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Old July 26th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #1
Toucano
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South Florida Transportation Part II

Hey guys, Part I reached the limit...Continue over here...

Here is the original...
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Old July 26th, 2006, 04:39 AM   #2
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Miami Transportation Projects

Miami Metrorail Expansion



Miami Intermodal Center
Rental Car Facility



Tri-Rail Central Hub




Miami Streetcar
enlarged map



Baylink


I-395 Burial or Redesign





Port of Miami Tunnel: video


Best South Florida Transit-themed Blog:
www.transitmiami.com
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Old July 26th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #3
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Nice recap.

A question for Roark and the Miami Beach residents. Do they use their portion of the PTP money for anything in particular? Miami is doing the street car, Coral Gables the trolley, Hiealeah is running their own bus line now. Is the county doing a good enough job over there?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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Great recap of WORTHY projects, Paul, but is "Baylink" still even being discussed except among urbanists and boosters like on this website?

I try to read the Herald and Sun-Sentinel every day online and can't remember the last time either paper had any mention of it.

Is it still a real project?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Great Recap Paul...Thanks for including my blog, I am really glad to see that many of you enjoy reading it.

Baylink is not canceled or forgotten...It has been pushed back for funding consideration in 2014, if my memory suits me correctly...This is simply unacceptable, however, the transit officials deemed it necessary to not continue with a project that the misinformed Miami Beach city citizens did not want at the time. From what I can tell, this is no longer the sentiment on Miami Beach. Ultimately, the project is under County jurisdiction and can be completed whenever the county transit officials decide to fund it, whether or not they have Miami Beach city approval and citizen support…
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Old July 26th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickell
Nice recap A question for Roark and the Miami Beach residents. Do they use their portion of the PTP money for anything in particular? Miami is doing the street car, Coral Gables the trolley, Hiealeah is running their own bus line now. Is the county doing a good enough job over there?
Nice job Paul...
touc is right on. Miami Beach really doesn't really have much to say, but the County (rightly) asked for buy-in from the MB citizenery so that there wouldn't be a tremendous uproar. Miami Beach residents are mostly happy with their transportation options. The percentage of people that live on the island and commute don't face any traffic congestion going to the high paying jobs (Central Business District/Brickell, Hospitals). It's about 6- 10 minutes away from everything.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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But I will take my hat off for how freakin' convenient MIA is!!! Exactly 14 minutes from the driveway to the terminal. $25 bucks for a cab, and $245 for a round trip flight to Chicago. There aren't many cities in the world where you can go from the urban center to an International Airport in less than 15 minutes.
Now that is TRANSPORTATION!!!
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Originally Posted by nimbyhater
and because of that proximity well never have a 1000 footer... damn MIA's convenient location... DAMN IT TO HELL!

why can't we just have an o'hare like chicago... thats still relatively close to everything with convenient expressway access but you can take the train there conveniently too
Of course convenience is relative...but it was EXACTLY 14 minutes from driveway to MIA.
Compared to 50 minutes on the train from Chicago O'Hare to Michigan Avenue/Chestnut. We would have taken a cab from ORD to Dwtn, but their was a Cubs/Sox Game and I was told that it would take over an hour and a half by cab.
I'd love to see the 1,000 footer, but I'd rather have the airport conveniently located for my sake, and for the sake of efficient commerce.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #8
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Yea, I agree. I'm all about mid/lowrise towers. The pedestrian environment of a city is much more important than the visual appeal of the skyline from five miles out. I'd much rather see the Biscayne Boulevard streetcar or the baylink in stead of a 1000 foot tower.

BTW, how expensive do you guys think it would be to set up a few east-west light-rail systems branching out from the metrorail? More and more I am thinking that Miami should abandon its hopes of having heavy rail everywhere and just put in a much cheaper light rail system. The suburbanites of Miami will resist heavy rail to the death and I think that light rail would be utilized better anyways (no stairs=burning less calories on the way to the stop). Anyhow, I have no more time to discuss this right now, but I am curious of your opinions on light rail v. heavy rail.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roark
Nice job Paul...
touc is right on. Miami Beach really doesn't really have much to say, but the County (rightly) asked for buy-in from the MB citizenery so that there wouldn't be a tremendous uproar. Miami Beach residents are mostly happy with their transportation options.
It's my understanding that each municipality gets their own cut of the half-penny sales tax. What I'm asking is if Miami Beach uses theirs? Maybe I'm wrong on this one. Did they use it for cleaning up Washington Ave? Just wondering here. I understand that Baylink is unrelated.

edit: nevermind, i found this pdf from 2004 showing their planned expenses. A lot of it does look like the Washington Ave area. Also the Electrowave and bike/pedestrian trails. http://www.miamidade.gov/citt/librar...iami-beach.pdf
List for all municipalities here: http://www.miamidade.gov/CITT/municipal_program.asp
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:32 PM   #10
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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15176567.htm

Quote:
MASS TRANSIT
News Tri-Rail plan is far-reachingA rail initiative expected to be announced today for Central Florida could eventually bring better Tri-Rail service to South Florida.

BY LARRY LEBOWITZ
llebowitz@MiamiHerald.com

Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to announce today a new commuter rail initiative in Central Florida that could lead to improved service for Tri-Rail riders in South Florida and one day lead to a new Tri-Rail line deep into the suburbs of Southwest Miami-Dade.

The governor's aides refused to confirm any details about the scheduled early-afternoon announcement in Orlando regarding the proposed commuter rail service.

But state transportation leaders have been negotiating for months with CSX Transportation for the rights to run trains on 61 miles of freight lines through parts of Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties.

Three sources familiar with the Central Florida deal said CSX, based in Jacksonville, has also agreed to relinquish dispatching and maintenance control along the 72-mile South Florida corridor that the state bought in 1988 for $264 million.

For years, Tri-Rail leaders have complained that the state refused to wrest control over dispatching from CSX as the company sent freight trains and Amtrak passenger trains into the corridor during peak Tri-Rail service hours.

How the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which operates Tri-Rail, would cover the multimillion-dollar expense of dispatching and maintenance remains to be seen.

The sources said CSX, as part of the Central Florida pact, will also grant Tri-Rail permission to run passenger service deep into Miami-Dade on a 32-mile spur known as the Homestead extension.

The tracks run from Bird Road near 72nd Avenue diagonally southwest along State Road 874 toward Miami Metrozoo before heading south to Homestead. One spur could also serve residents who live near the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport.

Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez has been pushing to develop a bare-bones service similar to the early days of Tri-Rail that would provide a commuting alternative for West Kendall suburbanites who could transfer to Metrorail in Hialeah or, someday, at the Miami Intermodal Center near the airport.

Plenty of funding and operational hurdles have to be cleared before Tri-Rail could start new service in Miami-Dade.

The CSX tracks, which currently support one to two freight trains a day, would have to be improved to meet federal safety standards for passenger services.

And Tri-Rail was originally planning on running three-car diesel-powered double-decker trains that could run at speeds approaching 60 mph. But now those diesel multiple units, or DMUs, might be headed to Central Florida a lot sooner than originally anticipated.

The state paid $22.9 million for the first five cars -- the vast majority of the funding secured by Rep. John Mica, a Central Florida Republican who chairs an influential transportation subcommittee.

Tri-Rail was ordered to send two DMUs to Orlando Tuesday where they will be used as a stage prop for today's announcement by Mica and the governor before returning to South Florida for trial runs later this month.

It is unclear how the four Central Florida counties and the state will pay for the new commuter rail service.

On June 27, Bush vetoed a bill that was strongly supported by Central Florida Republicans and Democrats that would have allowed county voters to decide whether to enact a $2-a-day rental-car surcharge to pay for roads, buses, trains and other transportation needs.

CSX will not be relinquishing its ability to haul 508,000 carloads of freight annually on 1,750 miles of track in Florida.

''We are pleased that these negotiations will enhance CSX's ability to meet the freight needs of a growing state while also addressing Central Florida's commuter rail desires,'' said CSX spokesman Gary Sease.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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light rail, heavy rail, ANY rail

Has the the northern extension of Metrorail (going up 27th Ave.) been abandoned or pushed behind the east/west? Not that either one is going to happen any time soon. I am a fan of ANY rail transportation, anything that does not have to stop at traffic lights is an improvement over the bus system. Although the attitude in Miami seems to be that people pathetic enough to take the bus don't deserve anything better, I still find it shocking.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceilingfan
Has the the northern extension of Metrorail (going up 27th Ave.) been abandoned or pushed behind the east/west? Not that either one is going to happen any time soon. I am a fan of ANY rail transportation, anything that does not have to stop at traffic lights is an improvement over the bus system. Although the attitude in Miami seems to be that people pathetic enough to take the bus don't deserve anything better, I still find it shocking.
It has not been abandoned. In fact, one of the great things going for it is that it swings into the north campus of Miami-Dade Community College before swinging out on its run northward to the county line. Of course, seeing it get built is a whole nother thing.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:20 AM   #13
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Now... if only FDOT could hurry up and buy the rest of the CSX "S" line from Mangonia Park (Tri-Rail's northern end) to Auburndale, and the CSX "A" line from Tampa to Kissimmee, then find a private company (like Virgin Trains in the UK) to come run Florida's own service from Miami to Tampa and Orlando. For trains leaving every 1.5-2 hours, with 4.5-hour end-to-end travel times, they don't even have to lay much new track... they just need physical dispatching control over the track so they can make the freight trains clear the tracks every 45-90 minutes to give the passenger trains a clear path to run through at 79mph nonstop. But to do that, they're going to have to buy the tracks and take physical control of the dispatching, because CSX will never, ever give priority to a passenger train (that's what sparked the latest power grab by FDOT... CSX kept getting caught making Tri-Rail trains wait for freight trains even though CSX didn't even own the track anymore and was explicitly ordered to never, ever delay a passenger train for freight).

Sigh. I really, passionately hate driving to Orlando.

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Old August 4th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicanes
Now... if only FDOT could hurry up and buy the rest of the CSX "S" line from Mangonia Park (Tri-Rail's northern end) to Auburndale, and the CSX "A" line from Tampa to Kissimmee, then find a private company (like Virgin Trains in the UK) to come run Florida's own service from Miami to Tampa and Orlando. For trains leaving every 1.5-2 hours, with 4.5-hour end-to-end travel times, they don't even have to lay much new track... they just need physical dispatching control over the track so they can make the freight trains clear the tracks every 45-90 minutes to give the passenger trains a clear path to run through at 79mph nonstop. But to do that, they're going to have to buy the tracks and take physical control of the dispatching, because CSX will never, ever give priority to a passenger train (that's what sparked the latest power grab by FDOT... CSX kept getting caught making Tri-Rail trains wait for freight trains even though CSX didn't even own the track anymore and was explicitly ordered to never, ever delay a passenger train for freight).

Sigh. I really, passionately hate driving to Orlando.
I hear you, dude, but expecting anything wise coming from the FDOT is wishful thinking.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 03:17 AM   #15
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Actually, FDOT's non-high-speed rail plans are fairly sane. They've been treading lightly to avoid getting tarred by the same brush that (rightfully) killed the HSR project, but they have been quietly working at it.

What's really sad is that Amtrak was actually making a net profit on its daily Miami-Orlando train a few years ago. They decided to have a pissing match with FDOT, and threatened to cut the route if FDOT didn't subsidize it. FDOT knew the route was turning an outright profit for Amtrak, and laughed at them... figuring that not even Amtrak would do something as stupid as eliminating one of their few genuinely profitable routes just to make a political point. Well, Amtrak cut the route, and FDOT realized that Amtrak is run by complete bungling idiots who couldn't run a customer-focused profitable railroad if you handed it to them on a gold plate.

I suspect that when the happy day comes that trains are running between Miami and Orlando & Tampa regularly, on time, in less than four hours, with onboard satellite broadband, secure overnight station parking, and on-site rental cars, the logo on the side of the trains won't say "Amtrak".

Now... some food for fantasy :-)


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Old August 4th, 2006, 03:36 AM   #16
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Sorry to go off topic, but is that guy flicking us off?
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Old August 4th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #17
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Yeah, but it was the best pic of the train's interior. I guess the guy didn't want to get his picture taken ;-)
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Old August 4th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #18
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I doubt if Amtrack will still be around by then but maybe a privately ran intercity commuter line might take its place.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #19
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Naw, I think Amtrak will be limping along for at least a few more years. What's going to be their final death knell is if, in fact, a state like Florida does ultimately go its own way and franchise a private company to profitably own and run passenger trains on tracks owned, maintained, & dispatched by FDOT, and succeeds wildly.

Right now, even people who are appalled by Amtrak's business practices grudgingly tolerate them because if they went under, long-distance passenger rail would basically vanish from the US, with no obvious replacement in sight. But if Florida, then Texas (just to give two examples of states that are VERY ripe for profitable intercity rail between a few prime cities) pulled off launching their own private rail services... there's a good chance that eventually a private company without much in the way of legacy debt, unions, and everything else to hold them back will buy a couple of DMUs from Colorado Railcar and start running their own luxury trains between regions that have developed their own networks (taking advantage of the fact that the stations will be already there and maintained by the region's host railroad). At that point, Amtrak will be toast.

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Old August 4th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #20
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Miamicanes, I see you've been giving this a lot of thought. Must be all that time you have on your hands when driving to and from Orlando. Regarding your last statement, I would like to think that time will come sooner than later. Since I'm probably the oldest guy on these boards, I hope to see it within my lifetime (much shorter than yours, I'm sure). If my UF kids ever get around to having kids (hopefully getting married first), I'd like to be grandpa taking my grandkids on a train ride to Disney World. Of course, when my own kids were in kindergarten and elementary school, I made the mistake of taking them on a train ride from Miami to Washington, DC. I thought they would get off on it. They were completely bored out of their minds by the time we got to Palm Beach. Worst part, I froze my ass off all the way up because I didn't know protocol was to grab one of the few blankets they had on board before someone else did. Worst yet, a huge fat mother****** sat behind me and began to eat something he brought with him in a cooler that smelled like road kill. No, that wasn't worse yet. When I tried to stretch out and sleep in my seat, I kept slipping off. I never slept once on the entire trip. So, in retrospect, maybe I won't offer to take the grandkids to Disney World on a train.
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