Miami-Dade County receives federal investment in support of SMART Plan
The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) was awarded a $9.5 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) federal grant to improve two Park and Ride facilities along the South Dade TransitWay – one of six corridors in the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan.
“We are grateful to Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and our local and state partners for their efforts in securing funding for this project which will greatly enhance parking facilities along the South Dade TransitWay,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I applaud the Federal Government’s decision to support Miami-Dade County’s goal of improving our transit infrastructure and providing traffic relief to our residents. Working together helps us deliver a SMART Plan that is integral to our community’s continuing resilience.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week the awarding of nearly $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in the United States, including funding for the improvements to the Park and Ride facilities on the South Dade TransitWay.
The Department is partnering with state and local stakeholders for a capital investment that will revitalize, enhance and expand two existing Park & Ride facilities at SW 152 and SW 168 streets on the South Dade TransitWay.
The two facilities, which are currently surface lots, will be upgraded and expanded to include:
• Parking garages.
• Additional sidewalks.
• Access points to improve pedestrian access.
• A pick-up/drop-off area for Transportation Network Entities (TNEs), such as Uber and Lyft.
• Dedicated area for municipal circulators.
• Upgrades that will include additional general parking, short-term parking, disabled parking, stroller parking, vanpool/carpool parking, electric vehicle parking with an associated charging station, and motorcycle and scooter parking spaces.
• Bike sharing capacity and bicycle parking.
• A community center.
On August 30, 2018, the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Governing Board voted to select Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the most feasible mode of transportation for the South Dade TransitWay. The characteristics of rapid transit modes, such as BRT, include faster speeds, more frequent service, operation along an exclusive guideway and various passenger amenities at stations and in the vehicles.
Once completed, BRT will provide rail-like travel time, iconic stations, level boarding through all doors and pre-paid fares for speedy access. The Park and Ride facilities that will be upgraded are on the forefront of the SMART Plan and are an integral part of ongoing improvements.
“This project will significantly increase capacity at these two Park and Ride facilities, making it easier for transit riders to access Bus Rapid Transit services along the TransitWay. We hope these upgrades will also encourage new riders to use our service which will further reduce the number of cars traveling on U.S. 1,” said DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E.
Both the SW 152nd Street Park and Ride facility, which currently has 200 spaces, and the SW 168th Street Park and Ride facility, with 149 spaces, are at 100 percent capacity during weekdays.
The project expands access capacity for regional and local transit users by adding 291 vehicular and 30 motorcycle spaces at the SW 152nd Street Park & Ride facility, and 346 vehicular and 32 motorcycle spaces at SW 168th Street Park & Ride facility.
The project is strongly supported by corridor businesses and development agencies as a key asset for enhancing access to jobs and education for residents throughout the southern portion of Miami-Dade County.
The total cost of the project is $19 million. The BUILD Grant will cover 50 percent ($9.5 million) of the capital funding for the project. The other 50 percent match ($9.5 million) will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and through local surtax funds from the People’s Transportation Plan.
Earlier this year, DTPW completed upgrading 46 intersections along the South Dade TransitWay with Transit Signal Priority technology enabling transit riders to enjoy a faster and smoother ride. For example, on Route 34 Express, which runs from Florida City to the Dadeland South Metrorail station, travel time was reduced from 67 minutes to 50 minutes.
The TransitWay currently features 30 stations and six Park and Ride facilities, and transit service along the TransitWay carries an average of 13,500 passengers on weekdays.
The BUILD program, which was previously known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, supports road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.