Miami-Dade Transit
Metrorail (top), Metromover (middle), and Metrobus (bottom) at Government Center
Metrorail (top), Metromover (middle), and Metrobus (bottom) at Government Center
Overview
OwnerMiami-Dade County
LocaleGreater Miami
Transit type
Number of lines2 Metrorail lines
3 Metromover loops
90 Metrobus routes
1 Transitway
Number of stationsMiami Intermodal Center
Government Center
23 (Metrorail)
22 (Metromover)
28 (South Dade Transitway)
Daily ridership248,700 (weekdays, Q3 2023)[1]
Annual ridership60,734,900 (2022)[2]
Chief executiveEulois Cléckley
Headquarters701 NW 1st Court
Miami, Florida
Websitewww.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/home.page
Operation
Began operationAugust 2, 1960[3]
Operator(s)Miami-Dade Transit
Number of vehicles817 buses
136 Metrorail cars
42 Metromover cars
Rail transport in South Florida
Mangonia Park
Tri-Rail
West Palm Beach
Tri-Rail Silver Service Greyhound Lines
West Palm Beach
Brightline
Lake Worth
Tri-Rail
Tri-Rail fare
zone boundary
Boynton Beach
Tri-Rail
Delray Beach
Tri-Rail Silver Service
Tri-Rail fare
zone boundary
Boca Raton
Tri-Rail
Boca Raton
Brightline
Deerfield Beach
Tri-Rail Silver Service
Pompano Beach
Tri-Rail
Tri-Rail fare
zone boundary
Cypress Creek
Tri-Rail
Fort Lauderdale
Brightline
Fort Lauderdale
Tri-Rail Silver Service
Tri-Rail fare
zone boundary
Fort Lauderdale Airport
Tri-Rail
Sheridan Street
Tri-Rail Greyhound Lines
Hollywood
Tri-Rail Silver Service
Tri-Rail fare
zone boundary
Aventura
Brightline
Golden Glades
Tri-Rail Greyhound Lines
Opa-locka
Tri-Rail
Miami
Silver Service
Palmetto
Okeechobee
Hialeah
Tri-Rail and Metrorail Transfer
Tri-Rail
Northside
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza
Brownsville
Hialeah Market
Tri-Rail
Earlington Heights
Allapattah
Miami Intermodal Center
Tri-Rail Greyhound Lines
Miami International Airport
enlarge…
Santa Clara
Civic Center
Culmer
School Board
Adrienne Arsht Center
Museum Park
Eleventh Street
Park West
Freedom Tower
PortMiami
(planned) Brightline
Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre
Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr.
MiamiCentral
Tri-Rail Brightline enlarge…
Government Center
College North
College/Bayside
First Street
Bayfront Park
Miami Avenue
Third Street
Knight Center
Riverwalk
Miami River
Fifth Street
Brickell City Centre
Tenth Street/Promenade
Brickell
Financial District
Vizcaya
Coconut Grove
Douglas Road
University
South Miami
Dadeland North
Dadeland South
Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)#South Dade Transitway

Amtrak, Brightline, and Tri-Rail
Metrorail
Metromover
MIA Mover
Disabled access
All stations are accessible

Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) is the primary public transit authority of Miami, Florida and the greater Miami-Dade County area. It is the largest transit system in Florida and the 15th-largest transit system in the United States.[4] As of 2022, the system has 60,734,900 rides per year, or about 248,700 per weekday in the third quarter of 2023. MDT operates the Metrobus with their paratransit STS systems run by LSF. MDT also operates two rail transit systems: Metrorail and Metromover.

Metrobus operates over 93 routes, including the South-Dade Transitway.[5] MDT's main transit stations are Government Center in Downtown, and the Miami Intermodal Center in Grapeland Heights, which can access the Miami International Airport.[6]

Metrorail is composed of two rail lines (Green and Orange lines) with 23 stations radiating from the city center towards outlying neighborhoods north and south of Downtown. Metromover operates throughout the Downtown, Omni, and Brickell neighborhoods, and is composed of three rail loops and 22 stations. The opening of the Metrorail Orange Line in July 2012 significantly increased usage of the system.[7] As of 2013, rail fares collected were $23 million/yr and it cost $78 million/yr to operate the rail system.[8]

Tri-Rail is a separate entity and not controlled by MDT. Tri-Rail, a commuter rail system in the Miami metropolitan area, is directly connected at the Tri-Rail and Metrorail Transfer station, Miami Intermodal Center, and Government Center station.

History

In 1960, the Dade County Commission passed an ordinance creating the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to unify the different transit operations into one countywide service. This ordinance provided for the purchase, development, and operation of an adequate mass transit system by the County. These companies included the Miami Transit Company, Miami Beach Railway Company, South Miami Coach Lines, and Keys Transit Company on Key Biscayne and would be managed by National City Management Company. National City was dismissed as manager in 1974.[9] Over the years and under various administrations, MTA evolved into the Metro-Dade Transportation Administration, the Metro-Dade Transit Agency, the Miami-Dade Transit Agency, and is now known simply as Miami-Dade Transit (MDT).

Miami-Dade Transit, a county department of more than 4,000 employees, is the largest transit agency in the state of Florida and accounts for more than half of the trips taken on public transit in the state. MDT operates an accessible, integrated system of 93-plus Metrobus routes; the 22-mile (35 km) Metrorail rapid transit system; Metromover, a free Downtown people mover system; and the Paratransit division's Special Transportation Service. Metrobus routes cover more than 35-million miles annually, including limited service to Broward and Monroe counties. In 2004, MDT's Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus transported more than 96 million passengers, compared to 85 million the previous year.

2011 federal investigation

Miami-Dade Transit was undergoing a federal investigation by the Federal Transit Administration that includes several audits and a criminal investigation of the transit agency due to concerns over money mismanagement within the agency.[10] This caused a freezing of federal funds being granted to the county agency. In late 2010 the county manager claimed that it was 'not fraud' but rather accounting errors, poor management, and erroneous information given to the auditors that triggered the investigation, including a withdrawal of $15 million through the ECHO program that was made by a transit official two hours after a letter arrived in September 2010 from the FTA telling them withdrawals had been restricted.[11] The investigation and lack of funding let to emergency service cuts to Metrorail, Metrobus, and Metromover being considered by the agency by the middle of 2011, six months into the investigation and lack of funding which began in November 2010, causing MDT to lose $185 million in grant money. Assistant county manager Ysela Llort became responsible for Miami-Dade Transit after director Harpal Kapoor left in April 2011. Additionally, funding for the Metrorail airport link was jeopardized by the funding freeze. The FTA decided to continue funding under strict control in order to keep service cuts from happening.[12]

MDT headquarters are located in the Overtown Transit Village in Downtown Miami.[13]

Future

The SMART Program

The Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Program involves the implementation of five rapid transit corridors in Miami-Dade County.[14] It includes new extensions of the current Metrorail and Metromover systems as well as the introduction of new forms of rapid transit, such as bus rapid transit (BRT).

South-Dade Transitway (South Corridor Bus Rapid Transit)

The South-Dade Transitway Corridor will become a gold standard bus rapid transit (BRT) line, including 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. Along the transitway, signal preemption and level crossing gates will be implemented so that BRT vehicles never stop at a light. The BRT will use 60-foot New Flyer Xcelsior battery-electric articulated buses.[15] The project should be completed by fall of 2024.[16][17]

North Corridor (Metrorail extension)

The North Corridor is an extension of the current Metrorail system along NW 27 Avenue from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza station to the north county line. It will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will extend the Metrorail to a station at the Hard Rock Stadium, with a stop at the Miami-Dade College North Campus. The second phase will include the remainder of the project, with a total of eight new stations added.[18][19]

Northeast Corridor (Commuter rail)

Main article: Northeast Corridor Rapid Transit Project

The Northeast Corridor will feature commuter rail service (potentially Tri-Rail),[20] extending from MiamiCentral to the Aventura station along the existing Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) tracks. It will have seven stations for the service in Miami-Dade, with both of the terminal stations having access to Brightline.[21][22] Service could begin as soon as 2028.[23]

East-West Corridor (Bus Rapid Transit)

The East-West Corridor consists of three BRT routes on dedicated bus lanes running from Tamiami Terminal to the Miami Intermodal Center and Government Center, as well as through the Blue Lagoon area. One of the routes will go on dedicated lanes, mainly along SR 836, and include four stations between Tamiami Terminal and the Miami Intermodal Center.[24]

In April 2023, the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) considered commuter rail service instead of BRT as the form of rapid transit for the reason that BRT is "no longer seen as practical" and that commuter rail service on the CSX Lehigh Spur has "become more flexible [on cost]."[25][26] In January 2024, the TPO moved forward with the commuter rail plan as well as an alternative being Metromover along Flagler Street.[27]

Beach Corridor (Metromover extensions and bus/trolley lanes)

The Beach Corridor includes three rapid transit projects. The first is an extension of the current Metromover system along Miami Avenue from the School Board station to NW 41st Street. The second, known as BayLink, is another Metromover extension along the southern edge of MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach, with stations in between. BayLink could begin service as soon as 2028.[28] The third is dedicated bus/trolley lanes along Washington Avenue from 5th Street to the Miami Beach Convention Center.[29]

Metrorail

Main article: Metrorail (Miami-Dade County)

A Metrorail train at Tri-Rail and Metrorail Transfer Station (2011)

Metrorail is an elevated heavy rail rapid transit system. It has two lines on 24.4 mi (39 km) of track with termini west of Hialeah, at Miami International Airport, and in Kendall.

Metrorail serves the urban core of Miami, connecting the urban centers of Miami International Airport, the Health District, Downtown Miami, and Brickell with the northern developed neighborhoods of Hialeah and Medley to the northwest, and to suburban The Roads, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and South Miami, ending at Dadeland South in Kendall.

Metromover

Main article: Metromover

A Metromover double-unit train in Arts & Entertainment District (2012)

Metromover is a free, elevated, automated mass transit people mover that runs on three loops: the Downtown Inner Loop, Brickell Loop, and the Omni Loop. The systems total 4.4 miles (7.1 km) with 22 stations at roughly every two blocks in the greater Downtown area. Metromover serves the neighborhoods of Downtown, Arts & Entertainment District, Brickell, Park West, and Overtown.

Metrobus

Main article: Metrobus (Miami-Dade County)

NABI 40-LFW, photographed in 2019
New Flyer DE60LFA at Adrienne Arsht Center Bus Terminal (2012)

The Metrobus network provides bus service throughout Miami-Dade County 365 days a year. It consists of about 93 routes and 880 buses, which connect most points in the county and part of southern Broward County as well. Seven of these routes operate around the clock: Routes 3, 11, 27, 38, 77 (last bus from Downtown Miami 1:10 am, first bus from Downtown Miami 4:10 am), L (No 24-hour service to Hialeah, all trips terminate at Northside Station) and S. Routes 246 Night Owl (served by LSF) & Route 500 Midnight Owl (County operated) which operate from midnight to 5 am. Most 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 all county buses except for private run routes are equipped with bicycle racks. Some privatized routes trucks are receiving bike racks but very limited.

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.

Paratransit (STS)

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Paratransit/Special Transportation Services (STS) is available for people with a mental or physical disability who cannot ride Metrobus, Metrorail, or Metromover. For $3.50 per one-way trip, STS offers shared-ride, door-to-door travel in accessible vehicles throughout most of Miami-Dade County, in some parts of south Broward County, and in the middle and northern Keys. STS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including most holidays. Service is run by private company.

Rates

See also: EASY Card (South Florida)

The "EASY Card" system is a regional fare collection system with interoperable smartcards and equipment. The following information is specific to Miami-Dade Transit:

Since October 1, 2009, Miami-Dade Transit has used the EASY Card system[30] for fare collection.

On December 13, 2009 paper-based bus transfers were discontinued, and bus-to-bus transfers are now free only when using an EASY Card or EASY Ticket.

The current standard fare is $2.25 and reduced fare is $1.10. A standard monthly pass costs $112.50 and $56.25 for reduced fare (College Students). The monthly Metropass is loaded onto the EASY Card. Fare gates at all Metrorail stations does not accept any type of cash,[30] and require an EASY Card/Ticket, contactless device, or contactless debit/credit card to enter and exit the stations.

Reduced fares are available only to Medicare recipients, people with disabilities, and Miami-Dade students in grades K-12. Fare is free to kids below 42 inches (110 cm) tall with fare-paying rider. Full time college students may also purchase a College EASY Ticket to ride Metrobus or Metrorail at $56.25 at their college/university along with a valid Student ID.[33] Miami-Dade County employees can also receive discounted monthly rates and pre-tax savings by enrolling in the Monthly Pass Payroll Deduction program.[34]

All Miami-Dade senior citizens aged 65 years and older and with Social Security benefits ride free with a Golden Passport pass. Veterans residing in Miami-Dade and earning less than $22,000 annually ride free with the Patriot Passport pass.

As of August 21, 2019, and December 23, 2019 riders can use their smartphones/smartwatches and contactless credit/debt cards to board the Metrorail and Metrobus. (Accepting Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay etc.).

As part of the Better Bus Routes bus network redesign, fares are currently eliminated for all modes of transit through the end of the year.

Finances

In 2018, the annual operating expense was $552 million; annual revenue was $106 million. Each passenger trip cost $6.77. One-way rides on Metrobus and Metrorails cost $2.25; rides on Metromover were free of charge to passengers.[35][36]

Passenger ridership

Passengers at Government Center

In February 2011, Miami-Dade Transit ridership totaled 336,067 passengers, including all Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus lines. With a population of about 2.5 million in Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Transit accounts for 15% of the population's daily mode of transportation. Note: This figure does not include Tri-Rail, Miami's commuter rail operator.

Since the debut of Uber in the Miami area ridership has decreased each year, especially on the buses. By 2018, there were fewer riders than in 1999. In 2018, Metrorail and Metromover began to shut down earlier in the evening; the peak in-service fleet was cut by 4%; and service miles were cut by 2 million.[35]

Annual passenger ridership

Year Metrobus Metrorail Metromover Total ridership
1995 61,516,400 14,445,400 4,168,600 80,130,400
1996 60,466,700 14,245,000 3,847,400 78,559,100
1997 62,344,200 13,923,700 4,175,200 80,443,100
1998 62,358,100 13,298,900 4,064,900 79,721,900
1999 64,252,400 13,769,400 4,069,700 82,091,500
2000 65,689,800 14,023,600 4,256,500 83,969,900
2001 65,067,100 13,678,000 4,951,800 83,696,900
2002 63,423,500 13,932,100 5,171,700 82,527,300
2003 65,046,900 14,318,500 6,978,900 86,344,300
2004 77,909,300 15,987,600 8,686,300 102,583,200
2005 78,373,000 17,001,000 8,537,500 103,911,500
2006 83,080,500 17,388,100 8,389,500 108,858,100
2007 84,218,300 17,672,000 8,838,800 110,729,100
2008 86,409,200* 19,075,900* 8,723,700 114,208,800*
2009 73,104,900 17,792,100 7,986,100 98,883,100
2010 70,942,000 17,438,400 8,121,000 96,501,400
2011 76,858,200 18,295,500 9,219,600* 104,373,300
2016[37] - - - 96,228,800
2018[35] - - - 81,600,000

* Record highs

Weekday passenger ridership averages

Year Metrobus Metrorail[38] Metromover Total daily passengers
1998 207,048 44,871 13,269 265,188
1999 209,111 46,774 13,880 269,765
2000 212,927 47,256 14,383 274,566
2001 211,823 46,664 16,849 275,336
2002 204,941 47,064 16,444 268,449
2003 215,306 51,248 25,521 292,076
2004 234,109 55,294 28,192 317,595
2005 246,023 59,700 28,473 334,195
2006 259,375 58,358 27,042 344,775
2007 264,467
(record high)
59,708 28,058 352,233
(record high)
2008 259,018 63,710
(record high)
26,682 349,410
2009 233,858 59,992 25,883 319,733
2010 227,883 59,900 27,175 314,958
2011 245,358 62,559 29,775
(record high)
337,692

See also

References

  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Third Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. November 30, 2023. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2022" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 1, 2023. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  3. ^ "1960s Timeline: Travel, Tourism and Urban Growth in Miami".
  4. ^ "Transit Development Plan" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  5. ^ "Miami-Dade County - Transit - South Miami-Dade Busway". Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  6. ^ "Miami Central Station: Intermodal Center". MicDot. 2021-08-18. Archived from the original on 2023-05-31.
  7. ^ "Miami-Dade County - Transit - Ridership Technical Reports". Archived from the original on 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  8. ^ Kearney, Melissa S.; Hershbein, Brad; Nantz, Greg (May 2015). "Racing Ahead or Falling Behind? Six Economic Facts about Transportation Infrastructure in the United States" (PDF). The Hamilton Project. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-04-23.
  9. ^ "History of the People's Transportation Plan – Miami-Dade County". Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  10. ^ Martha Brannigan and Alfonso Chardy (July 7, 2011). "Miami-Dade to weigh $100M loan for ailing Transit Agency". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  11. ^ Alfonso Chardy (December 8, 2010). "Miami-Dade Transit's federal funding freeze 'not fraud'". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  12. ^ Martha Brannigan, Alfonso Chardy and Matthew Haggman (May 10, 2011). "Miami-Dade transit agency eyes service cuts as feds hold back money". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  13. ^ "Director, Transportation and Public Works". miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  14. ^ "The Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Program". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  15. ^ "Deadline electric bus deal fuels new South Dade rapid transit". Miami Today. 2023-01-24. Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  16. ^ "Smart Plan - South Dade TransitWay Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-17.
  17. ^ "Five-Year Implementation Plan - Miami-Dade County" (PDF). www.miamidade.gov. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Commissioners Move Forward With Expedited Metrorail To Hard Rock Stadium". The Next Miami. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  19. ^ "North Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  20. ^ "Tri-Rail Coastal Link South Florida East Coast Corridor (SFECC) Transit Analysis Study". tri-railcoastallinkstudy.com. Retrieved 2023-03-09.
  21. ^ "Miami-Date County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) Northeast Corridor Rapid Transit Project Fact Sheet" (PDF). miamidade.gov. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-07-12.
  22. ^ "Northeast Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  23. ^ Plasencia, Amanda (October 11, 2023). "A closer look at the Northeast Corridor Rapid Transit Project, Miami-Dade's newest commuter train". NBC Miami. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  24. ^ "East-West Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  25. ^ Gothner, Chris (2023-04-20). "To tackle traffic, Miami-Dade officials consider new people movers, trains". WPLG. Retrieved 2023-04-21.
  26. ^ "Gears shifting from buses to rail for East-West Transit corridor". Miami Today. 2023-04-18. Retrieved 2023-04-21.
  27. ^ "East-West rapid transit pivots to two new routes". Miami Today. 2024-01-30. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  28. ^ "Metromover To Miami Beach Expected To Open In 2028 Or 2029". The Next Miami. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  29. ^ "Beach Corridor". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  30. ^ a b "Easy Card Brochure" (PDF). miamidade.gov. July 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-04-23.
  31. ^ "Miami-Dade County - Transit - EASY Card". Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  32. ^ "Transit Transfer Fees". www.miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  33. ^ "College Discount Program". miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  34. ^ "County Employee Discount EASY Card". miamidade.gov. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  35. ^ a b c Schneckner, Jesse (22 October 2019). "Per passenger cost up 10% as transit ridership fell 8 million". Miami Today. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  36. ^ RT&S Staff (23 October 2019). "Reliability is the only positive for Miami-Dade Transit since 2017". Railway Track & Structures. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  37. ^ Public Transit Systems Response to Ridership Decrease (PDF) (Report). Office of the Commission Auditor. 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  38. ^ "Ridership Report Archives". American Public Transportation Association. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)