Political leaders are backing early plans to build a passenger light-rail system from Government Center in downtown Miami to the Convention Center in Miami Beach, reports Alfonso Chardy for the Miami Herald. According to an estimate this week by project planners, a route above the MacArthur Causeway route would cost an estimated $532 million to build and $22 million a year to operate and maintain.
At a hearing on the project this week, Mayors Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade, Tomás Regalado of Miami and Philip Levine of Miami Beach took the very first steps in exploring the project: they agreed “to form a partnership to find the $3 million they need to finance a project development study,” reports Chardy. “[The] $3 million would include $250,000 each from Miami-Dade, Miami and Miami Beach, along with $750,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).”
Project planners provided initial planning reports for the project in a January hearing, with a route over the MacArther Causeway being the early frontrunner based on the reaction of mayors Giminez and Regalado.