“Public Transit has to be at the center of our national policy.”

The “Wave” coming in December 2015.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been re-appointed head of the Democratic National Committee. This is exciting news to us at TransitMiami because just as the President was making this announcement, Gabriel Lopez-Bernal (founder of TM and now of TranSystems) and I were listening to a promising speech by the Congresswoman at the annual meeting of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, (the non-profit leadership behind the Sun Trolley). She told a packed house of transportation officials, private consultants, lobbyists and parking policy wonks that public transit is not only at the center of national policy now, but it “is essential to our economic success.”

Wasserman-Schultz has been integral to the success of City of Fort Lauderdale in securing  $18million in TIGER grant money for ‘the Wave.’ She remarked that everyone should see what the streetcar has down for Portland, Oregon because that is what we should expect for Broward. The fiscal cliff and election cycles have left most of Washington, D.C. silent on the critical needs of our nation’s infrastructure, but Wasserman-Schultz named local bridges in need of repair and livable communities as priorities when she returns to the House Appropriations Committee next term. “We must increase our investment in public transit NOW,” she said.

An optimistic story, brought to you by TM.



9 Responses to Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz: “We Must Increase $ for Transit Now”

  1. jey says:

    I did not even know broward had trolley services! What kills me is that google maps does not have these sofla trolleys listed when you search for directions.

    It also doesnt have Tri-rail service! makes it hard to plan.


  2. Kathryn says:

    The Sun Trolley doesn’t work off of a typical bus schedule. If you are walking along the route, you can hail it like a cab. This means that times are hard to incorporate into Google Maps but (shh, it’s a secret), there are a few companies who are trying to tie into apps (including the Sun Trolley & B-cycle apps) in order to do just that!


  3. Kevin says:

    Great news! We need solid support for transit at the federal level. I’m hoping that with the new changes in Congress, we can get some greater local representation for transit up in DC.

    Fort Lauderdale chugs along with The Wave, while in Miami we’re still playing with trolleys all the while population and development keeps growing.


  4. Diana says:

    I agree 100% with the Congresswoman, but have a few concerns.

    Im originally from Miami, but am currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    I must say that the Buenos Aires’ public transportation is top notch and I have never had to wait more than 5-6 minutes for a bus, subway, trolley, or train.

    Although there are many options to get around in the city, Buenos Aires is a great example of what, I believe, is also a failed public transit system. Buses and trolleys are clogging up streets and have to compete with cars on the street, thusly, making driving in the city a total chaos.

    I think the major idea is just not to give more option to the individual private citizen, but to get cars off the road, so that when there are options, the traffic isn’t epic. Can you imagine what Brickell would be like if there were 20x more buses and just as many cars on the street on a busy afternoon?

    Just my .02


  5. With increased transit comes a lesser need for the private automobile. I was in Buenos Aires for 2 weeks a few years ago and never once needed a car. When I did, I took a taxi.

    Isn’t the whole point of public transit it to give people an option? I would argue it’s not the busses and trolleys clogging up the roads, but the private cars that are. Busses, trains and trolleys carry many more people using less space comparatively than one person sitting in a car. There is the famous image of the amount of space required to move 60 people by bus, bike or car. yep, the cars take up the entire block.


  6. TransitDave says:

    Sorry to piss in everyone’s cornflakes, but this is just lip service…the federal government is broke, and in order to advance transit projects in the future, we’d better start at the local and state levels. Federal transit money is going to dry up soon (that which NY and NJ don’t suck up, that is)

    Not for nothing, but where the hell was she the past 4 years?


  7. B says:

    I applaud WS’s effort, but I don’t think Federal money should make up the bulk of funding for local transportation projects. Federal dollars should mainly go into things that affect more than one State, such as high speed rail. Why should someone in Kansas be chipping in for The Wave in a city they may never visit?

    IMO, including the Feds in local transportation projects greatly delays their implementation and bottom line cost, because of the extra layers of bureaucracy, and often the projects get scrapped entirely. Just look at what happened to the North Corridor Metrorail.


  8. B says:

    @Diana, by your definition, NYC’s transit system is a failure, because you still get traffic jams! I think once a city gets a certain size, traffic is pretty much inevitable, at least unless you have something like congestion tolling. But you still need transit to provide alternatives and to increase capacity. Taking the Brickell example, if there were 20X as many busses, there would still be heavy traffic (most of it cars, though), but the capacity of the system is greatly increased, allowing for more businesses and residents than without the busses.


  9. Mike Moskos says:

    I agree with TransitDave, the Feds (of both parties) already spent all the money and didn’t leave any for the Baby Boomers retirement.

    Transit needs should be paid for solely by the cities where citizens have an actual say in what needs to get done. We shouldn’t have to beg in DC to get our money back.


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