Miami-Dade County recently announced plans to pursue a one-seat ride solution for the Miami Beach transit corridor or Baylink — an alternative to the previous monorail plan.
The community-preferred, one-seat option — an expansion of Metromover to connect Miami to Miami Beach — will make Miami-Dade transit more efficient and accessible while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
The one-seat solution remains the preferred option by residents and advocates, offering greater familiarity and convenience for riders and fully integrating with the existing county transit system.
“My administration is committed to providing our residents with innovative transit solutions that better connect residents to jobs and opportunity, while delivering maximum value to taxpayers,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I have always supported a one-seat ride for Baylink, and I’m proud that we are now moving forward with a seamless extension of the Metromover to provide the best experience to residents and visitors at a significantly lower cost.”
In October 2020, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved an interim agreement with MBM Partners LLC (MBM) granting the right to negotiate a comprehensive 30-year project agreement to develop and maintain a monorail system connecting Miami to Miami Beach.
Due to significant increases in proposed costs over the course of the negotiating period, the interim phase ended without an agreement, allowing the county to pursue a more cost-effective, convenient, one-seat alternative.
“When monorail was first proposed, the previous administration presented it as a solution that could save hundreds of millions of dollars over Metromover. In the recent negotiations, however, the price ballooned to $1.3 billion,” said District 5 Commissioner Eileen Higgins.
“We now believe we can get what the residents want — a one-seat ride between Downtown and the Beach by extending our existing Metromover — at a lower cost. That’s why we’ve decided expanding the Metromover is the best option.”
An analysis conducted by the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) indicated that an extension of the county’s existing Metromover system to Miami Beach would provide the greatest rider experience and create the highest overall value. Extending the Metromover system offers users a one-seat ride from any Metromover station to Miami Beach and back, connecting Baylink to Metrorail and eliminating the need for riders to transfer while maintaining comparable travel times.
“Providing a high-quality transit solution that take residents and visitors between Miami’s urban core, Miami Beach and the economic engines of Miami International Airport and PortMiami is critical to creating a thriving, more resilient Miami-Dade,” said Eulois Cleckley, DTPW director and CEO. “This one-seat ride will connect more riders to more parts of our county through a convenient and continuous Metromover expansion.”
Miami-Dade County will release a competitive solicitation for the Metromover extension in coming weeks, utilizing much of the predevelopment work completed under the original interim agreement. DTPW staff will work to advertise, evaluate, and negotiate the new solution by October 2023, facilitating an accelerated delivery with project design commencing in 2024, construction beginning in 2025, and operations anticipated by 2029. The proposed timeline will deliver a more rider-friendly, cost-effective solution in a similar timeframe to that of the originally pursued monorail solution.
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