On Tuesday, May 20, Miami-Dade Transit will host a party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Metrorail. The party, open to Metrorail riders, will take place at the Government Center station downtown and will include music, giveaways and raffles.
The Metrorail first opened on May 20, 1984. While it has gained much success over the years, it hasn't exactly blossomed into the expansive, 52-54 mile mass-transit system county officials predicted it would. The Metrorail has grown 14 miles since its conception (it's now 25 miles) and has added only one line, to Miami International Airport. The Orange Line to MIA is now one of the hallmarks of the Metrorail.
Although the rail hasn't lived up to the grand expectations of county officials in 1984, it remains a vital mode of transportation for many South Floridians. Ridership currently stands at around 70,000 passengers per day. In March, the number was 76,500.
The Metrorail is particularly important to those who don't drive, like undocumented immigrants who aren't able to apply for drivers licenses. Ridership also increased after the economic crisis in 2007.
The 30-year anniversary is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the Metrorail, but also to think about how it can evolve into a broader transportation system. Many regular passengers are hoping for more lines, especially to places like Miami Beach and the Everglades.
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