The limits of Miami-Dade’s public transportation

Photo by Leah Weston, via Transit Miami

Carlos Coba/Contributing Writer

For decades, Miami-Dade County has allowed for rampant construction to take place in its suburban areas when it knows that traffic and transportation issues are caused by the lack of a source of effective commuting.

The limits of Dade County’s transportation system is the talk of the town this year, with the Miami-Dade 2013 Transportation Summit having taken place on June 6 and the hosting of a discussion called “Can We Conquer Congestion? Mobility for 21st Century,” by the University of Miami Good Government Initiative on June 12.


Photo by Leah Weston, via Transit Miami

The fact that this topic has been heating up seems more appropriate than ever.

Over the past few decades, originally-suburban areas of Miami have become cities of their own. Most of these areas in Northwestern and Northeastern Miami-Dade, however, are lacking the appropriate infrastructure; specifically, they lack the adequate public transportation services to accommodate their rising populations.

As an example, I’d like to use my community of residence: Doral.

This is a community expanding at a high rate; it has seen a population increase of 77% over the last decade. Consequently, more people will come to the City of Doral over the next years, and many more homes will be built to accommodate the influx. According to the City of Doral Economic Development, about 8,000 homes will be built over the upcoming 10 years.

According to a Community Background Report ran by Dade’s Metropolitan Planning Organization in 2010, Doral is the city growing at the highest rate in its county, and serves as an example of the issue that suburban areas face when it comes to providing good public transportation options.

The main issue, however, is not the population increase, but the lack of public transportation that growing communities such as Doral have to face. Such areas, to name a few, are Hialeah, Sweetwater and Aventura, the latter being the one who has experienced a rise of residents under the poverty line. This emphasizes the need for improvements in public transportation since a lot of people can’t afford vehicles. Those that can’t afford a car or gasoline are daunted by the limits of their county’s Metrorail, which is the most effective option because it avoids traffic, but is limited to areas in the southern part of the county.

The public transportation in the Northwestern cities and suburban areas of Dade County mainly consist of trolleys or buses that pass by at specific times and location, which limits their accessibility. The traffic is already bad enough, as more people move in without an option for public transportation; they must rely on their own cars, if financially possible. But more cars means higher traffic levels and a higher need for a successful public transportation system that avoids this traffic.

It is no question that as the population increases, the amount of fiscal revenue that Dade County makes must also increase because more people means more people to tax. Maybe all the money is being spent on creating a more disorganized system of highways and roads within the county, although that seems impossible. Some investment should be focused on extending the Metro, not just to the beach or to areas near Coral Gables, but to areas in Northwestern and Northeastern Miami-Dade and other incorporated areas, home to about 1.2 million people.

Therefore, I believe that it is the perfect timing for a Miami-Dade 2013 Transportation Summit; we need it now more than ever.


1. “Can We Conquer Congestion? Mobility for 21st Century,” via Transit Miami 

2. “City of Doral,” via Geographic Information Systems Planning

3. “Community Background Report,”  via MPO Transportation Outreach Planner 

4. “U.S. suburban poverty growing, but trend mixed in Miami-Dade, Broward,” via The Miami Herald

About the Author

Carlos Coba
Assistant News Director of FIUSM. Political Science/ International Relations 2ble major, Journalism minor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies certificate.

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