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Old July 19th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #21
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Videos of Miami Metromover

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Old July 19th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurotram View Post
BTW,what about Miami's light rail plans?I found some info (it was put few months ago) that this project was accepted and Miami will receive funds for light rail. How looks this situation for today?
I have not heard anything about the Baylink light rail that is supposed to connect Miami Beach to the mainland. I guess it is still in planning stages, maybe someone from South Florida can fill us in?
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mopc View Post
Apparently this is the plague that affects all mass transit in the USA except Manhattan and maybe DC... they build good lines with good stations but the system simply does not cater to the demand in the cities...
The problem sometimes lies with the fact that transit lines tend to be built where capital costs are cheapest, rather than where the transit line would have the greatest benefit. When you realize this, a lot of the odd or nonsensical arrangements in the USA's interurban rail lines make 'sense'. So if building a surface line along a highway right-of-way costs 30% as much as a subsurface line through a dense, developed area, but brings in 15% of the ridership, this is regarded as a "good deal", because it's cost is a smaller number on a balance sheet (of course, this is just a side effect of the insanely high cost of building mass transit in the U.S.).

Also, due to U.S. land-use and tax demographic patterns, we tend to develop hub-and-spoke systems that are primarily designed for moving commuters from the suburbs to the city center (and back to the suburbs in the evening). Many of our rail systems are not particularly useful for getting around a city, especially those developed from the 50's onward. San Francisco and Baltimore are good examples of this. S.F.'s BART train is okay for getting from Oakland or Berkeley to San Francisco, but not good at getting around most of San Francisco.

Interestingly, the D.C. Metro was originally conceived with the goal of being primarily a suburb-to-city center commuter system (in the 1960s-70's model of what a mass transit system should accomplish) but has evolved into a decent interurban system as well if only due to the fact that it has spurred massive urban development around its stations.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Well to be fair Houston has been expanding their system, and Austin & Phoenix just installed light rail as well.
Houston's rail system is nice enough for light rail, but very limited, sorry to say (I actually just rode on it this past week). Houston actually had ambitious plans for a new subway system in the 80's that was quickly killed off by mass-transit hater Bob Lanier when he came into office.

That city should re-examine the possibility of heavy rail again (though they probably won't). I don't think I've ever seen a more car-dependent metro area. More so than a lot of places they'll find their mobility curtailed if gas prices keep climbing.

I may be wrong, but I thought Austin had a new commuter rail line, not "light rail" in the way the phrase is normally used. I also hear the number of daily boardings are really small, in the neighborhood of 1,000.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
The problem sometimes lies with the fact that transit lines tend to be built where capital costs are cheapest, rather than where the transit line would have the greatest benefit. When you realize this, a lot of the odd or nonsensical arrangements in the USA's interurban rail lines make 'sense'. So if building a surface line along a highway right-of-way costs 30% as much as a subsurface line through a dense, developed area, but brings in 15% of the ridership, this is regarded as a "good deal", because it's cost is a smaller number on a balance sheet (of course, this is just a side effect of the insanely high cost of building mass transit in the U.S.).

Also, due to U.S. land-use and tax demographic patterns, we tend to develop hub-and-spoke systems that are primarily designed for moving commuters from the suburbs to the city center (and back to the suburbs in the evening). Many of our rail systems are not particularly useful for getting around a city, especially those developed from the 50's onward. San Francisco and Baltimore are good examples of this. S.F.'s BART train is okay for getting from Oakland or Berkeley to San Francisco, but not good at getting around most of San Francisco.

Interestingly, the D.C. Metro was originally conceived with the goal of being primarily a suburb-to-city center commuter system (in the 1960s-70's model of what a mass transit system should accomplish) but has evolved into a decent interurban system as well if only due to the fact that it has spurred massive urban development around its stations.
Yes thats what I imagined, many of the same problems affects mass rail in Brazil, where many cities built "metros" following old railroad right-of-ways but serving the city poorly because of lower costs..

BTW the Miami trains are very similar to the old Sao Paulo Budd Mafersa trains built in Brazil but licenced from the Budd Company, USA, in the early 70's:

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Old July 20th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #26
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In response to another poster, miami has a really good elevated People Mover system (called Metromover) that cover most of downtown Miami, this is in addition to the tons of bus service that exist there. To read more go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metromover.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Building Connections in Miami’s Urban Core
Click this link to see nice maps of what he is proposing for light rail from DownTown Miami to Miami Beach : http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...is-urban-core/

» The city’s existing transit system doesn’t adequately address transportation needs in some of the country’s most densely populated neighborhoods.

Compared to more successful rapid transit systems, Miami’s Metrorail has never come to define the lifestyle of a significant portion of the metropolitan area’s population. Rather, the 22-mile elevated line, which runs from the western extent of Miami-Dade County to its southern border, has served as something as a sideshow, serving less than one third of the number of people who take the bus. The line has a future — it provides the excellent, reliable service every recent rapid transit system offers — but any investments in the medium-term will have to come in some other mode, because Miami cannot justify either the cost or the low ridership projections of a new heavy rail project.

A surprising conclusion, considering that just three years ago the Miami-Dade transit agency had plans for significant new metro lines running nine miles north to 215th Street and thirteen miles west east to Florida International University. Poor management of tax revenues meant to pay for the line expansions, little interest from the federal government in paying for a part of the costs, and the recession have doomed the proposals, and they have been scuttled, at least for now. All that’s left: a 2.4-mile fingertip of a line running from the existing Earlington Heights Station to a new stop near the airport.

Miami, in other words, is in no shape to pay for another Metrorail line. But that might be good news.

The city has seen serious growth in the last decade, building up an impressive skyline from Brickell north through downtown into Edgewater, buoyed by the strong urban real estate market. Though apartment sales were left for dead after the crash, in recent months, they appear to be coming back. Midtown Miami has evolved into an arts district. Downtown is being rejuvenated through huge government investments in new parks and cultural centers. Across the bay in Miami Beach — a separate municipality — the resorts along the Atlantic have only densified.

Yet the majority of these places have no direct access to fixed-guideway transit, either in the form of Metrorail or Metromover (which runs people-mover services downtown), despite their heavy population growth and very urban characteristics. In response, leaders on both sides of the bay have called out for new investment.

The City of Miami has since 2006 been discussing plans for a center-city streetcar, illustrated in yellow on the map above. It would circulate in a series on one-way loops through downtown, up to Midtown, and west into the Health District/Civic Center Area.

But why a streetcar, when the Metromover could easily be extended north and west, without having to duplicate corridors downtown? Metromover is a popular service, providing free transit to 30,000 riders a day who benefit from trains every three minutes. But the biggest obstacles to the network’s expansion are aesthetic: Metromover is elevated above the street, disrupting the views of pedestrians and creating an awkward interface between transit stations and the sidewalk. Similarly, it is expensive to build a system that requires a fully reserved right-of-way, such as Metromover.

So a cheap-running streetcar line has presented itself as the best option for Miami politicians.

Those advocating for new transit to Miami Beach have harped on a similarly conceived new light rail line, to run in street right-of-ways in Miami and Miami Beach but in its own corridor along the bridge between the two, as the ideal future system. That project, which is illustrated in pink above, would require a series of complex one-way loops downtown, where commuters would have to choosing between Metromover lines, a Metrorail line, and two streetcars, all running in their own corridors.

These separate proposals, though currently out of commission because of a lack of political willpower and money, are generally good ideas: they connect people from downtown to the metropolitan area’s most significant centers of activity. Yet the disordered, confused manner in which the lines have been planned would be a disservice to the residents of Miami and likely result in low ridership.

There is an alternative, and it’s based on legibility, simplification, and quality of service.

What if the plans for the Miami streetcar and the Miami Beach light rail line were incorporated into one project? The two lines could run together downtown for about 1.5 miles on parallel streets until reaching Government Center station, where an interchange with Metrorail would be possible — as would a connection to Tri-Rail commuter services if a planned extension into downtown is developed. This shared track would ensure that customers know to find all light rail service offered downtown in the same place. There will be no confusion about which tracks lead where; rather, riders will simply have to wait for the right train.

Instead of planning a disorderly series of midtown streetcar routes, Miami could offer its residents a simple three-mile north-south line running parallel to the bay to the Design District, following 2nd Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard for most of the time, with a switch to Miami Avenue at the northernmost segment of the line. Though the branch to the Health District articulated in the city’s streetcar plan has some merits, it ultimately seems wasteful, considering that Metrorail already provides service to the area; the same could be said of the proposed line running through Overtown. This is especially true because the city’s primary density is on the waterfront, and transit should be located there.

A light rail line to Miami Beach is entirely reasonable, but the large loop previously proposed would be confusing, especially since clockwise and counter-clockwise services would operate differently. A simpler approach would bring trains seven miles across the MacArthur Causeway, east-west along 5th street, and then north-south along Washington and Collins Avenues, continuing as far north as the famed Fontainebleau Hotel at 44th Street.

Future extensions south into Brickell or west into Little Havana from the downtown line at Government Center would be relatively simple to plan, since the main downtown tracks for light rail would already be reserved.

The overall approach for this first phase: a 11.5-mile project whose scope would dramatically alter the provision of transit to Miami’s urban core. But implementation would only be successful if the city abandons the streetcar approach that puts trains in mixed traffic and adopts a more expensive strategy that would require handing over vehicular lanes to transit vehicles, closing some side streets to through traffic, and incorporating automated traffic-light-changing mechanisms — all necessary steps if transit is to be quick enough to attract a sustainable number of passengers. Fortunately, this can be accomplished pretty easily and with few negatives using the scheme noted above, which would place one-way lines on parallel streets. Most of the streets considered for operation are wide enough to lose one vehicular lane without any serious effect on traffic.

A focus on the waterfront may seem unreasonable for a transit investment of this scope. Shouldn’t inland neighborhoods benefit? Will there be enough ridership along the thin strip of land bordering the bay and ocean? In Gold Coast, Australia, those questions are being tested. There, an eight-mile light rail system is being constructed, with operations planned for 2014. With similar densities as Miami, and with an alignment just blocks from the coast for most of the route, the city expects 40,000 daily riders.

If Miami could replicate the investment, with light rail lines running to Miami Beach and to Midtown, it would probably benefit as many people. One major advantage of the massive build-up of residential units along the metropolitan area’s dual coastlines is that it has basically ensured success for any fixed-guideway system positioned there.

Yet there appears to be no political constituency for a project of this nature in Miami. Yesterday’s election of Tomás Regalado as the city’s mayor is likely to introduce a new era of fiscal austerity and an end to the big plans that defined the administration of previous mayor Manny Diaz. Miami-Dade Transit is hardly capable of financing its present services, and it will be unable to plan any new extensions for the next ten years at least.

But these facts don’t mean the need for better public transportation along the city’s waterfront will disappear. One can only hope that if and when such new transit is offered, its routes are legible, simple to understand, and of high quality.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 07:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
I may be wrong, but I thought Austin had a new commuter rail line, not "light rail" in the way the phrase is normally used. I also hear the number of daily boardings are really small, in the neighborhood of 1,000.
Austin's new system is sort of a hybrid between light rail and commuter rail.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:38 AM   #28
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I'm imagining Ottawa's O-Train.

Anyway, it's kinda sad seeing Miami's metro being underused. And I thought the T in Pittsburgh was underused.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:22 PM   #29
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Photos of the recent construction progress being made at the Miami Intermodal Center

Also Tri-Rail will suspend service to Miami Airport Station (and terminate at Hialeah Market) for two years to facilitate the construction of the Rail Station.
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Old September 1st, 2011, 08:35 PM   #31
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image hosted on flickr

DSCF1758 by the undergraduate, on Flickr

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MetroMover 3 by COSMOSNEXUS, on Flickr

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MetroMover 21 by COSMOSNEXUS, on Flickr

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MetroMover 14 by COSMOSNEXUS, on Flickr

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MetroMover 15 by COSMOSNEXUS, on Flickr

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MetroMover 5 by COSMOSNEXUS, on Flickr

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Metrorail leaving by emdurso, on Flickr
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Old September 1st, 2011, 10:50 PM   #32
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Quote:
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image hosted on flickr
[/url]
Queerly uninspiring interior for folks living in an unquestionably trend-setting city Maybe it's one of the reasons why ridership's so low there
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 04:59 AM   #33
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More like poor coverage, lack of Metro expansion until recently, auto centric sprawl dominating Miami landscape etc.
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Old September 4th, 2011, 05:29 AM   #34
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More like poor coverage, lack of Metro expansion until recently, auto centric sprawl dominating Miami landscape etc.
With the large amount of TOD's being developed along the existing line in addition to Downtown becoming more mixed use it will be inevitable that there will be a gain in ridership.

Right now the only thing that is missing is a line to Miami Beach and a line to FIU, in addition to Tr-Rail being expanded to the FEC corridor.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #35
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Some photos of the Metrorail extension to Miami Airport, taken from the Miami Airport forum.

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1201111313 by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111303a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111303b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111314a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111322b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111322 by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111322c by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111322d by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111321b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111321c by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111325b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111320b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111320a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111321a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1201111323 by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

SR112 eastbound

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1208111541a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1208111541b by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

1208111541c by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

1208111541d by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

1208111541e by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

1208111541f by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1208111542 by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr

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1208111544a by Daniel Christensen, on Flickr
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Old December 9th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #36
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Playful What's going to be the name of this station?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:19 AM   #37
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Playful What's going to be the name of this station?
Miami International Airport

The station will also house the relocated Tri-Rail and Amtrak station in addition to housing the Rental Car facility for MIA.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #38
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Will it actually go into the airport or just adjacent to it?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #39
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BTW the Miami trains are very similar to the old Sao Paulo Budd Mafersa trains built in Brazil but licenced from the Budd Company, USA, in the early 70's:
A very late answer, but the Miami trains were built by Budd. Together with the Baltimore Metro trains, which were made to the same design under a joint order, they were the last rolling stock Budd ever built.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #40
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adjacent to it
See the RR signage?
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