2010 was an ambitious year for MDX. Open road tolling really took off, and MDX had its planners busy working on ways to turn our County into an expressway wonderland, where everyone is only a block away from smooth rides; all the while, as our friends at rollbacktolls.com report, MDX ran a $2.4 billion debt through 2010. While we at Transit Miami do not think that tolls are the problem, we support others’ efforts to put MDX under a magnifying glass - after all, they act with complete impunity when it comes to planning and operating the expressway system in Miami-Dade County. And it would seem that their long-term strategy is to dismantle the few bits of premium transit we have in this region.

Take for example the plans they released in July (2010) to build a double decker expressway on top of Tri-rail, in an effort to connect all the major expressways in Miami. Insensitive to the fact that building a highway directly on top of a major regional transit system would only compete for riders, sources within MDX even admit that the likelihood of obtaining federal funding for the system is low considering the feds gave SFRTA several hundred million dollars only two years ago for Tri-Rail Upgrades. How backward can these folks be with regard to the true transportation needs of Miami-Dade County?

Now the latest assault on Miami-Dade Transit: the effort to dismantle the South-Dade Busway and create lexus lanes for the wealthy residents of Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, and Pinecrest. MDX planners are meeting with area residents to get buy-in for the project, but what they won’t tell people is that this is part of creating a parallel highway to US1 that reaches South Dade.

The irony is that the busway was conceived as low cost alternative to bring transit to the mainly underprivileged residents of South Miami-Dade County along existing train tracks built by Henry Flagler. The busway was never meant as a limited access highway for the wealthy residents of suburbs that have developed since then. Be that as it may, MDX is moving full speed ahead preparing plans to convert the bus-only transit way into an I-95 style lexus lanes expressway with elevated intersections.

What does MDT get in return for letting MDX rape its only premium transit service to the residents of South Miami-Dade County? A big fat nothing. No shared toll revenue. Faster travel speeds say MDX, but at the expense of accessible and convenient transit. On a line that already runs beyond capacity most peak times, the only transit oriented upgrade to the busway would be to make true BRT improvements, increase frequencies and headway, and eventually to extend the metro-rail south; what they should not take apart a thriving transit service. 

It’s time for a change in transportation planning in Dade County. We cannot allow MDX to continue to expand highway capacity at a time when most Miami-Dade residents are clamoring for expanded transportation options that will help them out of their cars.  The myopic car-centric decision making at MDX will only continue to degrade transit service until one authority is made responsible for uniting the managerial know-how and Right-of-Way MDX posses with MDT’s transit mandate. Until then, it is open season for MDX, and the drive to expand roadway capacity will continue at the expense of transit ridership.

16 Responses to MDX: Dismantling Our Transit System One Route at a Time

  1. Anonymous says:

    Go get ‘em!

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  2. Mike A. says:

    Let’s take them down.

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  3. Rog in Miami Gardens says:

    This is an outrage. Not only are these double-decker highways — or highways period — expensive to build and maintain, they are absolutely ugly. They completely ruin the look and feel of neighborhoods.

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  4. Tom Morris says:

    Yuck. It sounds like at least initially, the bus service would remain. One thing that bugs me, though, is that they do not elaborate as to where the interchanges would exist. A lot of routes enter and leave the busway at various places.

    Maybe I should say “the buses would remain as long as someone still deemed it profitable”. During the construction, of course, they’d have to leave the busway, and knowing mdt, the next “service adjustment” would probably permanently remove the busway services after construction begins.

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  5. Tony Garcia says:

    Pretty much.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    MDX is a money making scheme plain and simple. As long as the tolls are flowing in they will be shopping around for places they can build new tolled expressways. Of course our MPO will never say no to MDX because their projects are self financed.

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  7. Flipped says:

    MDX should be required to build transit as part of any large project using a current transit route. However, they ought not to overlap routes.

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  8. MDX says:

    We certainly understand your concerns and many may be unwarranted due to incorrect speculation. We are in fact working together with Miami Dade Transit on this study to improve existing transit service and providing Express lanes maximizing the unused capacity of the busway. Alternatives that are being studied are grade separations at major intersections, among others, that would allow for the buses to ride safely and quickly without having to stop at the intersections as they must do today. This would allow for faster and more efficient bus service and potential increase in ridership. The MPO first took a look at the possibility of using toll money to improve transit specifically on the South Dade Busway. All new transportation corridors that MDX has included in the MPO long range plan have a multimodal component including the potential for transit, bikeways. We welcome the opportunity to brief you on the facts of this project and clear up any misconceptions. Thank you

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  9. Tony Garcia says:

    Hi ‘MDX’, I am writing a followup post and will respond to you there. It would help the dialogue if you identified yourself and your capacity. Is this an official statement from MDX?

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  10. Tere Garcia says:

    Thank you Tony. I am the Public Information Officer for MDX. Please feel free to email me and we can set up a time to brief you on this project.

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  11. […] MDX: Dismantling Our Transit System One Route at a Time […]

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  12. Tony Garcia says:

    Thanks Tere. I will definitely reach out to you.

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  13. […] folks to advocate for the best transit options, when they are simultaneously planning to undermine Tri-Rail and the US1 busway with an elevated expressway (not to mention their stated opposition to the regional service on the South Florida East Coast […]

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  14. […] idea of using transit as a way to sweeten an otherwise bad idea is not new. We have been reporting for some time about MDXs plan to run a highway parallel to US1, under the dub… (Meanwhile, low cost transit improvements that would greatly improve service, like signal […]

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  15. […] idea of using transit as a way to sweeten an otherwise bad idea is not new. We have been reporting for some time about MDXs plan to run a highway parallel to US1, under the dub… (Meanwhile, low cost transit improvements that would greatly improve service, like signal […]

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  16. pt clnr says:

    Was money FOR metro rail past dade south then POOF. They done built orphan busway, dey got green light switch. Dey be late to time points to often for years. People didn,t forget …

       0 likes

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