public transportation

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. 

Flickr/CreativeCommons/ClearLight.com

The people in charge of Tri-Rail say they want to take the guessing game out of train arrivals and departures.

So they plan to totally revamp the commuter rail's passenger information system.

Tri-Rail officials admit the system they use to inform their passengers about train statuses and delays is woefully out of date.  And younger riders accustomed to social media and up-to-the-minute alerts are driving the need for more real-time information.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Michael Conrad (https://flic.kr/p/5QSnhS)

Broward County will increase its bus with about half of those hikes starting in November and the rest kicking off in October 2015.

The challenge in changing public transportation fares is that increases tend to disproportionately affect minorities and the poor.

Listen: 5 Things Wrong With South Florida Bus Stops

Jun 25, 2014
Vera Arias

For our What's the Story? project, a listener asked us:

Why doesn't every bus stop have a shelter?

And while working to answer that question, we asked our audience what their worst experiences were while waiting for buses in South Florida.

We came up with the five things wrong with bus stops in our area. Listen:

Metrorail Will Celebrate 30th Anniversary May 20

May 13, 2014
The Miami Herald

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. 

Enmanuel/Flickr http://bit.ly/1eeBsYU

The numbers are in. The estimated cost of building a light rail line from mainland Miami to the beach is $532 million. And three key players are lining up in support of the proposal.

The mayors of Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and the city of Miami Beach are backing the proposal to build a light rail line along the MacArthur Causeway.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has said previously that if traffic between Miami and Miami Beach gets worse it will kill the tourism industry.

Dave Reid/Flickr http://bit.ly/1dOK8dy

In recent years, snazzy trolleys painted like old-timey street cars have been rolling on Miami-Dade streets. They're free to ride and hit hotspots from Miami’s Midtown to Coral Gables.

But what's gotten the county, and some of its cities, in trouble with the federal government is where the trolleys don’t go: the West Grove, a predominately black neighborhood in the city of Miami.

Arianna ProtheroWLRN

Miami’s West Grove residents, unhappy a trolley garage servicing Coral Gables was built in their neighborhood, may soon be able to claim a small victory. After a series of legal battles including a civil-rights investigation, Coral Gables and the garage's developer are now looking to pull out of the West Grove.

Creative Commons / Flickr user interbeat

A new ridership report from the American Public Transportation Association says overall, more people are using public transportation in South Florida than last year, specifically in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Pompano Beach.

In Miami, bus and MetroMover numbers were up from last year. Way up was the MetroRail ridership, which increased by 10 percent.

Tom Curtis / freedigitalphotos.net

A U.S. Army veteran from Miami-Dade County has been told he's not "honorable" enough to qualify for a veteran's transit pass and he's filed a lawsuit against the county transit agency.

It's a dispute over words and how the military grades soldiers as they return to civilian life. But a benefit hanging in the balance could potentially make a big difference in the lives of low-income veterans.

Homestead Launches Free National Parks Trolley

Jan 6, 2014
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

  

About a year ago, the city of Homestead was designated "The Gateway To Biscayne and Everglades National Parks." This past weekend the city launched its first free, guided trolley ride into the parks, which the city hopes will see more local visitors with the start of the new service.

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