Neighborhood “trolley” service is coming to Westchester.
Scheduled to begin service in July, a rubber-wheeled “We stchester 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.
Miami-Dade 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 approximately 5 p.m. hourly schedule, Monday through 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 interconnect parks and retail centers in his long-term “West End” improvements report
Souto described the Circulator as part of improving connectivity in District 10 and is 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, Miami-Dade Transit plans to construct a new Park and Ride facility in the area of N. Kendall Drive and SW 127th Avenue with approximately 180 vehicle spaces for commuters to use transit for Metrorail connections, Damian noted.
In a separate action affecting Kendall ridership, the Miami-Dade County Commission Transit and Mobility Committee has approved a five-year implementation plan to include a new Quail Roost Park and Ride facility along the South Dade Busway at SW 184th Street 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.