If you’ve been too distracted by elections and Vice Presidential nominations this week, maybe you haven’t heard yet that Miami Dade Transit may be cutting bus routes. Larry Lebowitz at the Miami Herald has the details on the routes that could be cut. These are routes with plenty of ridership, so nothing to be taken lightly.

We are sorry we didn’t get this news out before Mayor Carlos Alvarez won reelection by a landslide. It seems these cuts are being proposed by him and County Manager George Burgess. Lebowitz says that they would be returning the total miles of bus service “close to the pre-sales tax levels of 2002.” That would just prove that the sales tax initiative has failed. I believe that Miller-McCune magazine was justified in putting the Metrorail expansion and the sales tax inititiative on their list of “The World’s Biggest Boondoggles.”

The county commission will be voting on this issue Sept. 2., along with the vote on the proposed fare increase. We urge them to clean up this mess by seeking new sources of income for existing transit service, and coming up with a solid plan to expand Metrorail and bus transit—not by cutting existing service or putting extreme burden on the riders. The Herald offered some suggestions in a follow-up editorial, and we agree with most of their points. Especially the one suggesting to stop handing out free rides before raising fares or cutting service.

MDT is underfunded, and the county has been using this expansion sales tax to make up the difference. Commissioners need to find another dedicated funding source to keep the trains and buses moving, and then get the expansion back on track with the originally committed funding source. How about raising property taxes to fund the budget deficit? If you have a better idea, let us know.

2 Responses to Alvarez Proposes Cutting Bus Routes

  1. Anonymous says:

    I might even agree that the metrorail decision is not only one of the biggest boondoggle decisions ever, but it is the single biggest factor that could cause Miami Dade County to go bankrupt! Commissioner Gimemez’s new transit initiative is to use lower tech, less expensive, more flexible transit technology rather than metrorail. We all need to get onboard and support this initiative.

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  2. What the hell does flexible mean anyway? Like no one will ride it? Or perhaps no developer is going to invest near it. We need to have an honest discussion about what flexibility means and doesn’t mean. This is an issue of over emphasis of cars and roads over moving people. It starts from the top at the President of the USA and moves all the way down to people in cities who have to make hard decisions about where funding goes because of historic underinvestment. If Miami would have built out the system in the first place, you might be looking more like Washington DC. Shortsightedness lasts a long time.

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