public transportation

Courtesy Greater Miami Tramlink Partners

Miami Beach commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to temporarily stop the fast-tracked light rail project that would lay down tracks on South Beach’s streets.

The light rail or “modern streetcar” line, a centerpiece issue in Mayor Philip Levine’s second term, is now on hold after commissioners agreed to wait for Miami-Dade County commissioners to make a binding commitment to building a connection across Biscayne Bay, including a funding plan. A final contract for the project would also have to be approved by voters.

Kate Stein / WLRN

I'm a car driver, but for Public Transit Day on Friday I made a commute via foot, bus and train.

I say, "a commute" because it wasn't the commute I make to work every morning. Instead, I "commuted" between WLRN's studios at the Miami Herald in Doral and our studios in downtown Miami.

 

In Miami-Dade County, there are more than two million registered vehicles. Motorists will cover roughly 30,000 miles in a day countywide. But those numbers are meaningless if you're stuck on I-95 or any of the connected thoroughfares throughout South Florida. Basically, there just seems to be more and more cars on the road every year.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Do you take public transportation regularly? If not, what would make you want to use it? 

When Patricia Gentile was settling in as the new president of North Shore Community College in Massachusetts — about twenty miles north of Boston — she remembers looking out her window and seeing something strange.

"All of these cars rolling up, and tons of folks getting in and out," Gentile says, thinking about that January day a couple years ago.

"So I asked my assistant, 'What's going on down there?' "

Turns out that's where students were picked up and dropped off, but Gentile wondered why there were just so many cars.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

What happens when you get a group of WLRN listeners together to ride public transit and experience art? They arrive early to an 8 a.m. event.

We rode around the Omni Loop of the Metromover to experience Ivan Depeña's new art project "The Sounds," which uses the tram to whisk you through a growing sound composition that builds to a crescendo at Museum Park Station.

Read more about the project here.

the Miami Herald

 

A better bus system is coming to South Miami-Dade. But according to a group of South-Dade leaders, it’s too little too late. Homestead, Palmetto Bay and a few other cities have joined forces to revolt against the bus system in favor of a light-rail system.

They’ve drafted an agreement requiring county transportation officials to persuade the Metropolitan Planning Organization to fund a study on light-rail.

We recently spoke with the mayor of Palmetto Bay, Eugene Flinn, about what forced these leaders to ban together.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West has one of the nation's highest rates of commuting by bicycle. But it also regularly leads the state in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities for small cities.

Now the island has embarked on a new effort to make cycling and walking safer, as well as encourage the use of public transit. Those efforts were bolstered Friday with the award of Bike Florida's first-ever Share The Road Challenge Grant.

PATRICK FARRELL / Miami Herald

Criticism of Miami-Dade's public bus system can now be quantified -- in 27,000 complaints. 

According to a Miami Herald investigation that analyzed the high volume of complaints spanning the last 18 months, the most common question bus riders ask themselves is "Where's my bus?"

Other common infractions: Rude drivers, overcrowded routes and dirty busses. Really dirty -- roach-level dirty. 

Chabeli Herrera

How South Florida gets around, or doesn't, is increasingly a matter of public debate. Climbing commuting times, more tolls and long-promised but never delivered public transportation projects like BayLink are pushing our collective patience. It costs commuters money and costs the economy lost productivity.

As the region has grown across political boundaries, transportation planning has not kept pace.

Pedro Portal - El Nuevo Herald Staff

A planned Tri-Rail station in downtown Miami came one step closer to fruition on Tuesday, when the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve $13.9 million in funding for the project.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Phillip Pessar (https://flic.kr/p/dRMFdd)

Over the past month, the commuter rail service Tri-Rail has been plagued with delays, including a number of fatal collisions with cars and pedestrians, and mechanical breakdowns.

This has resulted in an on-time rate of about 58 percent, a far cry from the 90-percent-rate industry standard Tri-Rail strives for.

The delays are in part due to a long-anticipated takeover of operations of the train’s rail corridor.

Junette Reyes / WLRN

The future of Miami-Dade’s transportation system was the topic of the 2015 Transportation Summit, held at the Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus Chapman Conference Center today.

County officials and residents gathered to pinpoint problems and brainstorm solutions. 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Rockale ‘Rocky’ Wiggins has never been able to talk, but that hasn’t prevented him from communicating with those around him with his massive, infectious smile.

At dinner, he couples the smile with raucous laughter that at times poses a challenge for the mashed potatoes and green beans trying to go down.

“You can’t stop him for laughing for nothing,” says Sharon Milton, Wiggins’ guardian and aunt. “Even during the middle of the night he gets to laughing. Even last night about 11 o’clock, I heard a noise and was like, ‘Is that Rocky?’ ”

Miami River Art Fair

If you want to dip a timid toe in the sexy international art scene without getting sucked into the whirlpool Art Basel creates, the solution is right here in river city.

The Miami River Art Fair is in its third year and beginning to make a splash. Organizers must have been thinking big when they dubbed their Art Basel satellite location “the Manhattan of Miami”. The hubris is understandable: see the resemblance in the photo - big buildings with pretty lights on the water? Symbolism. Perspective. 

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