1,800-plus jobs are offshoot of Miami-Dade's new transit tax, expanded services
By Frank Norton
Miami-Dade County's new transportation tax and spending plan is expected to add 500 jobs next year and grow another 1,300 during the next five, officials said.
In addition to adding commuting services, the county will need workers, mostly bus drivers and mechanics, earning about $35,000 a year. In three to five years, the county will add about 1,800 permanent jobs, mostly for bus service, and will need to hire 1,800 temporary workers each year to build rail expansions, said Danny Alvarez, director of Miami-Dade Transit.
"Obviously that's like a large company moving here," said Frank Nero, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, the county's economic development agency. "But more importantly, the new service gives us more ammunition to attract the real private companies."
Services that began immediately after voters approved the tax last week include free downtown Metromover rides and transit for seniors and more buses in Coconut Grove and Little Haiti. By January, buses linked to Metrorail are to service Coral Way and Little Havana, and by June, Metrorail is to run 24 hours at increased frequency, county documents say.
The transit project is expected to raise about $150 million a year in county surtaxes and cost $17 billion during its 30-year life.
"Five hundred jobs is an immediate benefit, but the long-term benefit could be thousands of new jobs... in construction, new services and added commerce," Mr. Nero said.
The impact of payroll additions is not that great, but it's a lot bigger in terms of added services provided new employees, said Jaap Donath, director of research and strategic planning for the Beacon Council.
"It also makes it that much easier for us to sell Miami-Dade County to outside businesses."