shuttle likely first step in downtown plan
planners say a shuttle service for the Brickell area could be a first
step in a plan that calls for bus links between downtown and surrounding
feasibility study on shuttle services for downtown Miami released
in June recommended three routes serving Brickell Avenue, Overtown
and the Flagler Street corridor.
federal funding is approved this year, local officials say the Brickell
Avenue loop has a realistic chance of becoming the first phase.
initial Brickell route would stop on Brickell Key, at the Brickell
Metromover station and at Publix.
think it will help the traffic flow quite a bit and get people to
go to shop downtown," said Miami Commissioner Willy Gort, who
chairs the Downtown Development Authority, an independent agency responsible
for economic development initiatives.
is vital for the business community," Mr. Gort said. "The
more access and the easier access you have, the better it is for everyone."
Brickell shuttle route, which would cost $182,000 a year to operate,
is among several transportation projects included in the county's
application for a WAGES Transit grant of $1 million.
looks very promising that we'll get at least money to start with one
bus," said Adam Lukin, project manager for the Downtown Development
federal transportation grant is part of the national welfare-to-work
program aimed at getting welfare recipients into the workforce. Officials
say that adding shuttles would help low-income workers get to jobs.
Guerra, project manager with the Metropolitan Planning Organization,
the county transportation agency that sponsored the shuttle study,
said the Brickell shuttle would help workers get from the Metrorail
to new hotels soon to open along Brickell. "We are trying to
move people from one side to another."
grant funds become available, Mr. Guerra said, the Miami-Dade Transit
Agency would operate the Brickell shuttle during the first year as
a pilot project. He said if it's successful, the Brickell route would
be expanded north of the Miami River to Bayside.
as funding becomes available, officials say they would add a downtown
route linking Flagler Street with the Omni mall and an Overtown route
that eventually would link Flagler Street to the Lyric Theater and
Cedars Medical Center.
Guerra said the Metropolitan Planning Organization later may consider
hiring contractors to operate expanded shuttle routes.
think it came up with some good routes that have potential,"
Ed Carson, transit programs administrator for District 6 of the Florida
Department of Transportation, said of the shuttle feasibility study.
it's just a matter of finding the money to do them all."
Carson said the shuttle is part of a growing trend to localize transportation,
citing the Electrowave shuttle in Miami Beach and neighborhood circulators
planned next year for Hialeah.