Light rail: "who's asking for this?"

Light Rail

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Light rail: "who's asking for this?":

lively public meeting to discuss the city's plans

It’s hard to find anyone in favor of the City’s plan for light rail. This week, the City held two lively and well attended information sessions to hear feedback from residents on the now reduced South Beach route. Residents spoke about the real “pain points” being moving people on and off the Beach – not within the Beach; the number of riders it would take to make the economics work beyond “a big bill” for those who live here; and objections to the City’s going first before Miami-Dade County has prioritized its own transit plans to include a link across the MacArthur Causeway (Baylink). Opponents worry that without the County’s commitment prior to developing light rail here, Miami Beach will have an expensive “train to nowhere.”
 
City Manager Jimmy Morales tried to persuade the crowd that this is not a done deal and “there is still a significant period of time [for residents] to influence it.” The City Commission will consider an interim agreement to start the process at its meeting on December 14th though Morales said the City has the ability to back out at any time. Regarding the baylink, he said, “No one can tell you if the County is going to build that link a year from now. I don’t know. My guess is if we don’t have that level of assurance in a year, it won’t go forward.”
 
The plan would cost $245 million to build with 50% of the funding coming from the City. Annual operating costs are expected to be $7 million, offset by $2.8 million in fare box revenue though a member of the audience pointed out that the City’s calculation of $1 per fare meant that 2.8 million rides would have to take place each year, a number he called into question based on bus and trolley ridership numbers.
 
The next public comment opportunity will be at the Commission meeting on December 14th. In the meantime, you can email Commissioners with your thoughts.
 
 

Light rail proposal scaled back

Light Rail


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
proposed route and costs cut                                                          

City presses pause on light rail

Light Rail


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
will wait for indications on Baylink first                                      

Commissioner Grieco pulls support for light rail

Light Rail


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
"peeling back the layers I no longer buy it"      

It's official, light rail on hold

Light Rail


Susan Askew
Susan Askew
public will vote on any future proposal