An Open Letter to Miami-Dade County Transit

All of my life I have ridden in cars. Cars to school in Kendall. Cars to my grandparents’ houses in Westchester. Cars to my dentist in Allapattah. Cars everywhere. I don’t use public transportation because in my lifetime, and especially as I have grown up: it has not existed.

Public transportation in Miami-Dade County, and especially in the vast unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County, basically does not exist. The bus service and metro frequency is a joke in households across the county. The third-world-like service that the county provides are reminiscent of those in third world countries… except some of those third world countries have a working metro system.

The third-world-like service that the county provides are reminiscent of those in third world countries… except some of those third world countries have a working metro system.

The 24.4-mile stretch that is the Miami-Dade County Metrorail costs taxpayers around ~$60+ million dollars a year, and that’s just on maintenance. Not only does our system cost all Miami-Dade taxpayers a lot of money, it also doesn’t serve most of the county. Out of the six corridors that were proposed and sold to Miami-Dade County residents in 2002, exactly none of them have been completed. The only extension of the system is a two-mile line to the airport, which helps almost no one.

In July of 2018, the county Transportation committee met to discuss changing the locally preferred option of rapid transit to busses, even though up to 80% of the residents in the county said in a Mason-Dixon Poll that they want Metrorail. But as always, the county officials know more, even though County Mayor Carlos Gimenez promised new rail lines in his last elections. In true political fashion, he flopped on his promise and is now pushing his agenda for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), because adding new vehicles to the roads is exactly what every traffic expert will tell you is going to solve your problem.

…because adding new vehicles to the roads is exactly what every traffic expert will tell you is going to solve your problem.

The county has a history of dismantling the very public transit systems that the taxpayers want. If history has taught us any lesson, it’s that the “expertise” of these politicians has only hurt the system that they are supposed to be running efficiently. There is absolutely no reason for our Metrorail to have constant delays, and wait times of or past an hour. When you have to wait 40 minutes for a train or bus, you can hardly call that rapid transit. The county has also systematically cut funding and service to the transit system. According to a new report released by the county, the Transit Department has cut TEN MILLION annual service miles from the system, leading to longer wait times and less efficient riding. Of course, the only transit systems that are nice are those that tourists use, it’s why the Metromover and City Trolleys are free, and why the 120 MAX bus to the beach, which is constantly full, runs on-time, and frequently.

Of course, the only transit systems that are nice are those that tourists use, it’s why the Metromover and City Trolleys are free, and why the 120 MAX bus to the beach, which is constantly full, runs on-time, and frequently.

The taxpayers have stated what they want to see from their county, and progress on what they have been continuously paying for since 2002. We seem to be in a constant state of “paralysis by analysis” and it needs to come to an end. If you want transit, pay attention to the local news in the upcoming weeks, and take your voice to the ballot this election to vote out those who choose to continually sell you out.

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