The readers’ forum

New generation of bus transit can alleviate traffic problems

 

With Broward County’s population soon to reach 2 million, increased traffic congestion isn’t only inevitable, it’s imminent. A smart resolution will require a comprehensive rethinking of the county’s mass-transit system. As the county continues to grow at a rapid pace, moving commuters through the system using conventional local bus systems is no longer adequate. Transit systems must find viable ways to attract nontraditional riders by getting them to their destinations more quickly and safely if we hope to persuade them to leave their cars at home. Luckily, there are good solutions.

Across the country, cities and counties, including Broward County, are looking to “bus rapid transit” (BRT) concepts to relieve road congestion, reduce pollution and support economic development. In many ways, BRT is similar to rail-based commuter systems, but can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost and finished in a fraction of the time. Routes are laid out clearly and simply, and buses can be given priority in traffic to get riders to their destinations on a reliable schedule.

These systems offer riders additional services that increasingly make mass transit a viable alternative for commuters, including options such as off-board fare collection and/or automatic payments, which increase passenger convenience and save time; updated real-time communications about arrival and departure times; fewer overall stops but added stops at park-and-ride facilities; buses with lower floors for easier entry; and traffic-signal priority to give buses an advantage over regular traffic.

Development of BRT options also has been shown to deliver success in spurring economic redevelopment, as evidenced along many corridors in the country including the Euclid corridor in Cleveland where more than $4 billion in redevelopment has occurred, and along Boston’s Silver Line BRT, where the private sector has invested more than $700 million.

HNTB, a national infrastructure-solutions firm with offices throughout the state, recently has been involved in the planning and design of several BRT operations in Florida and across the country, including a study just completed for Miami-Dade Transit and the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization.

That project involves decreasing transit times in a 15-mile corridor along U.S. 1 from Aventura Mall to Downtown Miami.

One thing has become clear about the increased traffic on our highways: America must find alternative innovations to solve our growing congestion problems. We must embrace a new generation of proven mass transit concepts aimed at attracting drivers off our highways to keep America moving smoothly. Now is the time to implement BRT and enjoy quicker commutes, the use of low-emission vehicles, off-board fare collection and real-time information.

Broward County leaders continue to demonstrate forward thinking on mobility and transit issues, and we must now make sure residents throughout the region know the benefits that these initiatives will bring.

Albert Sosa, vice president,

HNTB Corporation, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Ceci Sanchez, as a toddler, with her father, Jose Ignacio Maciá, and mother, Cecile, in Cuba.

    The readers’ forum

    My father died at the Bay of Pigs Invasion

    This Easter Sunday is especially sad for me. My father died this weekend 53 years ago at the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

  • Pray for peace

    It’s with great sadness that in the midst of the holiday of Passover, we witnessed, once again, another act of violence and hatred that has become far too common of an occurrence in our world. Instead of only recalling the joy of freedom from bondage, we were also gripped by the knowledge of someone who killed out of their hatred of Jews.

  • Respect police officers

    Re April 15 article Veteran cop granted bond in U.S. drug-running case: Being a real cop isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. So we take it personally when we lose a fellow cop and when we are unfairly tainted. When a cop does wrong, as we know, cop bashers will use it to attempt to tarnish the profession. The bad acts of an individual cop do not and should not represent the profession any more than the bad acts of a civilian criminal should define their race or ethnicity. Serving and protecting comes at a high price. Each year about 60,000 assaults on cops occur resulting in about 16,000 injuries. On average this past decade, 160 cops died yearly in the line of duty just doing their jobs. Yes, the 160 may make the news but the 16,000 and 60,000 do not.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category