The lack of connectivity is the biggest Barrier to using public transit. Failure of the county to collaborate with all of the cities that have each used their PTP allocations for transit yet have never been obliged to coordinate with the county or each other was a major flaw. This was a significant loss of the potential to have designed a networked system.
1. Implement the Comprehensive Redesign of the Better bus Project, but increase funding to allow improved Ridership and full coverage.
2. The County never completed the upgrading all buses and rail cars and that must be done. The transit user should have protection from the elements so covered bus stops are critical. And the Metrorail stations are distressed and dilapidated, they must be upgraded.
3. Electronic notification system of when the next buses and trains are expected should be available throughout the system.
4. One ticket ride from Homestead to Broward line and links out west to FIU and Kendall.
5. When its the next cycle to replace buses, they must be Electric.
1. The County should invest in fully funding the improvements to the Commodore Trail, and complete the Ludlam Tail and provide connectivity from each Trail to the Rail.
2. The County must upgrade and expand all bike routes . And Safe Streets to Schools should be utilized throughout the county.
For the past year I have participated in the Community process for the redesign of the bus routes via the Better Bus project and look forward to this first Comprehensive redesign in 30 years. The County invested tax dollars in the project, but I am concerned that the expectation was for it to be budget neutral. I find that to be a huge fallacy, as the county has starved the transit program for years, reducing routes, and even substituting private jitney type buses, much smaller and not even ADA compliant for some routes. so ridership has diminished over the past 5 years. I will urge increased funding for the redesign so that it can adequately provide both enhanced Ridership and expanded coverage throughout the county.
The PTP surtax was expected to help fund the expansion of Metrorail with 89 additional miles throughout the County. In addition, it was expected to fund 1191 buses. Currently there are approximately 815. The reason for this failure to provide any expansion was primarily due to the diversion of over 1 billion dollars of PTP surtax since 2009, using it instead for operations and maintenance. The County utterly failed to even plan for any transit expansion as evidenced by their 2040 long term plan, where I participated on the Long Range Transit Planning committee. Since they diverted the dedicated source of revenue which was created to be eligible for federal funds, the county destroyed its own eligibility for the past decade. The first step is to unwind its dependency on the surtax to finance operations and maintenance. It should be done progressively over the next year or two. Next the county must engage with MDX to assure the 20% of its revenue that is eligible for transit projects is actually invested in transit projects. And finally, a major resource for the county which has been ignored for the past decade is the private sector, to collaborate in a Public-Private Partnership in developing a joint affordable and workforce housing and Transit hub along the south dade transit corridor and along the north dade corridor. It is a win- win, to have a P3 build a transit station along with affordable and workforce housing on the transit corridor. Finally the other corridors must see the completion of the studies, and decisions made short and long term to provide some immediate relief, in areas such as Kendall where there has not been any effort to provide enhanced transit options.
The current TPO governance structure is dysfunctional and must be redesigned. Broward County restructured their MPO maybe a decade ago, and parts of it make sense, such as not including the entire County Commission on their MPO Board, it makes for only self serving decision making. We should also assure fair representation on the Board by municipalities. Currently only the 5 largest cities have a voice. The Broward solution seems to provide those cities similarly situated to have a representative voice which may be workable, I would want to look into it and other models further, but I would most definitely be in favor of a restructuring of the current TPO.
The first half of the decade the county did nothing right, everything wrong. In 2009 the county diverted the PTP funds to use for their own operations, and have yet to completely free it up. There were no long range plans for any transit extension . The rail cars and buses were not replaced or properly maintained. They reduced routes and turned some over to private jitneys, that were not even ADA compliant. But in 2016 the Smart Plan provided a 6 corridor expansion of transit in some form, based on studies. money was invested in conducting environmental and P&E studies to recommend what options should be considered. Unfortunately, I believe the mayor acted in bad faith when he manipulated the study and the vote on the mode of transit for the South Corridor. He then facilitated a no bid Genting monorail proposal for the Beach corridor, which the Commission approved, to my surprise and disappointment and causing the majority of voters to lose all trust in the county. Finally, the mayor has battled with the state over MDX and the 836 extension, causing a huge rift in the ability of the county to collaborate with the State to access state funds.
A majority of those who use transit are transit dependent, they have no vehicle or can’t afford the costs of driving back and forth to work. Just as there is a free metromover for the business sector to use in downtown Miami and the golden pass for seniors, there should be a reduced fee pass for low income workforce. Also, there must be an emphasis on providing full coverage of transit access throughout the county.
Do not allow transportation infrastructure to be approved or funded if it extends beyond the UDB or into environmentally fragile lands. The CDMP should have a climate change element that addresses the need to reduce sprawl, increase transit oriented development, and increase electric vehicle fleets and build a EV charging station network county wide.
It was a grave error for the county to provide PTP funds allocated to cities without any expectation to coordinate or connect with existing transit systems or with each other. Twenty years after the fact, it will be extremely difficult to impose new conditions requiring connectivity. it would take an incentive program to encourage cities adjoining each other to connect to each other and to the nearest transit hubs.