The trolley that loops around Alton Road and West Avenue got an extension to run until Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County work out details of a new trolley to service South Beach.
The Alton-West route was supposed to end Jan. 1. The community who uses the trolley clamored for an extension, and the county agreed to let the Beach keep the service until a trolley is launched to replace the existing South Beach Local, a Miami-Dade Transit bus. The service was not interrupted.
“The Alton-West loop will continue until a South Beach trolley is in place, which we hope will be by spring next year,” said city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez.
The loop was originally created to help move people reach businesses on Alton Road during drainage projects.
The city and county are currently ironing out details of the new route. The Beach needs county approval before launching trolleys because the county has jurisdiction over the city’s public transit programs.
The city is also planning to launch a Mid-Beach trolley this summer. The county has approved routes that connect North Beach, where a popular trolley serves about 2,000 riders a day, to the 41st Street corridor. Beach transportation officials want to encourage more people to hop on trolleys and ditch their cars to help alleviate the frequent traffic congestion that clogs city streets.
The city estimates that connecting all of Miami Beach through trolleys will cost about $10 million a year.