transportation

Miami-Dade Transit Gets $40M Worth Of New Buses

Nov 9, 2015
Alyssa Méndez Batista / WLRN

Miami-Dade Transit announced Monday the addition of 43 60-foot, diesel-electric buses to its existing metrobus fleet. Transit director Alice Bravo says the initial purchase of this fleet is close to $40 million, which means each bus costs over $900,000.

 

This addition comes on the heels of a Miami Herald investigation into mass transit in the county, published last week. It featured passengers’ complaints about bus schedules and overcrowding.

 

A new poll shows that a majority of Floridians think that ride sharing services should be regulated.  

tallahassee.com

App-based taxi services like Uber and Lyft are back in business in Broward County.

In a meeting much shorter than the last one on this issue, commissioners voted 6-2 on an ordinance that opens pathways for the apps to come back online for Broward residents.

Representatives from Uber said they could turn the app back on as soon as Thursday.

Broward County Mayor Tim Ryan says this is a win for residents.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Volkswagen has now admitted that it misled everyone by equipping about 11 million diesel cars with a device to cheat emissions tests.

Lisa Lowrance owns one of those cars—a 2013 Black Volkswagen Beetle TDI—and has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Florida against the German-based car company.

Lowrance bought the car after a long search for an eco-friendly vehicle that didn’t compromise on performance. Like the rest of the world, she found out her car was not  eco-friendly when the story broke online and in the news.

New Toll Relief Program Allows Negotiation Of Fines

Sep 17, 2015
C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A new program called Operation Toll Relief will give Miami-Dade County residents a chance to negotiate down fines from unpaid tolls.

The program is a partnership of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade court system.

"The program does not excuse toll violators," says Judge Sam Slom, the chief administrative judge over county court. "What the program seeks to do is to adjust the amount due for those violations to an amount which we perceive to be fair."

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  In 24 years living and working in the Keys, I've had a bunch of different jobs. My longest commute was less than five miles. I felt pretty sorry for myself — because I had to get in the car every day.

Most of the time, my primary transportation has been my bike. That's not without some drawbacks. In summer, you have to prepare for downpours. And you can get sweaty just riding a mile across the island.

Taxi Companies Sue State Over Uber, Lyft

Sep 8, 2015
tallahassee.com

Taxi companies in Tallahassee and Broward County are suing the state over app-based transportation services, alleging that Florida officials aren't requiring Uber and Lyft to prove that the way they calculate trip distances --- and charges --- is accurate.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services certifies taxi drivers' meters --- which measure distances, and, consequently, charges --- but doesn't do anything to ensure that the GPS-based systems on Uber and Lyft drivers' cell phones, also used to calculate charges, are correct, according to the lawsuit.

Enrollment Ends For MDX Toll Reimbursement Program

Aug 31, 2015
C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald Staff

Regular commuters have until the end of the day Monday to register for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s new toll reimbursement program.

The Cash Back Toll Dividend Program allows MDX to give some commuters a percentage of their tolls back if the organization is running a budget surplus.


“There’s definitely going to be a dividend declared,” says MDX spokesman Mario Diaz. “What we’re looking at is, and we have to finalize those numbers and the board has to finalize, but it appears that it’ll be somewhere around $3 million this year.”

Lisann Ramos / WLRN

This school year in Palm Beach has gotten off to a rough start. Parents complained to the school district that their children’s school buses are off schedule.

This week many students were either late to school or had to be dropped off by their parents. The issue stems from the county school district and the disorganization of their bus program. 

Now the district is trying to make amends. 

On Monday 40 percent of school buses ran late. The district was able to bring that number down to 26 percent.

Palm Beach County Votes To Keep Uber

Aug 19, 2015
tallahassee.com

Palm Beach County lovers of Uber, fear not. The car service is sticking around, at least until September.

The County Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to reject an ordinance that requires Uber drivers to get an FBI level two background check and register their vehicles with their insurance companies.

Last month Broward County adopted more regulations for Uber. The car service then left the county.

Commissioners backtracked on their decision because of public demand. Now Uber may return to Broward.

Sattva / freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade County Public Schools plan to eliminate out-of-school suspensions this year, preferring to keep kids in class and address behavior problems.

School districts around the country have made similar decisions because research and experience shows suspended students often find more trouble outside of school while on suspension. That can mean more neighborhood crime – and more suspended students getting arrested and charged.

Eric Risberg / AP

Uber launched a new initiative called Uber Urban Partnership on Monday in a push to expand the ride-sharing service's presence in South Florida -- and on a grand scale.

 

The initiative, also known as UberUP, aims to hire 10,000 new drivers in the area, providing customers with faster and more reliable service. Likewise, Uber says it hopes that hiring new drivers will create jobs for local communities.

 

Graphic by Uber. Color darkened by WLRN for clarity.

Two weeks ago, the city of Key West police department announced that it would start arresting drivers for app-based ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Now it's followed through. On Friday evening, according to the police department, an undercover officer arranged for a ride from the airport to a local hotel.

Port Everglades To Handle Larger Cargo Ships

Jul 8, 2015
Port Everglades / Courtesy

South Florida’s main entry point for gasoline and jet fuel and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world is widening its channels.

The alteration to the port’s existing infrastructure is a response to the evolving shipping industry.

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.

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