Today, I would like to introduce to you a new weekly section titled Transit in the Tropics. I hope this weekly section can come to address some of the more basic transit needs within our county and shed light on some of the more pressing issues.

What better way to kick off this new section than addressing yesterday’s streetwise article by herald columnist Larry Lebowitz. The Citizens Independent Transportation Trust was designed to allow for public oversight of the half-penny referendum approved back in 2002. As Larry points out, the Trust is not serving in the best interests of the constituents because it is not independent of county administrators and isn’t, well, particularly trustworthy.

A citizen’s oversight board is essential whenever new taxes are to be imposed; it maintains the integrity of the process and ensures that our dollars are put to the uses we originally intended. The fact that a county administrator is chairman of the trust should rouse more than just suspicions and it definitely speaks volumes of the injustices occurring in our county commission. The dysfunctional state of the independent trust is a great place to begin when analyzing the little transit progress that has been made since its’ inception. Five years have passed since the creation of the half-penny sales tax and yet county-wide transit has yet to substantially gain from any of it. I don’t know, but shiny new bus benches on suburban streets weren’t what I had in mind when the tax was imposed. If corrected now with proper oversight, budget allocation, and basic foresight the half-penny sales tax can valiantly attempt to live up to the transit corridors which were included with original proposals. Otherwise, the CITT and half-penny tax will go down as further examples of why our county government cannot be trusted…

From the CITT Website:

Who can serve on the CITT?

CITT members must be registered voters of Miami-Dade County who possess an outstanding reputation for civic involvement, integrity, and experience or interest in the transportation, mobility improvements or land use planning. They are appointed by the County Mayor, the members of the Board of County Commissioners, and the Miami-Dade County League of Cities.

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3 Responses to Transit in the Tropics: The CITT

  1. Ryan says:

    Strong Mayor is leading…

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  2. madeindade says:

    The impotence of the CITT is hardly the problem, the reliance on federal funding for rail expansion is the cause for the lack of visible progress since the half-cent tax was passed. They red tape and time required by the FTA and the NEPA process ensures that any project will drag on for at least a decade before construction can begin *if* we are lucky enough to get a 50% federal match. Transit is so desperate to show some progress that the MIC-Earlington Heights extention will be built without a federal contribution.

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  3. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    madeindade-

    Oh, I’m well aware of the real issues. The half-penny plan is a complete joke. Right now, we’ll be lucky if we see 1 or 2 of those lines completely built. It needs some serious revisions too. Nobody realized that metrorail (heavy rail in general) is an antiquated concept for urban mobility which is severely inhibited by its’ astronomical costs. There is no way the Feds will step in and fund such expensive projects when there are better and cheaper LRT, DMU, Streetcar, or even BRT alternatives to be considered…Plus, given the amount of other cities vying for the same funding, it’s looking like we may very soon be SOL…

       0 likes

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