Miami-Dade County prepares Metromover extensions for Miami Beach and Wynwood. In their first nascent move toward realizing the multi-billion dollar SMART transit plan, county officials stated that the planned linking of the beach and the downtown area could add another 10 stops for the Metromover.
Concurrently, Uber has added Miami to its list of cities where the lauded ride-sharing app includes public transportation information in real-time. This integration is currently being piloted in 40 U.S. markets with the hopes of nationwide expansion.
South Florida in general has amongst the most congested roads in the world; in fact we rank number 10 in the world. Ten is scary considering the metro is just over 100 years old. To put that in perspective, Los Angeles has a 12.7 percent congestion rate which means drivers spend 12.7 percent of their commutes in traffic. Miami is at 8.7 percent and ranks fifth amongst most congested areas in the United States with much less of a footprint than Los Angeles. This is ahead of D.C., Boston, Dallas and even Chicago.
South Florida, like most new metros, was built backwards. It began with an urban core but quickly sprouted other towns and eventually cities outside of the city limits. Coral Gables, Hialeah, Doral and Kendall (not yet a city) are some examples of the initial urban sprawl that created this traffic monster. As little as ten years ago, Downtown Miami was a place you did not want to be after 5pm for its crime rate, lack of open businesses, and overall rundown look.
Luckily, we are now at a crossroads where we have “run out of land” and are looking back into the urban core for development. At the top of the list should be a focus on mass transit and the need for it to catch up to new development. I commend the county and Uber for spearheading the future of mass transit in Miami.