Letters to the Editor

Let’s improve current transit service first

Re the July 16 opinion by Carlos Gimenez, “Mayor: Best solution for South Dade’s traffic woes? Bus Rapid Transit.” The article mentions two important aspects of any transit project: Population density and projected ridership, but fails to identify the absence of both along the South Dade corridor. Perhaps because the actual numbers will clearly indicate a lack of necessity. The same holds true for the North Dade corridor. Both are major components of the failed Peoples Transportation Plan (PTP). We have yet to achieve the projected numbers for Metrorail; a clear indication of how inaccurate proposed numbers really are.

To blame the mayor for all our transit woes may seem unfair, but the reality is he has held the office longer than anyone in modern times and he overlooked real issues. Under his watch, the purchase of new rail cars was delayed, and replacement buses were not purchased when needed. Now, as his term comes to an end, he promotes a plan heavy on construction and weak on service and reliability.

Our leaders need to improve the transit infrastructure before investing millions or billions in new projects. The bus fleet suffers from the same neglect experienced during the PTP. Improve the quality and reliability of existing service first.

The most successful transit concept in the last decade has been the Park and Ride. Build on that. Coupled with Non Stop express bus service, surface transportation will improve.

We need new leadership in the mayor’s office and the transit director position. Perhaps the latter can be achieved sooner. The mayor’s opportunity to improve transit has passed. The lack of experience at the director level should be addressed now.

Bill Velez,

former chief,

paratransit operations,