Written by Peter Smith

Writing in the Pacific Standard, geographer Jim Russell made a claim that would have been unthinkable to most a year ago. “Portland is dying,” he wrote, and “Pittsburgh is thriving.” The economy of Portland, Oregon, the darling of the creative class-fueled urban renaissance, has stagnated from its inability to create jobs and tackle high unemployment. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh, a poster case for Rust Belt decline, even as it hosted the 2009 G-20 Summit, has notched employment records month after month. The difference, Russell notes, essentially boils down to this: Carnegie Mellon University.

It’s a tale of talent attraction versus talent creation. Portland doesn’t create much of its own talent; it has to attract it from elsewhere, and in that regard, it must compete with San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, and LA. It’s a losing battle. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, home of Carnegie Mellon, Pitt, and Duquesne, pumps out more talent than it can accommodate. Many may not remain in Pittsburgh - a few may even end up in Portland - but many will stay. Their ties to the area are too strong to break, and they’re the ones who are fueling the comeback. The tag line of Russell’s blog, Burgh Diaspora, poses the following challenge, “Since education makes a person more likely to leave your region, how do you justify your investment in human capital?” Asked another way, how do you get your best and brightest to stay? How do you prevent a brain drain? It’s a question Miami is familiar with. Miami is currently fighting a brain drain while simultaneously seeking to cultivate a start-up, entrepreneurial culture.

On the West Coast, San Diego offers an answer. In the 1990s, when city officials set out to expand the city’s light rail network, the Trolley, for the first time in nearly twenty years, they considered a novel approach. None of the city’s major universities were connected to the transit system, so planners sought to remedy that. The blue line, which opened in 2005, has stops at the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. The silver line, which is gearing up to break ground in a year, will link UCSD to the system. In total, nearly 60,000 students from top universities who had no transit access a decade ago will be connected to the Trolley.

One rationale for this approach is that it cultivates transit ridership. College students tend to be flexible and open to trying new things, and experience shows that if we can acclimate students to using transit during their college years, they’ll be much more likely to use transit at other times in their lives.

Perhaps more importantly, and more germane to our purpose here, transit builds and reinforces the bonds that individuals have with their cities. It also connects people and ideas with each other in ways that other forms of transportation struggle to do. The premise underlying San Diego’s planning decisions is that transit links its riders to the city’s residents, its cultural offerings, and its business communities. It creates bonds between individuals and their city, and builds the social capital that encourages students to put down roots and thrive. Pittsburgh is succeeding because life at Carnegie Mellon is so entwined with life at Pitt and Duquesne and the rest of downtown Pittsburgh and its business community that by the time students graduate they’re already so connected to business opportunities and to entrepreneurial peers and to the city itself that it becomes easy and natural to stay put. San Diego is on the way to accomplishing the same phenomenon by building social and professional connections through building physical transportation infrastructure.

Turning to Miami, our city deserves some credit for having the foresight to build Metrorail to UM. Much has changed since 1985, though, and UM is not the only major university in South Florida anymore. FIU is now the seventh largest university in the United States. It enrolls over 50,000 students and is approved to expand to 63,000 in the coming years. It is roughly five times larger than UM by enrollment. It has all the hallmarks of a world-class institute of higher education: a medical school, a law school, a top-ranked business school, and all the traditional liberal arts and sciences that standard fare at the best schools. There’s still one common feature that it does not share with other great universities in major metropolitan areas: a transit connection.

San Diego may have been the first city in recent years to map its transit system around universities, but it’s not alone. Nearly all mass transit system expansions in the United States over the past decade have included new stops serving universities. Here’s a sample:

Phoenix: In 2008, service began on Phoenix’s METRO light rail system. It connects downtown Phoenix with Arizona State University. ASU is the largest university in the United States at 63,000 students and is the model that newer large public research universities, like FIU, follow.

Denver: No city in the United States has expanded its transit system in recent years as much as Denver. Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) has opened five new light rail lines since 2002, bringing the total number of lines in operation to six. Under RTD’s $6.5 billion FasTracks initiative, the system will add as many as six new light rail and commuter rail lines, in addition to extensions of existing lines, between 2013 and 2016. Every one of the system’s lines serves the city’s Auraria campus, a multi-school mega-campus that houses the University of Colorado-Denver, Metropolitan State University, and the Community College of Denver. Approximately 60,000 students, nearly one-fifth of all Colorado college students, attend classes on the Auraria campus. In 2006, RTD began service on the E, F, and H lines, which also connects with the University of Denver and its more than 11,000 students. FasTracks will ultimately include a commuter rail line, as well, connecting to the University of Colorado at Boulder and its nearly 30,000 students. Under FasTrack’s highly praised $1.67 billion predecessor, T-REX (Transportation Expansion), RTD succeeded in connecting downtown Denver and its Auraria campus with the Denver Tech Center, the region’s second largest employment center and home to many technology and finance firms.

Minneapolis: In late 2010, Minneapolis’s METRO began work on the system’s second light rail line, the Green Line. The Green Line will connect the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is the nation’s sixth-largest university with nearly 52,000 students. The Green Line is currently under construction and service is expected to begin in 2014. It will have two stations on the University of Minnesota campus.

Seattle: In 2009, Seattle opened the first leg of the Central Link light rail system. Before service even began, the city’s Sound Transit started construction on the University Link extension. The University Link will connect the University of Washington with downtown Seattle. The University of Washington is one of the largest universities in the nation with approximately 43,000 students. The University Link will open for service in 2016.

Houston: When Houston’s METRO opened its first light rail line in 2004, it placed the line’s northern terminus at University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) and sent the line straight through Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. UHD is the University of Houston system’s second largest campus with nearly 13,000 students. Rice University is home to over 6,000 students. Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, is home to academic branches, including three medical schools, from countless universities, including Baylor University, Rice University, the University of Texas, and the University of Houston, among others. In total, approximately 49,000 students study at the Texas Medical Center. METRO broke ground on a second light rail line, the Purple Line, in 2009. The Purple Line, which will begin service in 2014, will have three stations serving the University of Houston’s (UH) main campus and one station serving the campus of Texas Southern University (TSU). The University of Houston is home to over 40,000 students and Texas Southern University enrolls over 10,000 students. In addition to the Purple Line, METRO is also planning the University/Blue Line, which will connect UH and TSU with the southern end of downtown, near Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. The University/Blue Line will have two stations serving TSU and two stations serving UH. In total, in excess of 100,000 students in Houston who did not have transit access a decade ago, will have transit links to the rest of the city.

Charlotte: Construction on Charlotte Area Transit System’s LYNX light rail extension to the Blue Line will begin in January 2014. The extension will connect the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to the Blue Line through Uptown Charlotte. UNC Charlotte enrolls over 26,000 students. The Blue Line extension is expected to begin service in 2017.

These examples do not just show that cities are expanding their transit systems to reach their universities; they show that cities are making it a priority to do so. Nearly every transit expansion of the past decade in the United States has included a link to a college or university. The advantages are substantial. College students are among the most likely to use and benefit from mass transit. Transit also helps in answering the question, how can cities encourage their best and brightest to put down roots and keep their talents at home? It is difficult the overestimate the role that transit can play in cementing bonds between citizens and the places they call home. A survey by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for example, found that transit riders were as much as twice as likely as non-transit riders to say that they felt a “strong connection” with their city. Transit is the physical infrastructure that connects citizens with each other, with business opportunities, and with cultural amenities. These things make people more productive and happier, and therefore more likely to stick around.

Miami is part of a shrinking ring of cities with transit systems that do not connect with the region’s major universities. FIU is part of a shrinking ring of major urban universities lacking transit connections with their regions’ employment and cultural centers. The revived expansion plans from the early 2000s to extend Metrorail out to FIU once again seem to have fizzled out. As a city struggling to tackle a brain drain while working to build a sustainable economy, Miami must find better ways to leverage its anchor institutions to produce, retain, and cultivate human capital. Arguably, perhaps no institution is more prolific in these respects than FIU. FIU graduates over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students every year and has over 200,000 alumni, over half of which live in South Florida. Yet FIU’s main campus is geographically isolated just a few miles from downtown. It sits trapped between three highways – 836, 826, and the Turnpike – that cut it off from every major employment and cultural center in South Florida. Students, as weak as the excuse may be, routinely miss class because of traffic and parking difficulties, and students often schedule classes to avoid 8th Street rush hour. We know that long commutes in traffic make us less productive, less creative, less healthy, and less happy. We know that highways have an historical legacy as insurmountable barriers that block the spread of ideas and prosperity. If we’re serious about developing Miami’s twenty-first century economy, we must better connect the city’s economic engines and human capital centers – FIU, UM, downtown, Brickell, Wynwood, etc. One component to this must include improving the physical infrastructure connections that link these sites, which means Metrorail expansion must be returned to the region’s agenda. Without the bonds between people and their city that transit ridership helps build, as it has in places like Pittsburg and San Diego, Miami’s highly skilled residents will continue to be likely to leave for greener pastures. And unless we are able to keep our best and brightest here and leverage their talents, Miami’s vision for a thriving twenty-first century economy will remain off in the distance just down the track.


25 Responses to Metrorail to FIU: Transit in the start-up city

  1. Matthew Toro says:

    This is an extremely well-argued justification for rail transit expansion to Florida International University, a superb, high-caliber public university that provides a huge service to the economic and cultural vitality of South Florida.

    It’s time to bring back, and bring to fruition, the Metrorail to FIU plans.


  2. Wallace Bray says:

    And how do we fund the Metrorail expansion? Dump the expensive and short sited plan’s to convert the South Miami Dade Busway to an expressway and the extension of 836 down to Tamiami Airport. Use these funds that come mostly from MDX for leverage. This article is correct. Miami is losing the best and the brightest to other cities.


  3. Kevin says:

    Extremely well written, Felipe. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    FIU is our region’s educational powerhouse and it must be connected to Downtown. Talented FIU students are leaving Miami because they can’t find a job, or after spending 4 years on campus, hardly feel like they’re a part of this city.

    A metro line to FIU not only solves FIU’s ever growing traffic and parking woes, but allows FIU students to cut expenses on their cars and gas, by not having to drive.

    Additionally, a line from Downtown Government Center to FIU along Flagler Street or Calle Ocho, goes through some of the densest neighborhoods in the city. That line would DEFINITELY be the metro system’s busiest Metro line.

    A Metrorail line to FIU makes way too much sense. It’s needs to get done. Our city is being left behind in the dust to smaller cities like Charlotte, Denver and Portland because our transit is horrible. Let’s fix this!


  4. Kevin says:

    An article from this morning’s Washington Post: “Echo Boomers flock to the District, Arlington.”

    Millenials want to live in dense, transit-rich cities, not auto-oriented suburbs. If we want to attract people to come and stay in our city, we need better transit.



  5. Kevin,

    I can’t take credit for writing this article. Peter Smith wrote it. I agree with you- extremely well written.


  6. Gables says:

    I agree that this is well-written. However, I think to get politicians on board, it needs numbers, statistics, and facts to truly resonate. While these arguments may be true, funding agencies prefer concrete numbers or statistics. If, for example, there were data to demonstrate that X% of entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh rode transit during college and chose to start businesses there because of the availability of transit, one could make a direct link between universities, transit ridership, business, and economic impact. Leaders in Miami are not motivated to do things just because every other city in the country is doing it (e.g. bike infrastructure; transit; freeway removal, etc.). In this instance facts and dollar signs will take this argument to the next level.


  7. Agreed Gables. Numbers would help, but what we also need in Miami are politicians with common sense that understand that proper public transit* is essential to create a competitive city that will attract educated young professionals to our city. A Metrorail extension to FIU and Miami Beach is a no-brainer. Instead we have MDX building highways beyond the UDB.

    *trolley busses don’t count as proper public transit.


  8. Peter Smith says:

    Gables, I agree that numbers would be a very valuable addition to the argument, but unfortunately, good, quantitative data on this specific subject isn’t really being collected by anyone.

    I approached this piece from the perspective that you really need two things to make policy changes. You need data, as you note, and we do have a lot of good data that weighs in favor of building mass transit. We have data that shows it moves traffic more efficiently than private vehicles; we have data that shows it is less expensive than private vehicle infrastructure; we have data that shows public transit leads to healthier, happier individuals and societies than private vehicles; we have data that shows that proximity to quality mass transit increases property values and promotes retail development. There really is a lot of good, hard, quantitative data out there weighing in favor of building mass transit.

    Yet, we’re still not building mass transit. That’s where the second piece comes in. In addition to good data, you need political will and unfortunately good data alone doesn’t always lead to that political will. So, what I attempted to do with this article was to tie mass transit to two prominent initiatives in the region: the brain drain and the start-up culture. In addition to advancing the mass transit discussion, I think that there is a lot of value in looping mass transit into discussions that are already taking place, such as the discussions around the brain drain and around the entrepreneurial culture in Miami. I wouldn’t necessarily argue that this is a more effective approach, but it is a different approach, and I think there’s inherently a lot to gain by pursuing multiple avenues to this end.

    That said, there may not be much quantitative data related directly to this subject, but there is an increasingly large amount of qualitative data that supports this notion. We increasingly know that urban infrastructure (transit, public places, other “third spaces”) connects people, and we also know that the more people connect and interact with one another, the more productive they become, regardless of the content of those interactions (may be hard to believe, but that is what the research shows us). Transportation isn’t just a transportation issue; it’s also an economic one. And simply, an economic policy that ignores these facts will be less effective than one that does not, so I think the more we can push that point, especially in the current economic and budget climate, the better our chances become of seeing mass transit in Miami in the near term.


  9. Guillermo says:

    ^ Amen!

    Can we please have some of our local politicians read this and fight for transit?


  10. Sewers and sea-level rise.

    Unless there is a fundamental shift in the political structure - an end to the systemic corruption - along with a total reconceptualization of what ‘metropolitan’ Miami should aspire to be, then the only transportation planning that is relevant is figuring the best way out.


  11. Dean Gabriel Williams says:

    As one of the 200,000 FIU Alumni, I can attest that many of the details written about the University in this article are “accurate.”

    The investment in mass transit is not particularly a priority of municipal and county governments throughout the state for two reasons. First, the cost - in proportion to total funds available for projects in general - is astronomical. If the funding does not come from the federal government, then an increase in taxes will be necessary in order to fund such projects. Second - and relative to the “service economy” issue - is that the nature of life in Miami is not one of the typical “american city.” Florida - in general - is a service based economy, whereby a vast majority of the jobs available do not require a higher education. On top of the service sector issue, is the fact that Florida is an “at will employment” state.

    And mass transit is designed with all of this in mind. In Dade County, buses run the length of 95 in the morning and afternoon rush hours, catering to county government employees. Routes such as the 9, 3, 16 and 8 run through those densely populated areas of the county, taking service employees to Miami Beach(for example). The expansion of the metro-rail (and soon, the tri-rail) to the Airport only serves the “service economy mood,” as other routes are designed with tourists in mind.

    Where mass transit harms FIU the most: internships. driving 30 minutes to one hour to an internship in areas such as Brickell, Coral Gables, Doral, or Downtown Miami (where the best internships are located)is difficult, especially when you have to wait 15-20 minutes on the 8 Bus, then ride for 45 minutes to 1 hour to some of these areas. This, combined with the typical courseload - when you don’t have a vehicle is difficult to pull off. The key to a (knowledge-based) career in Dade County is a mixture of internships and networking. And (for FIU students, at least), the transit system does not support the former.

    Since 2002, there have been a myriad of improvements to Dade County’s Transit System - the service sector being the beneficiary. If FIU is serious about taking that big step to officially claim its place as Miami’s Premier institution of Higher Education (which, quite honestly, it is), the FIU Foundation needs to seriously consider a “UM Styled Campaign,” soliciting companies and individual alike to raise the funds necessary to offset any costs that the county will incur in installing a line from downtown to FIU south, and Golden Glades to FIU north.


  12. Johnny Remigio says:

    This is how we were sold on the half penny tax increase. They promised us transit.

    I’m not sure how much money comes in from the PTP but I’m sure it’s in the millions. We should take a note from Denver and focus more of our efforts (billions) on transit and forget these massive highway expansions. I don’t know where our highway authority gets its logic from.

    Our elected officials simply do not understand or choose NOT to understand the importance of transit in our city.


  13. Anonymous says:

    I grew up in Miami and studied at Carnegie Mellon. Pittsburgh does not have a great transit system. In fact, while I was there the city drastically cut bus routes to save money. One plan was to cut the express route from Oakland to the airport (i.e. from the universities to the airport). Pittsburgh also extorts the universities for money in order to stay solvent. A few years ago the mayor threatened to create the country’s first tuition tax which led to a “voluntary” donation from the Pitt and CMU.

    Pittsburgh is a great success story because it defies logic. Its success has more to do with the people of the city than the planners. Pittsburgh leadership has made many missteps but the city continues to flourish. If Miami, Portland, or any other city wants to follow Pittsburgh they need a culture shift. In Pittsburgh people take pride in what they do whether they’re unionized labor, entrepreneurs, or white collar professionals. In Miami people only care about status signals like cars, clothes, and connections.


  14. ivo says:

    Nice article, a pleasure to read.

    I think the connection to the west should start from MIC station, whatever system is chosen (Metrorail, light rail, tri-rail).
    From there you can leverage on the unused tracks that go west along 12th street, close to some attraction points like 57 and 87 Av. (more employers and multinationals there than in the CBD), International and Dolphin Mall (plenty of retail and outlets).
    After Dolphin mall then it should stir to south along the turnpike, ending in the bus lot next to FIU.

    That route would attract ridership from tourists (Lat Am visitors don’t care about the beach, they just head to the outlets), commuters (to blue lagoon and doral) and college students.


  15. TransitDave says:

    Don’t Forget that the orange line was supposed to link MIA, FIU and Miami Dade College North Campus as well. Johnny Remigo, The PTP alone raises upwards of 175 Mil a year. It is an adequate funding source, if we had politicians who were committed to delivering the transit system the voters wanted when we voted for the PTP. Alas, 11 years later, we’re still waiting. As has been written on this forum by others including me, we won’t have a reform of the PTP until we have reform at the county government level. The shame of it is that we could have another 20 or 30 miles of Metrorail built or under construction if we had the local leadership to go along with honest management of the PTP funds.


  16. Juan Navarro says:

    As much as the anonymous is correct about the potential of extortion I do see the the intelligence of setting Transit around schools. I went to NWSA in downtown, and benefitted my first year there and at MDC ( when it was MDCC) by having the train and metromovers. I still drove to school most of the time, because of work and what I had to do, but whenever I had car problems and/or gas problems, the metrorail saved my ass. Plus the potential to grow customers and make a base for that is amazing.
    I would love to hear how much transit helps local business, when you don’t need a car to get to a place, for both customers and employees, local areas around the stations. I remember Government center being kind of cool in the 90’s


  17. Mauricio Castillo says:

    FIU President Mark Rosenberg is well connected in Miami politics and is a strong local advocate for the university (obviously). He’s also well respected. If he used his position to advocate strongly for Metrorail to FIU and worked with politicians like Rebeca Sosa, to do so, we might start going places. Without the voices of those in power, it’s a lot harder for anything to get done.


  18. Mike Moskos says:

    First they have to build ridership on the existing buses (it may be there already). Then express buses come in. If they generate enough ridership, then you can think about rail.

    Let’s look at the last expansion to the airport. In May 2013, the MIC (Airport) station had only 43,487 boardings, putting it at about the same number of boardings as the MLK station. Why so few? Or more relevantly, was all that money worth it for so few passengers? And you can only imagine what the operating expenses of that huge, fancy station with all its glass and metal are. (I’m asking the question even though I’m glad it is there.) There is no way I’d take a car into that morass at the airport, the question is why do so many continue to do so? Or let me put it another way, unless ridership explodes at that station, you’ll be hard pressed to demonstrate return on investment for further expansion.


  19. Mike Moskos says:

    Sorry should have posted the ridership link so you can see what mean: http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/ridership-technical-reports.asp


  20. Gables says:

    Mike-Thanks including the link. I confirmed my suspicions that the “S” bus is the most heavily used bus route. In my experience it is always crowded and a complete nightmare during rush hour. Which brings me to my question, how many riders do you need to have on a particular route, before you increase the service to the next level? Is there a formula? Based on the numbers, I would think the “S” (Downtown to Aventura via Miami Beach) and the 11 (Downtown to FIU via Flagler)routes are ready for upgrades.


  21. Armando Perez says:


    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 3:12 PM
    To: district5@miamidade.gov

    Mr. Barreiro,

    Sorry for the informality of this email, but being in your district, I felt the need to communicate.

    When are we going to hear further about your "plan" to build Metrorail a little at a time? It's been a while since the election and I have not heard anything further.

    If we can just follow New York City's lead in the early 20th Century and other cities now, we will have a world-class train system in 40-50 year's time. WE can build Metrorail 0.5/1 mile every year or every 2 years and it won't bankrupt the County. We need to get out from political promises made in other eras (eg. building the North Line, which is not now realistic) and INCREMENTALLY build Metrorail to centers of activity and academic incubation such as Doral and the FIU Main Campus area. We need to build Metrorail to where it would be useful (in a denser environment) and to where it would do the greater good to ALL of Miami-Dade, not to where certain parochial interests want it. That is why I support having certain commissioners elected at-large countywide.

    Additionally, Metrorail can be built cheaper than up to now IF we just built the line without the accompanying stations until they are needed. For example, although not originally planned that way, the TriRail/Metrorail station on NW 79th Street was built that way. Later on with the BASIC LINE already built, people will CLAMOR for the corresponding station to be built in their neighborhood piggybacking on the already-built main infrastructure. A thought: The stations can be built via a special taxing district of the benefitted communities. When people SEE that it will directly benefit them and it's not just a pipe dream, the whole zeitgeist of Metrorail/public transit will change in this Metro area.

    You and your fellow elected officials need to think in novel and outside-the-box ways to frame the future of this community. WE as a community will NEVER get our Metrorail/transit wish list built IF we wait for the federal or state government to build it for us. Look what was accomplished with the Airport Extension: It changes the way out-of-towners SEE our city. It tells them that with this transit option, with these facilities we are a MAJOR CITY on the world stage.

    I hope that by incrementally striving towards our transit goals, even if we physically don't get there for 20-40 years, YOU and other leaders in this community can promote the VISION of an interconnected and forward-looking community. THE VISION NEEDS TO BE INCUBATED NOW! BUILD something every year, even if it's just a couple hundred feet of track. When people SEE THAT REALITY, the notion of what the future could be will hit them in the face and Metrorail expansion will cease to be the joke it is now.


    This two-step strategy just might work after many years of broken promises and loss of faith in our elected officials and government. I hope that YOU or ANYONE of your colleagues (even the Mayor) will be willing to FIGHT for this vision of our community. I say that politicians come in two flavors: CARETAKERS and VISION-ORIENTED ONES. History does not seem to remember the caretakers very well.


    Armando Perez, a Miamian.

    P.S.- I am not connected or belong to ANY group. I am just a concerned citizen BUT I liked what you said when you were reelected last year about the above topic. HOPEFULLY SOMEONE ON YOUR STAFF WILL FORWARD THIS TO YOU AND YOU WILL PERSONALLY SEE MY EMAIL. THANKS!


  22. Timoteo Cruz says:

    Great job, Armando! Voicing support for transit to our politicians is crucial to getting anything going. If our politicians don’t see, read and hear the demand, they certainly won’t do anything.

    Overall, this is just so frustrating. How many times are we going to talk about Metrorail expansions (mind you, I love talking about it), but NOTHING GETS DONE. We need to move forward with a plan. This city is growing and our congestion problems are a serious issue.


  23. Armando Perez says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Mr. Cruz! It’s now two days later and I haven’t heard a peep from the recipient’s office. I’m going to wait a bit and then I’ll resend the email to ALL the commissioners’ offices and the Mayor’s. Hopefully someone will respond!

    It makes common sense to build a small amount of Metrorail at a time. If you try to build a 10-mile segment or even a 3-mile one, the COST, the LOGISTICS, getting all the myriad agencies, the bureaucrats, etc. on board is just OVERWHELMING AND MONUMENTAL.

    Think of our day-to-day lives, for most people if something is too complex or too big, human nature dictates putting it off or making it psychologically unachievable. RESULT: Nothing gets done. BUT if you break it down, say like if you were going on a long hike, you know that reaching 57th Avenue walking from the Airport is doable and you know that if you keep walking you will get to the Palmetto or even 87th Avenue tomorrow or the day after even if you stop and rest your tired feet. It’s ACHIEVABLE.

    I am comvinced that Metrorail won’t be build UNLESS it’s build one small segment at a time, even one block at a time. JUST BUILD SOMETHING! Most people have to SEE TO BELIEVE! And results-oriented politicians take the public by the hand and SHOW THEM HOW TO BELIEVE. DO WE HAVE ANY OF THOSE IN MIAMI?

    P.S.- To paraphrase that old Chinese proverb: BE AFRAID OF STANDING STILL!


  24. John Hopkins says:

    Yes, take a Metrorail line out to FIU — and see if there’s not a way to include Doral in the plans. That city’s got a future and a lot of big players are investing in it.


  25. Are there any grassroots groups in existence right now making their voices heard about expanding the Metro to FIU? I’ve talked to a couple politicians and from what they’re seeing an expansion of metro rail is a top priority for constituents. If that’s so, forming an alliance of citizens around this cause would get a lot of traction and political attention. Even if nothing is actually done immediately, you know Miami-Dade’s politicians, or political up-and-comers, will want to be associated with such a group. And that’s not a bad thing to get some traction again on this issue.


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