Plan to alter 80 Miami-Dade bus routes at $20 million a year heads to vote – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-09-15 02:41:44 –

Written by Gabriela Henriquez Stoikow September 15, 2021


The county committee has adopted a resolution to broadly coordinate bus routes as part of the Better Bus Network created in 2018. According to county chief operating officer Jimmy Morales, the change will affect 80 of the 99 routes and will require approximately $ 20 million in operating capital.

At a meeting of the Transport, Mobility and Planning Commission on 13 September, 10 civilians agreed with the resolution, recognizing that it was not a perfect plan, but an improvement on existing routes. The approved plan is sent to the county commissioner for final action.

Some speakers include Grace Perdomo, executive director of the Transit Alliance, who triggered a route review on their own plan a few years ago, and Miami-Dade, who criticized the existing system for lack of consideration for people with disabilities. Included was bus network user Daniel Rivera.

Includes some changes: Upgrade 30-minute weekday peak service every 15 minutes on a branch to Miami International Airport. A new route that offers high frequency during peak hours between 82nd Southwest and downtown Miami. In addition, the new route (number 14), which combines the existing routes C and M, will take you directly from Miami Beach’s Sinai Mountain Hospital via Collins Avenue to the omni area of ​​downtown Miami in 30 minutes, via Overtown. It has grown to Good Will. / Jackson every 60 minutes.

Morales said the plan would increase access to work and services by more than 30% within 60 minutes on weekday noon, directing more services in high-demand areas and less in less-used areas. His memo states. This change was the result of the Transit Alliance’s 2018-2020 Public Outreach Campaign, which investigated the use of bus networks.

Commissioner Sally Hayman was previously proposed by the County Commission to hire taxis, Lyft, Uber, and South Florida limousines to pick up passengers when routes change, but this alternative He critically stated that the proposal was not included in the resolution. She said the county found it cheaper to use these services than having an empty bus that covered the route multiple times before picking up someone.

“What I want, my colleague, we see if there are any adjustments to this item that need to be fixed,” Hayman said.

The resolution is part of a three-year effort between the former County Commissioner and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) and is currently being proposed by Prime Sponsor Irene Higgins.

To improve the pace of bus service, the new network will reduce the number of stops, averaging 1,300 feet between bus stops, about 5 blocks or 1/4 mile. Currently, the distance between the stops is about 850 feet, so the bus rolls slowly.

“Staff admit that this requires a small percentage of existing passengers to walk a short distance to the nearest bus stop, but in the first survey in 2019, 72% of respondents said they wanted a faster trip. It has been shown that he is willing to do so, “Morales wrote.

Commissioner Raquel Legalado is considering giving transit director Eurois Klekley a bus stop across the Rickenbacker Causeway closer to Virginia Key’s public magnet school, MAST Academy, as children will have to cross. I asked other schools in her district to do the same. The road to get on the bus when they go in and out of school.

Commissioner Daniel Cohen Higgins said the plan was $ 20 million, for example, as the cost of a new route (14) to provide additional coverage to Overtown and a connection from the mainland to Mount Sinai Hospital would exceed $ 5 million. Expressed concern about spending. New routes such as 9A will provide more service along 163rd Street northeast and maintain coverage on Route 210, so there is no detailed cost to plan.

Cleckley explained that $ 20 million was equivalent to a 7% increase in the current budget, but didn’t elaborate on why some routes were so much higher than others. Nevertheless, he said the transportation department would make marketing and communication efforts to reach out to bus network users at no additional expense.

Not only did Rebeka Sosa criticize the reduced number of bus stops, making it difficult for people unable to walk long distances, but said the ministry was concerned about using federal funds for the plan. “What happens next year when we don’t have those federal dollars?”

Cleckley explained that the department is considering including plans during the first or second quarter of next year, revealing that the bus system is currently charging various stages of fares. bottom.

“If you try to use federal funding today, you’ll have a hole tomorrow,” Sosa insisted. She also demanded the results of public assistance provided for bus route changes, including the sources of participants.

“I would like to thank my colleagues for asking questions,” said Joe A. Martinez. “I don’t think we got the right answer, especially when it comes to costs.”

Martinez once again said West Kendal would have less service, noting that unincorporated areas lacked facilities such as trolleys instead of mobility. He asked for more information about the decisions made on the main route and told sponsor Irene Higgins that he was not optimistic about the success of the resolution on the next committee.

“It’s very exciting to talk about smart plans, isn’t it? It’s new, big and transformative, but at the heart of our transportation system is the bus network,” said Higgins. She said the proposal was “a unique opportunity to improve today’s transportation system,” and said the plan was to redirect routes rather than eliminate them.

For example, the well-discussed $ 5 million Route 14 integrates two of the county’s most frequent routes, Routes C and M. , This is much more efficient, “she said. “It goes from more job centers and delivers you to more workplaces faster.”

After Commissioner Oliver G. Gilbert III made a final comment in support of this item, Commissioner resolved to submit a status report to Commissioner six months after the plan came into force, with amendments by Mr. Sosa. Was adopted.

Also, before the resolution was submitted to the Commissioner, Mr. Higgins instructed DTPW staff to work with county lawyers on Mr. Legalado’s proposal at a bus stop near a high school in District 7. Check out unmanned areas, and routes such as 35 (Florida City to Cutler Bay) and Transport Workers Union suggestions.

The Better Bus Network was officially launched in June 2019 as a plan to transform the bus network to provide better quality and more frequent services to residents after the transportation sector launched a one-year public campaign.

Plan to alter 80 Miami-Dade bus routes at $20 million a year heads to vote Source link Plan to alter 80 Miami-Dade bus routes at $20 million a year heads to vote

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