For many of us, bashing Miami’s public transit system has become a part-time hobby.
We complain about the filthy Metromover stations, pray every morning Miami-Dade’s sorry excuse of a transit app will decide to work, laugh as the bright orange “trolleys” (basically just re-purposed buses with gimmicky wooden seats) lumber by, scowl at the thought of going anywhere without our cars, and argue whether or not we should add even more lanes to the 836.
Look. I’m not even going to pretend like I’m not guilty of this as well… I’ll be the first to tell you we’ve got a very very long way to go.
But I want to share today how my opinion of Miami transit is changing. Let me explain…
I was recently forced to move apartments, so my girlfriend and I used that opportunity find a new pad located right near Metrorail, Metromover, and bus stations. We went out of our way to ensure the best possible access to transit.
This decision started out as an experiment of sorts, but it has since become an integral part of our daily lives.
Miami transit actually works pretty damn well.
Granted, my expectations were low to begin with, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how consistent, inexpensive, and convenient it has been. I avoid taking my car out of the garage at all costs during the week and Metromove (yep, it’s a verb), walk, bike, and Uber as much as humanly possible. There really isn’t anything quite like sliding past the parking lot of traffic at 5pm on Brickell Ave or US1.
The Ultimate Caveat
The reason I’m writing this article is not to sing the praises of Miami-Dade transit per se. Instead, I want to prove a point about access, equality, and ridership.
I’m fortunate enough to have a flexible work situation and am in a position where I can pick up and move to a building of my choosing. This made my transit-focused decision relatively easy.
For many Miamians, this simply isn’t the case.
Many Miamians aren’t able to move, and they have to commute to wherever the job opportunities pop-up. There was a tremendous article about a woman’s 4-hour bus commute in the Herald last year.
For a large percentage of our citizens, car ownership is out of the question. Even riding Uber/Lyft may be too costly… So these community members are left with no option other than transit.
The very people who rely on and benefit most from transit are the ones who live farthest away from our stations.
As we complain about the Metrorail, argue about solutions, keep painting orange trolleys, and continue working to improve our infrastructure, these are the people we need to keep at the forefront of our discussions.
These are the people who most depend on us bringing Miami transit into the 21st century and beyond.
See you next Sunday at 8:30pm. 🙂