Miami: A Revised New Network

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In 2019 and 2020, we collaborated with Transit Alliance Miami to help them develop a new bus network for all of Miami-Dade County. In April the Final Plan was published and put out for public comment by Miami-Dade Transit and their survey showed that 89% of people wanted to see the changes implemented!

Even so, there were some concerns about some of the changes and the network has been updated with lots of improvements based on a deep public engagement process by the agency with the continued support of Transit Alliance.  They have also had operational/union discussions to help create a more feasible plan and buy in from the people who will drive it every day. Miami-Dade Transit and Transit Alliance staff should be applauded for the thorough and thoughtful engagement processes that they have managed throughout this incredibly tough pandemic to get the Better Bus Network to this point. Yet the work is not done, and you should pay attention and be involved, especially if you like this revised plan.

This is what the existing network looks like:

Frequency coded public transit map excerpt from the existing network centered around Miami, Florida

Existing Network. Colors mean all-day frequency! Purple = 10 minutes or better. Red = 15. Orange = 20. Blue = 30. Green = 60.

And here is the revised network with fewer routes, less duplication, more frequency:

Frequency coded public transit map excerpt from the revised network centered around Miami, Florida

Revised Network. Colors mean all-day frequency! Purple = 10 minutes or better. Red = 15. Orange = 20. Blue = 30. Green = 60.

(This is not our mapping style, by the way.  It’s from a tool developed by Kittelson Associates that lets you move a slider back and forth between the two maps, so that you can see how different they are in the same place.  It can be a little clunky.  Look close for a vertical grey bar and you’ll find you can slide it left and right.  If it isn’t working, reload.)

The revisions to the Better Bus Network since April are relatively modest and include adding back some coverage routes in a few places, some extensions and improvements to service on the beach and a few other corridors. These changes are possible because the revised network provides more service than what we originally planned because the County is now proposing to invest in 7% more bus service than the pre-pandemic network!

As we’ve said before, the Better Bus Network as drawn last year wasn’t what Miami-Dade needed, it was what Miami-Dade could afford. It’s great to see political leaders at the County, led by Mayor Cava, willing to invest in more service to achieve better outcomes.

If you are in Miami-Dade County, please be sure to get involved and provide feedback. Miami-Dade Transit is holding a virtual community meeting on September 8, at 6:30pm Eastern and they will be host “virtual office hours” for people who have questions at various times on Sept 9-10. You can also take the survey on the project page to let them know what you think. Remember, if you like the plan, you must say so!  Too often, people who like the plan are silent, so the survey results make it look like everyone hates it.

Critically, the Better Bus Network has final votes before the Transportation Mobility and Planning Committee on Monday, September 13th at 3:00pm and the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, October 5th at 9:30am.

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