Transit Debate Coming to a Head Soon in Miami-Dade
Douglas Hanks reports: "A showdown is rolling down the tracks for South Dade transit, with the county mayor ready to build a $300 million network of modernized buses designed for group boarding, advanced ticketing and other features aimed at imitating a commute on Metrorail but at about a quarter of the cost."
According to Hanks, the scheme is likely to provoke a political battle with local leaders around the region, who want a promised Metrorail extension project estimated at $1 billion. According to an earlier article by Hanks, the plan in question was proposed in 2002, "[pledging] to extend Metrorail along the South Dade Busway, a 20-mile stretch of highway reserved for buses running to Florida City, the local coalition insisted Miami-Dade agree to fund a study on how to build light rail instead.
"The two sides have been sparring for several years, but on July 19 Mayor Carlos Gimenez is set to ask for the first definitive vote on the issue," adds Hanks.
Hat tip to Rachel Dovey, whose coverage of the bus system proposal includes more details on the 16-year transit battle that precedes the current events.