Currently viewing the tag: "Metrorail"
Ryan is back once again to talk about government center. I’m actually headed downtown soon myself and will check out what he’s talking about firsthand. I’ll be back later today to cover the Miami Orange Bowl renovations, Miami River Dredging, and Density…

The other day I happened to be on the Government Center Metrorail Station platform when I noticed I was almost completely surrounded by parking. Good thing I had my camera with me – check out all the parking and keep in mind this is the supposed to be one of the densest parts of city as well as one of its’ most prominent public spaces. This is definitely not something you want to have anywhere in the city, especially abutting the downtown transit hub. This ruinous land use has the following effects:

• Fractures urban continuity in densest part of city; alienates the station from the rest of the city’s urban framework
• Takes the place of valuable real estate
• Induces demand for more driving in Miami’s downtown core; gives the impression that transit is an afterthought in this community, thus stigmatizing transit as the not-so-sexy stepchild to private automobile travel, even in the densest part of the city’s urban core
• Serves as a morbid public space in an otherwise strategic location

This puts into perspective the lunacy of adding more parking adjacent to Government Center Station. Doing so would effectively surround Miami’s primary downtown station on at least three sides by parking, as well as displacing the downtown bus terminal (which needs a public space makeover itself – not displacement.)

In my next post, I’ll illustrate and describe a good example of what Miami transit stations should aspire for regarding integration of quality public spaces – especially at Government Center Station.


I was idling in traffic earlier today, heading south on US-1 when I noticed something had gone amiss. The first thing that tipped me off was that a crowd had gathered at the South Miami metrorail station platform, waiting for a train heading northbound. As I inched south, crawling through traffic on my way to the snapper creek expressway, I happened to see three news helicopters swirling near the intersection of US-1 (pictured above) and Kendall Dr. Metrorail derailment suddenly came to mind, listening intently to the WLRN traffic report, which mentioned nothing of the mess.

It turns out my gut instinct was indeed correct. A metrorail train carrying about 50 passengers derailed as it departed the dadeland south station heading northbound. No serious damages or injuries were reported. This is the first time a metrorail train has derailed.

Click here for video…

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Alas, with the demise of the Bakery Center in South Miami over a decade ago, the then proposed Shops at Sunset Place were to serve as the urban catalyst for the city South Miami. Now, eight years after Sunset Place opened, we have been able to see the less than stellar transformation the neighborhood has experienced along with the generally lackluster performance of the new mall.

The Shops at Sunset Place was designed as a mall in transition. The sprawling suburban mall concept was just beginning to fade away from the American landscape while the “lifestyle center” concept had yet to fully take off. Having witnessed the failure of the Bakery Center, Simon Malls was careful to not retrace the same steps, but by the same token, was reluctant to fully pioneer a new urban and real “lifestyle center.” Unlike its predecessor, Sunset Place was designed to be an open-aired Mediterranean community, incorporating former mall aspects like big boxed anchor tenants with street-level restaurants, faux cityscapes, and even a few residential units. The center was originally envisioned to be an entertainment center, but the quick failure of some of the theme restaurants and IMAX Theater, quickly changed intended target use. Since its inception, the mall has struggled to maintain a strong and lasting business base. This can perhaps be attributed to its awkward design, as I said earlier, as a mall in transition: too few apartments, too big of a parking garage for an urban center, but too small for a mall, near isolation from the surrounding urban area, and a terrible incorporation into the South Miami neighborhood and nearby public transit.

The Shops at Wasted Space Sunset Place has served as a catalyst for South Miami: bringing the worst urban planning ideas to an area that was once brimming with potential. The area will soon become the biggest conglomeration of public parking facilities I’ve ever witnessed. I walk through this area nearly everyday, somehow avoiding every Benz and Beemer which comes careening through the area in search of parking and jarringly unconscious of any pedestrian laws which might exist. Despite the area’s proximity to public transit, I have never seen such obstinate disregard for incorporating the metrorail with the urban area.

Now, rising in the heart of the area are two developments which will continue the neighborhood’s transformation from urban center to urban disaster. The map above shows the existing public parking garage structures in the area (Red circles.) The first catastrophic development, highlighted by the yellow circle is the upcoming Plaza San Remo (Where’s the Plaza?) with over 100,000+ square feet of office space and a 65,000 square foot Whole Foods Market. The complex, which is being advertised as: “A first-class Medical & Professional Condominium where South Miami, Coral Gables, and Pinecrest Meet” is rising just east of the most uninviting pedestrian façade of Sunset Place. The inhospitable surroundings of the blank walls of Sunset Place, Wendy’s drive-thru, and near chaotic activity along Red Rd. will almost guarantee that this complex will only be accessible by vehicle, so don’t let the pretty red awnings fool you, they aren’t there for anything other than looks. Most disturbing though, Plaza San Remo will contain: “Generous covered parking for owners and visitors – five spaces per 1,000 feet.” A lot of good those 825 spaces will do the area when the local streets area already at or near capacity and the building is less than a quarter-mile from the nearest transit station…

Highlighted by the blue circle on the map and about one tenth of a mile away from the transit station is the upcoming catastrophic restaurant/public parking garage facility. The 435 parking spot garage will sit above 36,000 square feet of restaurants including a Carrabas, Outback Steakhouse, and a “sport themed” restaurant according to city documents (Note the public concerns: “He felt that key points about safety in the garage were addressed such as proper turning radiuses for cars…”) Give me a break! What about the fact that the area can’t handle another 435 patrons cars or that a parking garage isn’t exactly part of the urban design South Miami should be looking for for the city center, all the public cares about is whether they will be able to drive their Hummer or Navigator through without getting a scratch…It looks like the only wait for a table for two will be on the two lanes of 73rd St

The Green lines on the map indicate streets which contain on-street parallel parking spaces. The orange circles highlight the local existing surface parking lot facilities. Aside from parking and food themed retail, the urban center is lacking any sort of residential identity. The city and County have completely neglected the fact that transit was originally intended to be incorporated into the urban center, a fact which will soon be realized as the South Miami streets become choked by the very traffic they were originally intended to attract…

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The reoccurring theme lately has become centralized on the opinion of the public with regards to community projects. Community involvement opposition recently has driven many projects in directions that most city planners/urban developers would not necessarily agree with and Sweetwater is no exception. The architecture department at Florida International University has created a master plan to help transform Sweetwater from just another suburban residential enclave to a self sustainable college town that together with the university can continue to grow mutually to serve all area residents needs. Needless to say, the city opposes any change, especially change that could involve bringing the metrorail into their area.

Given the ridiculous opposition, one would assume that the FIU architecture department proposed to integrate mammoth sized buildings in the single family home neighborhood. However, the FIU plan would begin to slowly transform Sweetwater to better suit it and the college, by providing a sort of center where denser housing, government jobs, public services, and parks would be located. The growth would help to sustain the city tax base and would be a boon to the local residents by drastically improving the connection between the school and the city. It would also help minimize the impact of metrorail on the surroundings by creating a more densely urbanized area where the train would arrive.

The fact of the matter is that Miami residents seem very opposed to change. Understandably, most people do not trust the local government entities to make sound decisions on growth and development in the area given the track record of abuse by developers and city/county officials. I’m certain, however, that with the aide of the University’s school of Architecture, the city residents could work together with planners to lay a better foundation and identity for their city…

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I’ve shared my discontent on the people’s transportation plan (PTP) on more than one occasion on this site. I’ve also spoken of the nimby-like behavior of the grove residents who oppose any project which crosses their path but at the same time complain about a dearth of parking in their area. Today, I’ve decided to combine the two issues somewhat and present a set of alternative plans that I believe would benefit our community and would satisfy the delicate aesthetic needs of coconut grove residents. Below are three quick renderings I created (please pardon the terrible quality) of the region with possible public transit routes superimposed.

  1. This plan is the simplest, least intrusive, and cheapest alternative. The plan calls for the dismantling of the Omni loop of the people mover system in downtown once the Miami Streetcar becomes operational. I’m figuring that the omni loop will be rendered useless once the streetcar is completed seeing that they essentially cover the same part of the city. The salvageable tracks, vehicles, and station components can then be used to create a new Coconut Grove Loop People Mover system. The CG loop would be approximately 1.65 miles long, just slightly longer than the current 1.45 mile Omni Loop. The loop would be able to transport people quickly and effectively from the Coconut Grove Metrorail station along US-1 to the more pedestrian friendly areas of the grove, office buildings along South Bayshore Dr., City Hall, and the vast network of bay front parks. This option would be good for bringing people into the Grove from other parts of the county, but would not prove as useful for the majority of Grove residents. The plan also concentrates the public transit on the densest part of the grove and along the bustling 27th Ave. corridor.
Key Stops: Coconut Grove Metrorail Station, City Hall at Dinner Key, Shops at Mayfair

  1. This plan focuses more on a public transit system which would service the Coconut Grove community as the southern terminus for a North-South 27th Ave. Streetcar or LRT. The proposed system would be far more useful than the 9 mile northern extension which is currently planned and underway for Metrorail because it invites better urban growth to occur at the street level along the avenue. The Northern terminus for this transit line would be at Joe Robbie Stadium (Dolphin Stadium) and would travel through Opa Locka, West Little River, Brownsville, Little Havana, and Coconut Grove neighborhoods. It would provide two links to the Metrorail (CG and Brownsville.) This plan would allow for greater development to occur along the 27th Avenue corridor bringing some much needed density to the area. The much debated and contested Carlos Rua project at the Coconut Grove Metrorail station would be one such example of the type of development we would want to encourage (with less parking.) Transit Oriented Developments such as the Rua project are essential to make our transportation networks succeed. Situated along the primary N-S route in the city (US-1), a major avenue (27th Ave.), and our only form of public transportation, this project is hardly out of context with its surroundings and what we can expect of the region in years to come (Perhaps the height is excessive, but the density is of critical importance.)
Key Stops: Coconut Grove Metrorail Station, Dinner Key, Dolphin Stadium, MDC Inter-American Campus, Opa Locka, Coral Way Corridor

  1. The last plan focuses on implementing a streetcar or LRT which would travel through Coconut Grove from the Brickell Metrorail station. This plan focuses its attention on the needs of the Coconut Grove area, bringing pedestrian traffic and growth to the areas which can support it best. It would also best serve the needs of the area residents in getting to their local town center which is already facing major parking issues. Traveling through South Bayshore Drive, the streetcar would service areas we designate as pedestrian friendly. It services the dense housing units in the area, waterfront offices, shopping areas, Hospital, and parks. A project like this would greatly benefit from further dense (not necessarily tall) growth to occur along the corridor (perhaps the Related Group’s Mercy project wouldn’t seem like such a far fetched idea.) The streetcar would service both east and west grove and create a center for the community (at Mayfair) which is easily accessible to most via the public transportation. Heading westward, the line could travel through the Village of Merrick Park before terminating at the Douglas Road Metrorail station.

Key Stops: Mercy Hospital, Dinner Key, Shops at Mayfair, West Grove, Brickell Metrorail Station, Southern Brickell, Village at Merrick Park, Douglas Road Metrorail Station

I created this above analysis to show that there are a multitude of public transportation concepts which could be implemented in the Coconut Grove area which would not only serve the needs of the area residents but would benefit the entire community. Grove residents should open their minds to development which will enhance their community (I’m not saying to fully accept the Related Group, Home Depot, or Carlos Rua projects) but they need to take a different approach when considering the type of development that will occur in their area. Bringing density to their town center and major thoroughfares like 27th Ave, Grand Ave, and South Bayshore Dr. will keep the charm of the grove intact while also providing a support nucleus which will keep places like Mayfair up and running. This will help reduce the demand for area parking once we recreate a community which is even more navigable for pedestrians rather than vehicles.

As for the PTP, I can only say that we are headed in the wrong direction. Metrorail is an antiquated and extremely costly form of public transportation. We need to embrace a cheaper form of public transit in order to be able to compete with the handful of other US cities which are also vying for federal funding. At the same time, we need to create a system which will satisfy the needs of as many citizens as possible and provide the greatest amount of uses for the community and area re-development.

We’ve seen this occur countless times; a good project becomes an ugly mess when too many chefs are placed in the kitchen. The East/West rail corridor is supposed to link the communities of Flagami, Blue Lagoon, Doral and West Kendall. However, Flagami residents are putting up a fight to derail transit plans to place the line down NW 7th street, through the urban heart of their community. Instead, they want to see the train travel along the Dolphin expressway, where it will be relegated to serving as a Park-N-Ride Commuter rail station, at best. The Urban life concept is a foreign one here apparently. Peace and quiet are suddenly extremely important qualities for a neighborhood situated under the flight path of MIA, citing the train would bring excessive noise to their area. Give me a break.

I love how everyone suddenly becomes an expert on the subject, knowing what’s best for the area and its’ future. I thought we hired city planners and engineering professionals for a reason. I mean after all they are professionals who have studied the subject for at least four or five years and have had to pass various certification exams. How is it that Joe Blow Flagami resident, can whine for a little while and have the whole future of Miami Public Transportation in the area changed just because he doesn’t like the idea? What happened to being progressive and doing what is best for our community’s future? Now, don’t get me wrong, I do believe the people should have a say in the projects in their backyard, but when is it the right time to trump their ideas and do whatever is best for the future of the community. I believe it is up to planners to a certain extent to guide and steer growth appropriately through intelligent systems. Baylink is great example of a project that should have occurred, with or without the local community support, because of the long-term benefit it would have provided to all citizens.

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Well, I went to the Miami-Dade Transit Planning meeting tonight, just as I had promised. The topic of discussion was the placement of the 87th avenue, 97th avenue, and 107th avenue stations along the east/west rail corridor slated to be operable 2014. 2014 + the usual Miami-Dade construction delays and cost over-runs means I should be seeing this train operating about the time I retire. I basically stayed mum throughout the 87th and 97th avenue discussions because the clearly wiser alternative would be placing the stations north of the Dolphin expressway due to the infinite possibilities and large tracts of land which could be developed for Transit Oriented Developments.

The 107th avenue station placement was the main reason I attended, to contest its retarded placement in between the Dolphin and International Malls. I proposed that two stations be developed, in conjunction with the respective malls in the expansive parking lots they both have. It would remove useless circulators to either mall and provide further space to encourage TOD. In exchange for re-alignment towards both malls, the free land for the stations should mitigate any additional costs incurred. It’s just a thought on how to make a better system where more citizens will be enticed to ride.

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Last week’s heat victory parade was not only an excellent celebration through the streets of Miami, but it was also a great opportunity for thousands of people to use public transportation to get downtown. Although I personally know several people who drove downtown (shame on you!) record numbers of people used tri-rail and metrorail. Tri-rail itself hit a new peak, with over 18,000 riders on Friday, the most in its 17 year history.

Here’s a touchy subject. Now, no offense to my Broward and Palm Beach readers, but I’m glad there was only one Heat parade, in Miami and here’s why: I’m sick of the “self-imposed segregation” we currently see in the Tri-county, Greater Miami Region. It’s a constant competition against each other, even for a victory ticker-tape parade which is supposed to unify the community not isolate the two regions. If the Mavericks had won the championship, they weren’t going to hold separate parades in Dallas and Ft. Worth, even though the two cities are also only separated by 30 miles. The Greater Miami region (a.k.a. South Florida) needs to come up with its own unified identity, quickly. Heck, our three airports and four seaports are constantly battling each other for no reason; why not unify them to compete with global markets rather than local ones. I understand the importance of every community having its own personal identity, but, we need to look at the bigger picture of what will benefit our region as a whole in the long-run. In the end, a parade up in Ft. Lauderdale would have been as smart as another one down in homestead, if not equidistant…

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Just found these above photos on a forum that I frequent. They are of the Miami Intermodal Center, which is so far, just a fairytale. What’s an intermodal center? It’s going to be Miami‘s Grand Central Station connecting the new airport people mover, metrorail, tri-rail, Amtrak, metrobus, taxi, and rental cars under one roof. Amazing? Well, yes, if it had been built on time (like the PAC, Airport North Terminal, etc.) Construction “progress” photos on the MIC site date back to October 2001, since then they’ve moved lots of dirt around, tied up the traffic on LeJeune daily, and wasted plenty of taxpayer money in the process. Meanwhile, we suffer the consequences of the current disorganized system and still do not have a rail link to the airport. Recently, the MIC was even downscaled from its original scale due to 9/11 passenger traffic decreases, however, in a sudden stroke of genius intelligence, the redesign was done in a manner which would be easy to expand the facility later if need be. However, If you look at the first picture, someone forgot to adequately shade some of the metrobus stops of the MIC. I fear this building will be riddled with defects.

There’s nothing too revolutionary about the building’s design. Similar buildings are rising in other parts of the world which will not only feature cutting edge technology, but will also be visually stimulating. Considering the hundred of millions of dollars that will be poured into this structure, I honestly expected something a little bit more grandiose. But hey, this is Miami, I’ve grown used to the lackluster designs, ridiculous cost overruns, and most importantly, the complete negligence of the construction schedules initially stated…

Click here for the complete PDF

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Well, I may be a day late, but I’m definitely not a dollar short. Hmm, where shall I begin? FIU, Florida Incredible University. It truly is incredible that so many visionaries are at the helm of this institution, leading the Golden (eh, they’re a few shades off) Copper Panthers well into a traffic fiasco. Honestly, I’m really glad the FIU officials have decided that their land is too precious to fit a Metrorail station on their campus, it’s a great Urban Planning lesson in the making (Oh wait, they don’t offer that major, my bad.) Better watch out, or there may not be enough room to fit another one of those hideous, well built parking garages in the future.

FIU officials, (with their all knowing superpowers) think a commuter train just wouldn’t make sense for a school that’s ranked as one of the top 10 commuter schools in the nation (Education should not be accessible to all apparently.) For a school looking to grow in prestige, accessibility, and educational ranks, they are doing a great job at keeping students away.

Someone at the MDTA has got to step to the plate on this issue. We need to look down the road for once and see that traffic is not going to improve any time soon. Let use other cities outside of Miami to see how things are done elsewhere, public education and public transit go hand-in-hand.

Here is a list of major Universities linked by Public Transit rail lines (off the top of my head): Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Boston College, NYU, Tufts, Rice, San Diego State, UMASS, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, Drexel, Loyola, Tulane, Columbia, UM, Stanford, etc…

Schools that FIU would rather not be associated with apparently…

Transit Miami’s Summer Transit Challenge continues today with the very well detailed accounts of United Citizens for South Link’s Co-Chair Priyanshu A Adathakkar. I’d like to thank Priyanshu for taking the time to write down his experiences to share with us all as he dealt with the traffic jams caused by the recent metrorail fire. Remember, the Summer Transit Challenge will be going on all summer long. All you have to do is ride public Transportation once a week and tell me about your experiences through a digital telegram ( It’s that easy! Enjoy…

On Wednesday June 14th I arrived at the Civic Center Station of the Metrorail a little after 5.30, there was a train sitting there with its doors closed and passengers sitting in it, I waited to see if the doors would reopen since it was just sitting there, neither did the doors open nor did the train move. Finally after about five minutes the train started crawling out of the station only to pull out of the station and stop again just a few yards out on the tracks. Later I was told by people on that train that they were asked to get off the train at Government Center Station and get into shuttle buses.

Back at the Civic Center station I stood there for about 30 minutes with no trains in sight or any information on what was going on, the security guards on duty did not have a clue nor did anyone else, let me take that back, somebody did because the public address system would periodically come to life with a female voice making some kind of announcement this is what everyone heard “Your attention please, your attention please, we are experiencing………….Okeechobee and Vizcaya ………………. ” Meanwhile people were coming into the station as shifts at the various clinics and hospitals ended. Both north bound and southbound platforms were crowded to capacity by this time. Finally, a security guard came up to the platform and started telling people that the Metrorail is shut down and shuttle busses will be arriving soon.

Memories from an incident not to long ago came back to me when Metro Rail and US 1 were both shut down by the Coral Gables police because of an ongoing situation in one of the apartments near the metrorail tracks. They had shut down the metrorail at peak hour between Douglas road station and University stations, so we had to get off the train at Douglas get on a shuttle bus that was packed like a tin of sardines and made our way at snails pace to University station. After riding for about 45 minutes we were finally on Ponce De Leon slowly inching towards university, anyway Ponce De Leon runs parallel to the metrorail and we could see that the services had resumed and trains were flying by us, 15 minutes and 3 trains later we were finally at University! With this experience flooding back, I refused to get on the shuttle bus, the smart thing was to wait it out, so I went back down to see close to 100 people waiting for the shuttle and one bus lumbering down towards them. To save time found a Chinese place to eat an early dinner and when I got back to the Civic center Station there was a train waiting and the doors were open!

-Priyanshu A Adathakkar

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See, told you these Transit Oriented Development thingies are the hottest item in the development market. Here is a write-up in today’s Herald (which I was oblivious to, until now) about the upcoming Brownsville TOD. Here are the highlights of the development:
8.79 acres
100,000 square feet of office space (HQ for Transport Workers Union)
20,000 Square feet of Retail space
300 Housing units
90 on street parking spaces (Could it be true? No hideous parking garage?)

Oh, here is the picture Ryan tried to post as a comment earlier of a TOD in Philly…Sweet building, very modern…


Will the Grove NIMBY’s please stop whining? No, I’m not talking about their latest efforts to continue to balk at whatever proposal is presented to them by The Home Depot (Although, I must say that the latest renderings presented by the company are absolutely stunning for a big-box retailer and the restrictions placed on deliveries and parking facility use are fairly reasonable.) I too understand the atrocities committed by big-box companies like The Home Depot and would also seek such restrictions if they were moving into community. I commend the people for fighting the Atlanta based company (whose persistence is really starting to amaze me now; they must have calculated some ridiculously huge profits for this location in order to still have the motivation to challenge the Grove residents.)

Now, that I have digressed enough from my initial statement and have proven that I truly have nothing against Grove residents, I can continue with the reason why some local NIMBY arguments are weak. Reference this Article in today’s Miami Sunpost.

The plan for the Miami-Dade Transit agency is to build Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) along nearly every stop of the Metrorail (Ex: Datran Towers in Dadeland, Transit Village in Overtown, Allapatah Apartments in Allapatah, etc.) Next stop, Coconut Grove, well maybe not, if Grove NIMBY’s have their way.

The project calls for a 1+ million square foot mixed-use development with retail, office, hotel, and condominium space all leased on County owned land adjacent to the metrorail (like Datran only slightly smaller.) A great idea to boost system ridership and charge rent on the use of the land for decades to come.

Grove NIMBY’s (like the Pincrest one’s down south) argue that the development will have an adverse effect on the current traffic issues in the area. Ok, point taken. But what development won’t have an adverse effect and how do we begin to solve the problem if such TODs aren’t built to get people (like the Grove, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, South Miami and Kendall residents) onto Public Transportation to begin with? It’s a vicious cycle that has cast Miami traffic into a downward spiral.

The real question here, which all residents should ask when a TOD or any high density building such as this is rising, is: What is being done to force residents, visitors, and tenants alike to use public transportation to access this new building? Will there still be enough parking for all employees or is it being designed properly to incorporate metrorail and bus use? (Note, even the Datran complex was poorly designed with each building resting on a parking garage “pedestal” with surely enough parking for office employees, hotel guests, and visitors.)

We can’t change our way of life overnight, but we must begin to implement progressive changes quickly, especially on projects situated on major corridors (Like US-1 and 27th Ave, where this project is slated to rise.) By asking the right questions first, all residents will benefit from the changes that can be forced to occur in the design of local developments without reducing density or profitability. The transit agency has taken a step in the right direction to create the TOD, residents and politicians alike now need to guide developers into creating projects which improve and promote the ever growing public transit infrastructure in our community…

Breaking News- From WPLG (ABC 10) - The Miami Metrorail has caught on fire at NW 79th st and 32 Ave (CBS 4 Link, ABC takes too long.) The fire has not shut down the metrorail, yet, as trains are running on a single track. The Fire appears to have been caused by the electrified third rail. Aerial Coverage of the scene shows the streets below were closed, however, fire personnel had not yet begun to extinguish the fire…

We’ll bring you more updates as the story unfolds…

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Well, having already used public transportation for pleasure and recreational purposes on various occasions, today is the first day I depended on the system for my daily mobility. I began my day, 40 minutes earlier than usual and arrived at the UM metrorail station by 7 am (on foot.) The stations and metrorail were busy with what appeared to be working class individuals; the business executives were only visible as I peered through the window of the train at the traffic down below on US-1. I rode the train North to Douglas Rd. (next stop) where I disembarked around 7:12. That’s where the efficiency level of the system suddenly took a sharp drop.

Now, I knew the J bus would take me to my destination, however, the trip planner recommended route 42. So, with that knowledge at hand, I proceeded to the route 42 bus stop. The station had a bit of activity but did not appear to be more or less than usual. Route 37 seems to be the popular route. I waited for 20 minutes, watching a couple of J routes come and go as well as a route 42 heading towards Coconut Grove, empty.

The arrival of the 42 could not have come at better time, as the sun was just beginning to peak over the trees and buildings which were shielding it from me and the heat was just starting to intensify. It appears many people are unaware of today’s free rides as the bus driver himself quizzically glanced at the ticket I just handed him and riders continued to pay or show their golden passports. The bus embarked immediately.

The ride was uneventful and much more serene than my new daily commute down the same thoroughfare in my car. Once on the bus, we flowed seamlessly until I disembarked at my location at 7:50, nearly 50 minutes after my public transit endeavor began. Next time, I’ll spring for the route J, and a shorter commute which could in fact rival driving which often takes me up to 20 minutes… I’ll be back later with the conclusion to my daily errands and a wrap-up on what I think could be improved.

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