We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: What has been your experience riding Miami-Dade’s buses? Thanks for all of your responses. Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.
I can get on bus without problem only during the rush hours. If it is after 7:30 p.m., then the next bus is at 9 p.m. When I missed a bus I had to wait an hour and a half for the next one on a weekday. In Miami buses like to come together, in a pack of two or three altogether that makes waiting time between them longer. It happened to me waiting one hour and then two buses of the same number came, as if they are parting together. I wish they would develop a real-time app, so I can see when the next bus is coming and plan alternative ways to reach the university or home.
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Also, buses inside are very dirty. People eat there. Bugs, cockroaches and even bedbugs are living there. Twice men were cutting their nails sitting by me and those pieces were flying and hitting me. Awful.
Daria Boglaienko, Miami
Miamians, riders or not, pay a half penny surtax for a service that ranks among the worst in the country. Traffic in Miami is getting out of hand and a reliable public transportation system would reduce it, but local politicians don’t care, ignoring how it’d improve everyone’s life. Buses that don’t show up at all, late buses, complaints that aren’t taken into account, lack of coordination between drivers, etc. Bus schedules are just on paper but have nothing to do with actual arrival times.
Javier Zerpa, Miami
The transit system needs to be removed from county government overview, and taken over by an investment or business company — as a government job, there is no expectations or sense of urgency to accomplish anything. If it were run by a private investor group, bus service would likely be of a higher quality because there would be a business responsible to its investors, just like the Port Authority, Bay Area Transit, Bay Regional Transit, DC Transit Authority, etc.
John Felder, Miami Beach
Overall, very pleased with the system. Main gripe is that when the Metro Mover is down, it seems they use buses from Little Havana to shuttle people in their suits around, versus walking a few blocks to take the free trolley. During those times, there are extremely long waits. Little Havana has the heaviest use of bus system. Our transit system is one one of equity. Another issue in Little Havana are the dangerous roads one must cross to catch the bus — lights are not long enough, many older people, disabled people, it’s not safe. Other issues are that many bus locations through the county do not have covered bus stops, with some stops located on grassy areas (not even a sidewalk).
Melissa Dynan, Little Havana
The most important factor for me is reliability of the schedule, to make timely visits to my doctors. My general description of the bus system is very favorable. I love to ride and look out the windows in relative comfort, and the system provides service smartly, and safely, for a nominal price. The one single experience of major indignity that I suffered in the hands of one single bus operator who decided to run her own personal schedule, by her consistently insulting, late departures, consequently resulting in late arrivals and missing my doctors’ appointments altogether, and having to pay “no show” penalties for such incidents. On one occasion, she arrived at the Miller Square bus stop at the very same time that she was scheduled to depart, according to the official bus route schedule. When I asked her, “When will we depart?” she rolled her eyes once again, very disrespectfully, answering with an odious attitude, “We will leave when I get back on the bus.”
Michael Hidalgo, Miami
The only positive thing about riding the Miami Dade Transit buses is that it allows me to live in South Beach without a car. Once or twice a week Route B will skip two or three scheduled buses and there will be 20 people waiting in the sun at the stop across from the Seaquarium (usually you’ll see five at most). Of course, when a bus does finally come, some of us still cannot get on because it is overcrowded from the people riding from Key Biscayne. So now when I see that many people waiting at the stop, I get a Car2Go or just walk across the Causeway.
Brandon Kerns, Miami Beach
This is the worst bus system in the county. I pity anyone who has to depend on them because they are usually late. They don’t keep schedule for any time at any reason, especially at normal commute hours. It might be OK if you only need one, but if you need to use more than one, expect the trip to take two to three times what it would take to drive. There are many no-shows, and the frequency of buses on many routes is only one per hour.
Robert Black, South Miami