Scheduled to begin service in July, a rubber-wheeled “Westchester Circulator” seating 30 and costing 25 cents a ride will provide hourly daytime trips between Tropical Park and Florida International University with several stops in between.
District 10 Commissioner Javier Souto proposed and secured the trolley route through a special resolution to provide a new transportation method for residents and consumers in the area’s primary business district.
Backed by the Westchester-Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce, the single bus operation by Miami-Dade Transit is estimated to cost $266,000 for an 8 a.m. to approximate 5 p.m. hourly schedule, Monday thru Friday, according to Karla Damian, Transit spokesperson.
As initially planned, the route between Tropical Park and FIU will have stops in the areas like St. Brendan Church, Westchester Shopping Center, West Dade Regional Library, Bird Road and Coral Way business districts and adjoining residential areas.
While similar trolley service serves downtown Miami, the Westchester route is the first to be put in service in the unincorporated west Miami-Dade area.
In District 11, Commissioner Juan C. Zapata has designated two “trolley” routes in West Kendall to inter-connect parks and retail centers in his long-term “West End” improvements report
Souto described the Circulator as part of improving connectivity in District 10 that also includes a new sidewalk addition on S. W. 97 Ave. from S. W. 8 St. to W. Flagler St. on an existing swale area for easier pedestrian access between Westchester and Fontainbleau areas. Souto is also studying new methods of connectivity to increase pedestrian walking, bicycling and bus usage.
“The Westchester Circulator will provide residents and visitors in the Westchester area a way to easily connect to schools, the local library, shopping and Tropical Park,” noted Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
In addition to the new trolley service, MD-Transit plans to construct a new Park & Ride facility in the area of No. Kendall Dr. and S. W. 127 Ave. with approximately 180 vehicle spaces for commuters to use transit for Metrorail connections, Damian noted.
In a separate action affecting Kendall ridership, the County Commission Transit and Mobility Committee of has approved a five year implementation plan to include a new Quail Roost Park and Ride facility along the South Dade Busway and S. W. 184 St. with approximately 295 parking spaces. The new parking area is coupled with planning to create a new Tri-Rail Downtown Miami Station as a terminus for the proposed Tri-Rail Coastal link.