Miami-Dade Transportation Reform Plan
We don’t claim to have all the answers – but we know the system is broken in its current form. Here is a blueprint for reform.We propose a three part plan: 1. establish the Miami-Dade Transportation Authority, 2. establish a governing board, 3. draft a new and updated People’s Transportation Plan. Comments Suggestions welcome!
1. Establish Miami-Dade Transportation Authority, with responsibility over all Miami-Dade Public Works, Miami-Dade Transit and Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.
Why regional transportation governance?
Miami-Dade County has been a Metropolitan style of government since the 1950’s, and is one of the only major metropolitan centers in the United States without an independent transportation authority. Currently, responsibility for transportation service is divided amongst multiple different agencies, boards, and departments, with little overarching coordination or unified vision. Establishing one transportation agency, guided by the simple maxim of providing the most mobility options for the greatest number of people, and with purview over transportation options in Miami-Dade County, will mean better mobility for everyone.
1. Why unite agencies?
- Share toll revenue
- Share Right-of-way
- Eliminate competition between agencies
- Streamline county government
- Better coordinate and deliver transportation
- Transparent planning.
2. Implementation Strategy
- MDX is established by the Florida Expressway Authority Act. Chapter 348.0004 of the Act allows use of surplus revenue by an expressway authority for any use listed in sub-section (7), but this never happens:
In any county as defined in s. 125.011(1), an expressway authority may finance or refinance the planning, design, acquisition, construction, extension, rehabilitation, equipping, preservation, maintenance, or improvement of a public transportation facility or transportation facilities owned or operated by such county, an intermodal facility or facilities, multimodal corridor or corridors, including, but not limited to, bicycle facilities or greenways that will improve transportation services within the county, or any programs or projects that will improve the levels of service on an expressway system, subject to approval of the governing body of such county after public hearing.
- To create a true multi-modal transportation agency, a new law at the State level authorizing charter of Miami-Dade Transportation Authority will be required. Precedent in Chapter 349 – Jacksonville Transportation Authority:
There is hereby created and established a body politic and corporate and an agency of the state to be known as the Jacksonville Expressway Authority, redesignated as the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and hereinafter referred to as the “authority.
The authority created and established by the provisions of this chapter is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Jacksonville Expressway System, and all appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bicycle paths, bridges, and avenues of access for the Jacksonville Expressway System, and to construct or acquire extensions, additions, and improvements to the system and to complete the construction and acquisition of the system.
(b) The authority may, in addition, acquire, hold, construct, improve, operate, maintain, and lease in the capacity of lessor a mass transit system employing motor cars or buses; street railway systems beneath the surface, on the surface, or above the surface; or any other means determined useful to the rapid transfer of large numbers of people among the locations of residence, commerce, industry, and education in Duval County.
(c) The authority may further plan, coordinate, and recommend to appropriate officers and agencies of federal, state, and local governments methods and facilities for the parking of vehicles, the movement of pedestrians, and vehicular traffic (including bicycles), public and private, in Duval County to accomplish a coordinated transportation system for the greater Jacksonville area. The authority may construct and operate passenger terminals for the parking of automobiles and movement by public conveyance of persons and construct and operate all other facilities necessary to a complete and coordinated transportation system in the Jacksonville area.
(e) In addition to the other powers set forth in this chapter, the authority has the right to plan, develop, finance, construct, own, lease, purchase, operate, maintain, relocate, equip, repair, and manage those public transportation projects, such as express bus services; bus rapid transit services; light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, or other transit services; ferry services; transit stations; park-and-ride lots; transit-oriented development nodes; or feeder roads, reliever roads, connector roads, bypasses, or appurtenant facilities, that are intended to address critical transportation needs or concerns in the Jacksonville, Duval County, metropolitan area. These projects may also include all necessary approaches, roads, bridges, and avenues of access that are desirable and proper with the concurrence of the department, as applicable, if the project is to be part of the State Highway System.
2. Reform MPO as Governing Board, Establish Executive Director
- MPO Governing Board becomes MDTA Governing Council (reduce-reuse-recycle), MPO staff and organization becomes backbone of MDTA. MDTA Governing Board would serve as Miami-Dade region MPO- similar to Portland Metro, San Francisco, New York Port Authority.
- Governing Board to be some of current makeup of MPO, with additional members – elected officials from municipalities, transit users, and transportation professionals.
- Governing Board assumes responsibilities of Citizens Independent Transportation Trust responsible for People’s Transportation Plan Surtax Revenue. Replaces CITT.
- Executive Director could be elected or voted by board; responsible for proposing a budget, drafting 5-year plan and running the MDTA.
3. Adoption of revised People’s Transportation Plan and budget.
- Plan and Expand
- Assume an aggressive expansion plan. The more complete the network the greater the returns.
- Establish funding mode share goals. Set targets 5, 10, 15, 20 years. (Look at San Fransisco model)
- Short term goals (5-10 years): SFECC, new Brickell South Metrorail stop. Baylink, BRT on Flagler, Douglas Rd, Ludlam trail as light rail, and complete implementation of bike plan ($200 mill). Improve South Dade busway as BRT.
- Medium term goals (10-15 years): 8th Street light rail, Palmetto MetroRail, East/West MetroRail
- Long term goals (15-20): 8th St., Kendall Dr, US1 south, 137 Ave.
2. Adopt new funding paradigm
- Establish Municipal Transit Trust
- Increase revenue:. Phase out fee-free programs, charge for Metromover, increase use of MDTA land for Transit Oriented Development.
- Establish new funding mechanism(s) based on membership. Separate General Fund contribution from County Millage for anything related to transportation: transit operations, public works projects, MPO contributions, SFRTA contribution etc – establish MDTA tax on property tax bill as a separate taxing district (similar to school board). NOT A NEW TAX.