While Kendall Drive commuters tangle with traffic, growing numbers are opting for the bus since the “Kendall Cruiser” began operations nearly two and a half years ago. Figures provided by Miami-Dade Transit Department indicate ridership could even double on Kendall Route 288 since inception of the diesel/electric hybrid bus service between West Kendall and Dadeland North Metrorail Station.
At $2.35 per trip, the Kendall Cruiser provides limited-stop service during peak hours along Kendall Drive between Dadeland North Metrorail station and SW 162nd Avenue.
A comparison of Cruiser Route 288 monthly passenger loads between July 2010 (12,268), the first full month of service, and February 2012 (20,760) shows nearly a doubling of ridership.
“Ridership figures have significantly increased since the time Miami-Dade Transit began providing this route,” said Karla Damian, Transit spokesperson.
She noted that average weekday boardings totaling 558 in July 2010 had increased to 989 by February 2012.
“With gas prices going up the way they are, people are discovering how much they can save by using the Cruiser, including avoiding parking fees at their destination,” Damian added.
The sleek 60-foot long Kendall Cruiser buses use traffic signal prioritization that allows the driver to extend green light timing at key intersections to help maintain 12-minute frequency between buses.
“This is also the first and only MDT route to be testing a Bus Tracker system,” Damian added. “The system allows users to check next bus arrival times via the Internet or on Webenabled mobile devices.”
With on-board Wi-Fi service, Cruiser Route 288 also takes advantage of free parking at the newly opened West Kendall Transit Terminal at 9155 SW 162 Ave. and at the “Park & Ride” lot at Kendall Drive and SW 150th Avenue.
The current weekday eastbound Cruiser schedule begins at 5:28 a.m. with 20 eastbound trips from West Kendall to Dadeland North Station, ending at 9:21 a.m. The afternoon westbound schedule from Dadeland begins each weekday at 3:20 p.m., ending with the last of 21 trips at 7:35 p.m.
For schedule and route map, visit online at miamidade.com/transit/kendallcruiser.