Focusing on Jobs: South Dade Route to Success

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Gusmans want Olympia Theater back after Miami neglect
Grant Miller

Too often, politicians get lost in their grand visions of the future, only to be hindered by their myopic perspectives and fleeting attention spans. This is evident now.

Back in 2020, Miami-Dade County received a substantial $99.9-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. This funding aimed to cover a significant portion of the expenses for transforming the current busway service from Florida City and neighboring South Dade communities to Dadeland into a high-speed busway.

However, for some politicians, this allocation fell short of expectations. One local city official expressed frustration, advocating for a transit solution that would extend Metrorail a staggering 22 miles from Dadeland to Homestead – at an estimated cost of $3 billion, yes that’s billion with a letter B!

Despite still needing an additional $200 million for the busway project, the crux of the matter remains: we cannot address our challenges by merely speculating on potential solutions. We must concentrate on initiatives that are guaranteed to succeed.

Our current mass transit strategy involves ferrying numerous well-compensated professionals from South Dade to downtown Miami, covering distances of 20, 30, or even 40 miles daily – each way. It’s time for a paradigm shift. Let’s explore long-term strategies that prioritize relocating such high-income positions closer to home.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inadequacies of our traditional approach, possibly forever altering the landscape. Many individuals discovered a preference for telecommuting rather than enduring lengthy commutes by car, bus, or train.

During the crisis, law firms and other downtown employers benefitted by relinquishing expensive office space, opting instead to subsidize high-speed internet for remote workers – a far more cost-effective solution.

Here’s another stark reality for employers: approximately half of their employees who transitioned to remote work during the pandemic expressed a reluctance to return to the commuting routine. What if there’s a superior alternative?
Indeed, there is.

The County possesses the authority to zone or rezone land west of the busway, beyond the municipal boundaries of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, and Florida City. Rather than fixating on elongated commutes, why not concentrate on fostering job growth in the southern region of the County?

I’m not advocating for minimum-wage jobs, such as adding more retail giants along US 1. Instead, let’s utilize tax dollars – the same funds that would otherwise be allocated to unpopular transit infrastructure projects – to attract major employers and high-paying jobs to South Dade from outside our community.

This approach not only promises more bearable commutes but also promotes a healthier work-life balance for employees. It’s a win-win proposition.

Questions? Reach out to Grant Miller at or call 305-323-8206.

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