A few days after we published Leah Weston’s letter lambasting the Miami Trolley service for poor service and planning, the City of Miami responded with their side of the story. See below for the response.

Dear Ms. Weston,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience with the Miami Trolley. As a new service, the office of transportation is continually working to make the Miami Trolley a more convenient transportation alternative in the City. Please be assured that we are taking your comments into consideration and are working to resolve the problem. In the meantime, we would like to address your concerns with a brief response to your e-mail. Please read below.

1. The Trolley is completely unreliable.

The City of Miami is aware of the issue of inconsistent headways and is working on possible solutions. Traffic congestion, lane closures, and the opening of the Brickell Avenue Bridge impede vehicular traffic thus creating challenges to maintain consistent and reliable headways.

To rectify the issue, the City is working closely with Limousines of South Florida (LSF), the company contracted by the City to operate the trolleys, to resolve this problem. Drivers are required to maintain regular radio contact with the dispatcher to ensure proper spacing. When the trolleys begin to bunch, the drivers of the trailing vehicle are asked to wait at the next stop to establish proper spacing. This is a temporary solution as we hope to resolve the problem by introducing technology into the program as many other transit agencies do. For further information, please refer to the answer to question # 2.

2. Why is there no way to track the trolley…?

The City is working to establish GPS-based monitoring of the trolleys in the coming months. This technology will accomplish a number of things: First, City and LSF staff will track trolleys remotely, facilitating the identification and correction of vehicle bunching. Second, the GPS tracking will allow riders to access the trolley website to determine the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) at their stop.

3. Whoever designed the stops at Brickell Station lacks complete common sense.

The northbound and southbound trolleys overlap at the Brickell Metrorail station but have two separate stops. The ideal situation would be to have both stopping at the same location. The northbound has to stop closer to SW 10th Street to be able to make the turn under the Metrorail. Due to bus bay capacity issues, the City decided to move the southbound stop further south next to the Metromover station. At times, both routes arrive at the same time. We acknowledge that sometimes the southbound trolley stops at the northbound to drop off passengers. This should not happen as it creates confusion to the passengers waiting for their trolley. We will continue to remind the drivers that southbound vehicles must stop ONLY at the southbound location.

In addition, we are working closely with LSF to make use of the LED marquee signs in the front of each vehicle to have them clearly identified as northbound or southbound.

4. Finally, about a month ago, I dropped my work ID on a trolley.
When you contacted the City of Miami, we forwarded your query to LSF. Unfortunately, an LSF employee had destroyed your ID. This was a simple case of human error. We understand that LSF contacted you, and apologized. We also would like to apologize for the inconvenience this incident has caused you.

We appreciate your comments and please do not hesitate on contacting us with comments or concerns.

Regards,

Carlos Cruz-Casas, P.E.|Assistant Transportation Coordinator
City of Miami – Office of the City Manager/Transportation

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4 Responses to City of Miami Responds to Trolley Service Complaints

  1. Kevin says:

    Although I still think the trolleys are a complete waste of money and completely overlap with the existing Metromover system, I have to applaud Mr. Cruz-Casas for sending this e-mail. Oftentimes, those involved never even read or respond to complaints or suggestions, and I think it’s great that the city responded back. Even if they don’t make the improvements as fast as we want, at least they’re working to improve the system. Therefore, thank you.

    That said, can we please start construction on the streetcar system to Wynwood/Design District? We need real (big city) transit options, not trolleys.

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  2. [...] City of Miami Responds to Trolley Service Complaints – [TransitMiami] [...]

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  3. Beatriz Rodriguez says:

    The worst city with public transportation . Miami marathon day, it took me 35′ waiting for the inner loop. A daytime today where many runners and familiesare waiting for the train! Ashame of Dade county public service,

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  4. hugo says:

    This is the complaint letter i wrote:
    “Hi my name is hugo suarez, i am 30, i work for the consulate of peru as a Public Official. When i get off from work from the embassy at 2:16 pm the number 7 to dolphin mall the bus arrive when is supossed to be there at 2:08 pm and when i step inside the driver was not in his place was fighting verbally with a transponder saying that he has to leave because he don’t do roundtrips so i slide my card as usually like everybody else and the when i tried to go inside the bus driver stop me and screaming he told “i don’t heard the beep slide it again” and i told him i am not gonna pay 5 dollars for one trip i already paid and i show him my card and he didn’t care and he told me slide it again or i am gonna call the cops i told him of course call them because you are trying to rob me $2.25 then he went off the bus staring at the street when in the mean while he had people wating and asking me why is trying to pass your card two times? well beafore the police arrive a young guy step inside slide the card and enter and he didn’t tell a thing…should i be an excemption?.
    When the police arrive the officer told me to step outside and when i told him he said to the bus driver “you are good you can go”, what was that mean? is this the enforced law that is supposed to benefit the people? he told me that they have they’re laws and if he don’t heard the beep he can do that. I FELT SO FRUSTRATED AND DISSAPOINTING THAT MY RIGHTS WERE VIOLATED AND TWISTED BY A REAL OFFICER! So what i understand if i have my laws the police should respect that? that kind of people should not be driving or use his powers that they don’t have to abuse from it. For my perspective and for anyone else if you pay something you don’t have to pay it AGAIN! THAT’S THE LAW RIGHT? i thought the police officers where decent protecting and serving the citizens. that kind of bus driver should not be working for miami-dade county. i demand a refund for what i paid. Thank you”

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