The readers’ forum

Miami-Dade’s elusive rail system

 

Re Anthony Garcia’s Feb. 7 Other Views article, The brain drain and transit: The concept of a bigger picture of transit, a comprehensive rail network connected with several bus routes, is still elusive. This in a county with 2.5 million people.

If all of Miami-Dade County were one city, we would be one of the largest cities in the country. Already we have more people than Philadelphia and may surpass Chicago.

We need more rail — and more buses with exclusive bus lanes feeding into an expanding rail network, not the two-line system we currently have. And, we need a rail transit link with Miami Beach from downtown, which is finally being pushed forward by county and Miami Beach officials in the form of a light-rail line.

It maddens me to see all the work being done on the Turnpike and state roads 874 and 826 with no money going to build the additional rail lines promised with the half-penny tax — which, more realistically, should have been a 2-cent tax, if not higher.

Miami-Dade Transit was even in the process of locating a future Metrorail station at FIU before it was realized that the half penny was being used to support the current system with nothing left over for future rail lines. It did build the Orange Line to MIA, which was well done, and at least one thing got done with the half-penny tax.

Another consideration is climate change, which threatens South Florida more than anywhere else with potentially rising sea levels. Trains run on electricity generated from the same source that provides power to everyone else.

Buses, unless electric or hybrids, pollute and warm the air and they don’t carry as many people as trains do. For the future well-being of South Florida, more buses are going to end up hurting us, as are all the conventional motor vehicles crowding our streets and highways. But not trains, which will soar above the traffic.

Miami-Dade County needs to wake up and stop subsidizing more roads and buses. I can see why many young professionals steer clear of Miami if there is no viable or quick and efficient way to get around.

Paul E. Czekanski,

Cutler Bay

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