Metrobus
S (now 100) Route at Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover station
ParentMiami-Dade County
FoundedAugust 2, 1960
HeadquartersOvertown Transit Village
LocaleMiami, Florida
Service areaGreater Miami, Broward, and Monroe Counties
Service type
AllianceBroward County Transit
Routes93 (including 2 contracted routes)
Stopsover 8,000
Fleet846 buses:
Daily ridership201,200 (weekdays, Q4 2023)[1]
Annual ridership58,282,300 (2023)[2]
Fuel type
  • Diesel
  • Diesel-electric
  • Electric
  • CNG
OperatorMiami-Dade Transit
Websitemiamidade.gov/transit

The Metrobus network provides bus service throughout Miami-Dade County 365 days a year, operated by Miami-Dade Transit. It consists of about 79 routes and 893 buses, which connect most points in the county and part of southern Broward County as well. As of 2023, the system has 58,282,300 rides per year, or about 201,200 per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Seven routes operate around the clock: Routes 3, 11, 27, 38, 77, 79 (No 24-hour service to Hialeah, all trips terminate at Northside Station) and 100. Routes 246 Night Owl & Route 500 Midnight Owl operate from midnight to 5 am. Other routes operate from 4:30 am to 1:30 am. All Metrobuses are wheelchair accessible, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and equipped with Bicycle racks.

Bus route 301 (Dade-Monroe Express) extends into Monroe County, reaching Marathon, where a transfer is available to a Key West Transit bus proceeding further into the Keys. With the appropriate bus transfers, one can travel all the way from Key West to Jupiter entirely on public-transit buses. Metrobus has many connections to Metrorail and Metromover, also operated by Miami-Dade Transit, mainly in the city of Miami.

Added to the Metrorail on August 21, 2019, and Metrobus on December 23, 2019, Miami-Dade Transit riders are able to use their smartphones/smartwatches to pay (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay) and be able to use their credit or debit card that is contactless enabled (Amex, Visa, Mastercard). As of the 2019 implementation of tap to pay, Discover cards via tap to pay, are not accepted systemwide.

History

County's first air conditioned bus shelter at Hialeah station.

Bus ridership has reached as high as 293,000 daily,[3] but is generally around a quarter million. It reached a high during the real estate bubble of the 2000s, then declined during the bad economy amid service cuts during the Great Recession, before rising again in the 2010s. From 2015 into 2016, bus ridership fell sharply, down to a low of 195,000 daily in June 2016,[4] amid the lowest gas prices in over a decade, despite a locally strong economy and steady population gain. This during a time when much effort was going into enhancements, such as an air-conditioned bus shelter, mobile ticketing, and new rolling stock, including electric buses.[5] Part of the problem is that buses, unlike other transit alternatives, are not exempt from the increasing traffic present.[6] Nationally, bus ridership fell while rail ridership increased slightly in 2015.[7]

South Dade Transitway

a bus stop and a level crossing on the South Miami-Dade Busway (2012)
North end of the busway in Dadeland.
South Dade TransitWay
Metrorail (Miami-Dade County) Metrorail enlarge…
Dadeland South
SW 104 St / Killlian Dr
SW 112 St / Killian Dr
SW 120 St / Montgomery Dr
SW 124 St / Chapman Field Dr
SW 128 St
SW 136 St
SW 144 St / Mitchell Dr
SW 152 St
SW 160 St / Colonial Dr
SW 168 St
SW 173 St / Banyan Dr
W Indigo St
SW 184 St
Marlin Dr
SW 200 St
SW 112 Ave
SW 216 St
SW 220 St / Old Cutler Rd
SW 232 St / Silver Palm
SW 244 St
SW 264 St
SW 272 St / Epmore Dr
SW 280 St / Waldin Dr
SW 296 St
SW 312 St
Civic Ct
SW 324 St / SW 4 St
SW 328 St / Lucy St
SW 177 Ave / Krome Ave
SW 344 St

The South Dade Transitway (originally named the South Dade Busway) is a basic bus rapid transit system, or busway, in southern Miami-Dade County. It began operating from the Dadeland South Metrorail station to SW 112th Avenue on February 3, 1997, and was extended to SW 264th Street on April 24, 2005. The final 6.5-mile (10.5 km) segment of the Busway extension to SW 344th Street in Florida City opened on Sunday, December 16, 2007. It is parallel to US1/ S Dixie Highway, and runs along the abandoned Florida East Coast Railway line. It is an alternative to daily traffic congestion. The 13-mile (21 km) roadway was built by the Florida Department of Transportation just for Metrobus routes and emergency vehicles. Express buses on the exclusive lanes shuttle passengers to and from Dadeland South Station (see Metrorail) in about an hour or less.

Both full-size and articulated buses operate on the Busway and in adjacent neighborhoods, entering the exclusive lanes at major intersections. Local and limited-stop service is offered between Florida City and Dadeland South Metrorail Station. Park & Ride lots along the busway are located at SW 152d Street (Coral Reef Drive), SW 168th Street (Richmond Drive), SW 112th Avenue, SW 244th Street, and SW 296th Street. At Dadeland South Station, riders transfer to Metrorail. Riders headed downtown can transfer from Metrorail to Metromover, which consists of three shorter downtown loops, at Government Center Station.

The South Miami-Dade Busway features 28 stops, all of which look like light-rail style stations. A multi-use path stretches the length of the Busway. The busway stops featured large shelters to provide protection from the sun and rain. These are currently being rebuilt with the reconstruction of the South-Dade Transitway.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), under its BRT Standard, has given the Busway a preliminary classification as a "Basic BRT" corridor.[8]

Routes that use the transitway

Busway vs. rail controversy

The Busway has been the site of many accidents, as some car drivers driving south on US 1 (which runs parallel to the Busway for much of its length) and looking to turn west do not stop at the red arrows that govern the right turn lane at an intersection that has a Busway crossing adjacent to it. They make a right turn and go right into the path of a bus that is entering the adjacent Busway intersection. Buses currently must slow down to 15 mph (24 km/h) before crossing the intersection, and the police often patrol the intersections looking for red arrow runners. Surprisingly, even the intersections on which the Busway runs as far as two blocks west of US 1 suffer the same problem, with car drivers not seeing or flatly ignoring the red lights at SW 184th and 186th Streets. City planners and residents alike have commented that rather than dismantling the former Florida East Coast Railroad line for the busway, the Metrorail system could have been extended southward over the railway line.

Major incidents

April 2012: In the early morning hours of Friday April 13, 2012, an SUV driving southbound illegally down the Busway (as it was known then) by a drunk driver at more than 100 miles per hour (against a 40 mile per hour speed limit) slammed into a mini-van traveling eastbound on SW 184th Street, t-boning the eastbound vehicle, continuing southbound before spiraling out of control, and stopped adjacent to the Northbound SW 184th Street station. One teen was killed, three others (including the drunk driver) were injured, and the drunk driver was arrested.[9] Fortunately, no Metrobus drivers or passengers were injured or killed as no buses were passing through SW 184th Street or stopping at the SW 184th Street stations at the time of the crash. However, the crash caused delays to several Metrobus routes as portions of both SW 184th Street and the Busway were shut down for an extended period of time.

September 2017: On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 Hurricane. Although the TransitWay did not receive hurricane-force winds, several canopies were damaged during the hurricane and subsequently removed. The replacement of canopies fell behind schedule and remains unfinished, as of March 2018.[10]

February 2019: On February 6, 2019, a car and bus collided near SW 248th Street. There were no fatalities. However, fourteen people were injured, two seriously.[11]

Future (gold standard electric bus rapid transit line)

The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works broke ground on the South-Dade Transitway Corridor gold standard bus rapid transit line on June 4, 2021.[12] It will provide a direct transfer to the Metrorail at the Dadeland South Station, extending Miami-Dade Transit's rapid transit system up to Florida City. The opening of the gold standard BRT line is expected for fall 2024.[13][14] The new line will have 2 terminals and 14 new iconic BRT stations, all featuring fare gates, center platform boarding, all-door and level boarding, next bus arrival screens, air conditioned waiting areas, and other rail-like amenities. These stations can be converted to Metrorail stations in the future. Along the transitway, signal preemption and level crossing gates will be implemented so that BRT vehicles never stop at a light. [12] The BRT will use 60-foot New Flyer Xcelsior battery-electric articulated buses.[15] Also in the works is the proposed South-Dade Bus Maintenance Facility. It will be the first all-electric bus maintenance facility in Miami-Dade County and it will be located next to the Homestead Air Reserve Base. This proposed facility will charge and maintain the 100 60-foot battery-electric articulated buses of the South Corridor and will host parts and equipment for maintenance of the South Corridor's gate arms.

Ridership

Ridership detail by average daily ridership on weekdays by month, with yearly average and highest ridership month in bold. Note the generally lower ridership during the summer months and December, month of the long Christmas and holiday season. Ridership has been falling since 2014 amid widespread rider complaints, an aging fleet, and sharply declining gas prices beginning in late 2014. Starting in 2016, this was also affecting Metrorail ridership. By 2016, 70% of the bus fleet was considered beyond its expected useful life, as the county was in the process of buying 30 electric buses with an option for 20 more.[16] This is well under 10% of a fleet of nearly 1,000 buses. Other upgrades included a new mobile ticketing and contactless payment system, as well as upgrades to bus stops, including covering shelter-less bus stops and air conditioning at select locations. By mid 2016, average daily ridership was over 100,000 below a pre-recession peak in November 2007,[17] and May, June, July, and August 2016[18] were the lowest ridership months in over a decade. Some of the ridership loss may be accounted for by overlap and growth of the free Miami Trolley and other pseudo-bus systems. Very poor numbers in October 2016 across the entire system were partially blamed on one day of closures for Hurricane Matthew,[19] which passed close to South Florida. Similarly, September 2017, the month of Hurricane Irma, saw even lower ridership. 2016 was the lowest ridership year since online records began in 1998. Summer 2017 saw weekday ridership decline another 10% on top of sustained decline.[20] January 2018's ridership of 162,300 is the lowest since at least the 90s with the exception of the month Hurricane Irma hit. Annual ridership figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

# Month 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1 January 212,100 216,700 215,700 208,150 205,800 231,500 242,100 265,400 260,200 258,600 244,500 222,300 238,500 248,900 248,200 241,900 240,400 209,600 192,900
2 February 218,350 220,000 227,400 216,300 219,200 240,800 251,000 267,300 266,600 266,400 254,400 230,000 253,100 257,500 264,500 258,800 238,000 217,600 203,600
3 March 215,000 220,350 221,800 209,800 217,600 238,500 246,700 270,500 270,900 266,900 252,000 229,700 250,900 260,000 258,100 250,800 249,100 210,200 196,300
4 April 205,800 204,400 210,250 207,350 208,100 227,700 251,400 260,000 257,000 265,500 256,600 230,400 249,200 255,800 255,600 250,000 232,000 214,500 193,900
5 May 208,900 214,000 210,450 206,300 208,900 237,600 242,600 255,600 262,900 273,500 239,800 232,900 248,000 245,200 244,700 242,300 227,800 207,100 189,200
6 June 195,300 206,200 202,800 191,550 200,700 223,840 225,900 248,000 248,100 258,600 219,600 221,300 237,000 235,600 235,200 226,100 212,600 195,000 174,300
7 July 203,900 209,800 208,950 196,500 205,000 229,400 212,500 240,200 243,500 256,600 211,400 213,700 231,100 237,900 231,600 226,400 209,900 191,900 175,100
8 August 200,100 206,500 207,800 199,350 198,800 226,900 241,300 245,000 257,000 250,500 227,300 220,600 232,500 237,900 243,400 235,600 216,500 189,500 175,500
9 September 211,600 217,850 208,950 209,100 219,500 226,300 241,131 270,000 280,200 269,400 234,500 233,800 254,600 257,100 259,000 248,500 223,800 202,300 147,200*
10 October 210,350 208,000 210,300 212,800 226,500 242,700 241,419 270,000 267,500 257,700 224,600 243,700 252,000 257,600 261,400 246,900 226,000 187,800[19] 177,900
11 November 221,250 221,800 209,000 210,500 225,000[21] 244,200 267,600 262,400 302,000[17] 243,900 226,000 239,600 256,600 258,000 252,800 240,800 220,500 203,200 177,300
12 December 206,600 209,400 205,700 198,500 216,900 229,000 255,100 258,100 257,700 240,600 215,600 216,600 240,800 246,200 242,300 234,500 211,400 195,700 172,200
13 Year Average 205,500 259,000 233,900 227,900 245,400 249,800 249,700 241,900 225,700 202,000 181,300

See also

References

  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ "Miamidade Bus Route Adjustments Designed To Save 18 Million". MiamiToday.
  4. ^ "Ridership Technical Report (June 2016)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Alfonso Chardy (August 1, 2016). "Two new technologies are coming to Miami-Dade's transportation system". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  6. ^ "Metrobus gets better, but not yet perfect". Miami Herald. November 9, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  7. ^ Eric Morath (April 6, 2016). "Low Gas Prices Drove Down Transit Use, So Why Can't You Find a Seat on the Train?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Carrigan, Aileen; Wallerce, Julia; Kodransky, Michael (September 2019). "Getting to BRT: An Implementation Guide for U.S. Cities" (PDF). Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "Driver Charged In Deadly SW Dade Hit & Run Accident". CBS Miami. April 13, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  10. ^ Robertson, Linda (March 4, 2018). "When is a bus shelter not a bus shelter? Ask riders who burn their butts and get wet". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  11. ^ Scicchitano, paul (February 6, 2019). "Miami-Dade Bus Crash: 14 Injured, 2 Seriously". Patch.com. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Miami-Dade County breaks ground on the all-new South Corridor TransitWay and Rapid Transit Project". www.miamidade.gov. 4 June 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Smart Plan - South Dade TransitWay Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-17.
  14. ^ "Five-Year Implementation Plan - Miami-Dade County" (PDF). www.miamidade.gov. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Deadline electric bus deal fuels new South Dade rapid transit". Miami Today. 2023-01-24. Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  16. ^ Susan Danseyar (July 26, 2016). "Miami-Dade gets funds for first electric buses". Miami Today. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Ridership Technical Report (November 2007)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  18. ^ "Ridership Technical Report (August 2016)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Ridership Technical Report (October 2016)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. January 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ridership Technical Report (June 2017)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  21. ^ "Ridership Technical Report (November 2003)" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved November 18, 2016.