What is the future for commuter rail in South Florida?
CEOs were asked: Miami-Dade has agreed to build Brightline two new stations. Meanwhile, the future of Tri-Rail is uncertain. What should, or shouldn’t, be done to support rail in South Florida?
The success of Brightline and Tri-Rail is factored on overcoming the perception that driving provides us with greater independence. Additional options for commuter and leisure travel, combined with lower fares, will disrupt the notion that driving is the logical choice.
– Michael Balaban, President, CEO, Jewish Federation of Broward County
Rail in South Florida is essential to an optimal 21st century transportation ecosystem; one that moves us
away from inefficient, single-occupancy, combustion-engine vehicles. At Lime, our scooters perfectly complement transit and rail services, providing convenient, sustainable, first-mile, last-mile options that relieve the stresses of traffic and the hunt for parking. Rail serves a critical role for commuters and tourists. Add major-impact projects like the Underline and it is clear that through a collaboration of the various players in the ecosystem, we will change the landscape to meet the needs of everyone in our community.
– Uhriel Bedoya, Florida General Manager, Lime
I’m all for trains and public transportation that take the cars off the street and help Miami-Dade become more sustainable and efficient. This legacy issue requires communication, education and commitment from all parties involved, including the private sector, the community and the government.
– Claudia Busch, Founding Principal, Berenblum Busch Architects
Rail will have to be part of South Florida’s future in order to ensure our economic survival. Our roadways, today, are treacherous, congested and limit movement. While I cannot detail the level of service needed, routes required, or economic outlay, no one has any doubt that Florida is far behind other states on an effective mass transit system. It will take significant social change to get our population to accept mass transit as a reliable and convenient commuting alternative, so we will need to have a well-articulated regional plan to build awareness and garner the support of the public. I also see self-driving passenger vans as a solution for transporting individuals from their front doors to their rail of choice.
– Anita Byer, CEO, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
Railroads are long-term investments, as they require a culture change of habits by the population. Continuing to add local stops encourages Florida residents to use alternative types of transportation within their everyday life and as a commuting substitute. Additionally, by offering resident rates and commuting packages, this will assist in making this shift happen more rapidly. Not only does it cut down on traffic, it reduces the city’s overall carbon footprint and should be supported.
– Ricardo Dunin, Founding Partner, Lionheart Capital