pave way for Coral Gables commuter trolley
Sherri C. Ranta
free shuttle connecting downtown Coral Gables to the Douglas Road Metrorail
Station is expected to be rolling in February.
$1.4 million grant from Miami-Dade County is expected to fund capital costs
while money from the Florida Department of Transportation covers some of the
system's operating expenses for the first three years, said Kathy Swanson, Coral
Gables' director of development.
Gables commissioners approved the project Tuesday and told city staff to find
funds to operate the system, estimated to cost $450,000 to $600,000 yearly.
William Kerdyk Jr. said financing sources for the shuttle could come from a
special taxing district or parking meter revenues. "Everyone," he
said, "was extremely positive on this. I think each commissioner realized
this is an infrastructure improvement the city needs."
shuttle, Commissioner Kerdyk said, would benefit commuters by providing connections
to bus routes, parking lots and Metrorail.
two issues that affect us right now are traffic and parking," he said.
"As the city continues to grow, parking will continue to be tough and traffic
will become more congested."
call for the purchase of five vintage-style trolleys for $1.2 million, Ms. Swanson
said. The 40-passenger hybrid electric-diesel vehicles will be air-conditioned
route will run along Ponce de Leon Boulevard, crossing San Lorenzo to the Metrorail
and back along Ponce past the Village of Merrick Park - the mixed-use retail
and office complex under construction - past Miracle Mile and Alhambra, the
city's densest traffic zone.
call for the trolleys to run every 10 to 12 minutes from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday
through Thursday and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday.