Bright days ahead for Miami-Dade transportation

Commuter rail to expand through Miami thanks to agreement with Brightline

Late last week, years of research (and no doubt a stream of complaints from commuters) culminated in a major decision for Miami-Dade transportation.

The county’s commissions unanimously approved an access agreement with Brightline, which will bring a new commuter rail system on the Brightline/Florida East Coast Railway. The project promises to make the county more connected than ever. In fact, the system would connect the county’s northeast region with possible station locations at 151 Street (FIU), 123 Street (North Miami), El Portal, Little Haiti, the Design District and Wynwood. The system would be interoperable with Brightline’s Aventura and MiamiCentral stations and would ultimately connect with Metrorail, Metromover and Tri-Rail.

The commuter rail system is expected to generate significant economic and environmental benefits while carrying nearly three million riders each year upon stabilization. Based on independent economic studies, the system is expected to generate $5 billion in economic impact over the first 10 years. This includes over 23,500 jobs, $282 million in annual labor income, $5.5 million in annual revenue for Miami-Dade County and $7.2 million in annual revenue for Miami-Dade Public Schools. The project also has strong support from different sectors of the community.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Miami-Dade County and all the credit goes to the county commission and their vision to improve mobility in our community,” said Brightline President Patrick Goddard. “A commuter rail system will take cars off the road and provide an environmentally friendly way to get around our region. In the short term, it will create jobs and rebuild our economy as we rebound from COVID.”

Adds Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) and Chairman of the Corridor Coalition, “The approval to move forward and implement commuter rail along the Northeast Corridor is the result of the grassroots efforts of over 50 businesses, community organizations and cultural institutions across Miami-Dade that collectively advocate for new mobility options such as this commuter rail initiative. Millions will benefit from the implementation of this public transit system and the economic growth it will generate. We remain committed to this project as it progresses and hope this service will soon expand to Broward.”

Pictured: Brightline train in the Design District

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