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Old August 19th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #1
mr jones
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FORT LAUDERDALE | Central Broward Transit

This first post will be reserved for latest information about the Central Broward Transit project.

Project Information 2012 | 3MB PDF
Broward MPO Presentation July 2012 | 2MB PDF

Projected Timeline
Summer 2012 - Preferred Alignment
Fall 2012 - NEPA Process
Spring 2013 - Public Hearing
Summer 2013 - Engineering/Design


Official site/credits: Central Broward Transit

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Old October 15th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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Upgraded Broward transit plan moves forward

By Michael Turnbell, Sun Sentinel
3:52 a.m. EDT, October 15, 2012

Broward County's goal of a more seamless, upgraded east-west public transit system is moving closer to reality.

Planners decided last week to run streetcars in an arc from the Broward Boulevard Tri-Rail Station east along Broward Boulevard, through downtown to the airport, then west along Griffin Road to the Dania Beach Tri-Rail Station and the education complex in Davie.

West of University Drive, plans call for express buses along Interstate 595 to Sawgrass Mills.

Officials say a premium east-west line is needed because the $1.2 billion currently being spent to widen I-595 won't be enough on its own to handle the county's growing traffic needs in 20 years.

They envision it as only the first of what could grow to a countywide network of streetcars and express bus services.

"It's the backbone of an expanding system," said Hollywood City Commissioner Dick Blattner, who chairs the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The new $467 million transit system would expand on a 2.7-mile streetcar loop planned in downtown Fort Lauderdale that could begin construction in 2014, with service following a year later.

In a modern streetcar system, tracks are flush with the street surface, and cars and pedestrians can cross them at any point, unlike a rail line that would run alongside the street. The vehicles are powered by overhead wires like light rail but are smaller and lighter. They travel up to 45 mph.

The east-west route would get riders from Sawgrass to downtown in 52 minutes. It would take only 18 minutes to get to the education complex in Davie and 37 minutes to get to the airport.

Early estimates say the service would carry about 3.4 million riders a year. Tri-Rail, by comparison, carried 3.9 million passengers in 2011.

But some residents are skeptical such a transit service is needed.

"To spend money on a streetcar line is a waste of money," said Jay Field, of Dania Beach. "A premium bus service might attract some riders. The number of people who ride Tri Rail and the (express buses) to Miami and back is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who move via I-95 and I-75. People will not give up the freedom that a car provides."

In choosing the Griffin Road route, the Metropolitan Planning Organization decided against another proposal to run express buses on I-595, State Road 7 and Broward Boulevard and connect to streetcars at the Broward Tri-Rail Station.

Planners said it relied too much on buses. They also said students and staff commuting between downtown and the education complex would have to switch from streetcars to buses, making the option less attractive than boarding once and getting off once.

County Commissioner Dale Holness, who represents central Broward, wanted to bring the premium service farther north to the county's second busiest bus transfer center at Lauderhill Mall. Broward County Transit's two busiest bus routes on S.R. 7 and Oakland Park Boulevard run through the area.

"There is a tremendous amount of need. The community that relies on it and needs it today is being left out," he said.

The decision over which route and type of service should be offered has been debated for much of the past decade. At one time, plans called for a $1 billion light rail system. That was scrapped several years because of costs and opposition.

Holness said residents along S.R. 7 and Broward objected to rail because they didn't want an elevated system like Miami-Dade County's Metrorail running past their homes. He said residents support streetcars.

"They wanted something that was aesthetically pleasing," he said.

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