rapid transit between the two cities, Miami’s legislation says, is vital to sustain the economy and environments of both cities and now they want to refine past studies to evaluate the corridor.
The planning organization completed the baylink study in 2004 with extensive public outreach, choosing a light rail/street car via the MacArthur Causeway.
In the new study, back-up documents say, the consultant and the planning organization are to form a technical steering committee and a project executive committee and meet eight times, presenting study findings to governments and community groups.
The consultant is to gather data, refine the light rail concept, develop a financial feasibility plan, do environmental screening, develop visualization tools, summarize the data, prepare Federal Transit Administration documents and write a final report. To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.