Miami-Dade Transit

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Miami-Dade Transit
Metrorail (top), Metromover (middle), and Metrobus (bottom) at Government Center
Locale Greater Miami
Transit type Rapid transit, Downtown people mover, bus rapid transit, transit bus
Number of lines 2 Metrorail lines
3 Metromover loops
90 Metrobus routes
1 bus rapid transit line
Number of stations Miami Central Station
Government Center
23 (Metrorail)
22 (Metromover)
28 (South Dade Busway)
Daily ridership 391,000+ daily
Chief executive Alice Bravo (Director)
Headquarters 701 NW 1st Court
Miami, Florida, 33132
Began operation August 2, 1960[1]
Operator(s) Miami-Dade Transit
Number of vehicles 817 buses
136 Metrorail cars
42 Metromover cars
System length 31 miles (50 km) (Elevated metro; 2012)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)

Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) is the primary public transit authority of Miami, Florida, United States and the greater Miami-Dade County area. It is the largest transit system in Florida and the 15th-largest transit system in the United States.[2]

MDT operates the rapid transit Metrorail, the Downtown Metromover people mover, Metrobus, and Paratransit (STS) systems. Metrorail is composed of two rail lines (Green and Orange lines) with 23 stations radiating from the city center towards outlying neighborhoods north and south of Downtown. Metromover operates throughout the Downtown and Brickell neighborhoods, and is composed of three rail loops and 22 stations. Metrobus operates over 93 routes, including the South Dade Busway.[3] MDT's main transit stations are Government Center in Downtown, and the new Miami Central Station in Grapeland Heights, near Miami International Airport.[4]

As of 2011, MDT has a daily passenger ridership of 336,067, and accounts for over 15% of Miamians' daily transportation. MDT has seen growing passenger ridership since 1998, with ridership increasing 79% since then. The opening of the new Metrorail Orange Line in April 2012 is expected to significantly increase usage of the system.[5] Although not under the control of MDT, Tri-Rail is Miami's commuter rail system, and connects Miami to suburbs north to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.[6]

Currently, the Director of the authority is former City of Miami Manager Alice Bravo. The MDT headquarters are located in the Overtown Transit Village in Downtown Miami.[7]


In 1960, the Dade County Commission passed an ordinance creating the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to unify the different transit operations into one countywide service. This ordinance provided for the purchase, development, and operation of an adequate mass transit system by the County. These companies included the Miami Transit Company, Miami Beach Railway Company, South Miami Coach Lines, and Keys Transit Company on Key Biscayne and would be managed by National City Management Company. Over the years and under various administrations, MTA evolved into the Metro-Dade Transportation Administration, the Metro-Dade Transit Agency, the Miami-Dade Transit Agency, and is now known simply as Miami-Dade Transit (MDT).

Miami-Dade Transit, a county department of more than 4,000 employees, is the largest transit agency in the state of Florida and accounts for more than half of the trips taken on public transit in the state. MDT operates an accessible, integrated system of 93-plus Metrobus routes; the 22-mile (35 km) Metrorail rapid transit system; Metromover, a free downtown people mover system; and the Paratransit division’s Special Transportation Service. Metrobus routes cover more than 35-million miles annually, including limited service to Broward and Monroe counties. In 2004, MDT's Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus transported more than 96 million passengers, compared to 85 million the previous year.

2011 federal investigation

Miami-Dade Transit is undergoing a federal investigation by the Federal Transit Administration that includes several audits and a criminal investigation of the transit agency due to concerns over money mismanagement within the agency.[8] This caused a freezing of federal funds being granted to the county agency. In late 2010 the county manager claimed that it was 'not fraud' but rather accounting errors, poor management, and erroneous information given to the auditors that triggered the investigation, including a withdrawal of $15 million through the ECHO[disambiguation needed] program that was made by a transit official two hours after a letter arrived in September 2010 from the FTA telling them withdrawals had been restricted.[9] The investigation and lack of funding let to emergency service cuts to Metrorail, Metrobus, and Metromover being considered by the agency by the middle of 2011, six months into the investigation and lack of funding which began in November 2010, causing MDT to lose $185 million in grant money. Assistant county manager Ysela Llort became responsible for Miami-Dade Transit after director Harpal Kapoor left in April 2011. Additionally, funding for the Metrorail airport link was jeopardized by the funding freeze. The FTA decided to continue funding under strict control in order to keep service cuts from happening.[10]

Improvement projects

  • The Miami-Dade County Government has received federal money in order to purchase new railcars from AsnaldoBreda At a cost of 325 million dollars
  • Technology and Corridor Improvements: Two corridors, totaling 24.4 miles (39.3 km) of rapid transit, have completed the planning phase and are ready to enter into final design and construction—the North Corridor, Earlington Heights-MIC Connection, and East-West Corridor.


File:Miami Easy Card.jpg
The EASY Card was implemented in 2009, and allows for fast and seamless transfers between Metrorail, Tri-Rail, Metromover and Metrobus.

The "EASY Card" system is a regional fare collection system with interoperable smartcards and equipment. The following information is specific to Miami-Dade Transit:

Since October 1, 2009, Miami-Dade Transit has used the EASY Card system[11] for fare collection.

On December 13, 2009 paper-based bus transfers were discontinued, and bus-to-bus transfers are now free only when using an EASY Card or EASY Ticket.

  • An EASY Card can be purchased for $2 at EASY Card sales outlets, vending machines in Metrorail stations, calling 3-1-1 in Miami-Dade County, or online. Money can be reloaded on to the card at the same places and locations. The card is durable plastic and lasts for 20 years from first use since 2013.
  • Alternatively an EASY Ticket may be purchased with no sales charge. However EASY Tickets are limited to the fare type initially loaded onto it, and expire 60 days after purchase.[12] EASY Tickets also may not be purchased online or via telephone.
  • With the change, paper transfers are being eliminated on transit. People paying fares in cash will need to pay full fare when transferring.[13] Transfers will be available only by paying with an EASY Card or Ticket and using the card again within 3 hours of boarding transit.

The current standard fare is $2.25 and reduced fare is $1.10. A standard monthly pass costs $112.50 and $56.25 for reduced fare. The monthly Metropass is loaded onto the EASY Card. Turnstile equipment at all Metrorail stations does not accept any type of cash,[11] and require an EASY Card or Ticket to both enter and exit the boarding area.

Reduced fares are available only to Medicare recipients, people with disabilities, and Miami-Dade students in grades 1-12. No fare to kids below 42 inches (110 cm) tall with fare-paying rider; limit is 3.

All Miami-Dade senior citizens aged 65 years and older and with Social Security benefits ride free with a Golden Passport pass. Veterans residing in Miami-Dade and earning less than $22,000 annually ride free with the Patriot Passport pass.

Passenger ridership

Passengers at Government Center

In February 2011, Miami-Dade Transit ridership totaled 336,067 passengers, including all Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus lines. With a population of about 2.5 million in Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Transit accounts for 15% of the population's daily mode of transportation. Note: This figure does not include Tri-Rail, Miami's commuter rail operator.

Annual passenger ridership

Year Metrobus Metrorail Metromover Total ridership
1995 61,516,400 14,445,400 4,168,600 80,130,400
1996 60,466,700 14,245,000 3,847,400 78,559,100
1997 62,344,200 13,923,700 4,175,200 80,443,100
1998 62,358,100 13,298,900 4,064,900 79,721,900
1999 64,252,400 13,769,400 4,069,700 82,091,500
2000 65,689,800 14,023,600 4,256,500 83,969,900
2001 65,067,100 13,678,000 4,951,800 83,696,900
2002 63,423,500 13,932,100 5,171,700 82,527,300
2003 65,046,900 14,318,500 6,978,900 86,344,300
2004 77,909,300 15,987,600 8,686,300 102,583,200
2005 78,373,000 17,001,000 8,537,500 103,911,500
2006 83,080,500 17,388,100 8,389,500 108,858,100
2007 84,218,300 17,672,000 8,838,800 110,729,100
2008 86,409,200* 19,075,900* 8,723,700 114,208,800*
2009 73,104,900 17,792,100 7,986,100 98,883,100
2010 70,942,000 17,438,400 8,121,000 96,501,400
2011 76,858,200 18,295,500 9,219,600* 104,373,300

* Record highs

Weekday passenger ridership averages

Year Metrobus Metrorail[14] Metromover Total daily passengers
1998 207,048 44,871 13,269 265,188
1999 209,111 46,774 13,880 269,765
2000 212,927 47,256 14,383 274,566
2001 211,823 46,664 16,849 275,336
2002 204,941 47,064 16,444 268,449
2003 215,306 51,248 25,521 292,076
2004 234,109 55,294 28,192 317,595
2005 246,023 59,700 28,473 334,195
2006 259,375 58,358 27,042 344,775
2007 264,467
(record high)
59,708 28,058 352,233
(record high)
2008 259,018 63,710
(record high)
26,682 349,410
2009 233,858 59,992 25,883 319,733
2010 227,883 59,900 27,175 314,958
2011 245,358 62,559 29,775
(record high)


Metrorail is the city's rapid transit rail system

Metrorail is an elevated rapid transit heavy rail system similar to a subway train. It has two lines on 24.4 mi (39 km) of track with termini west of Hialeah, at Miami International Airport, and in Kendall.

Planned expansions

  • The East-West Corridor is a 10.6-mile (17.1 km) proposed expansion from the Miami Intermodal Center west to the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) and from the Palmetto, through West-Dade County and Florida Turnpike/FIU/117th Avenue. These sites have been identified as potential station locations: Florida International University, NW 107th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), NW 97th Avenue, NW 87th Avenue (Galloway Road), NW 72nd Avenue (Milam Dairy Road), the Blue Lagoon area, and Miami Intermodal Center.
  • The North Corridor was a proposed 9.5-mile (15.3 km) expansion that was to be a northward extension from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza Metrorail Station, along NW 27th Avenue to NW 215th Street (Miami-Dade/Broward County line); with proposed stations at Northside Shopping Center, MDC-North Campus, City of Opa-locka, Bunche Park, Miami Gardens, Sun Life Stadium and the Calder Race Course. The project has been postponed indefinitely and has been deemed not eligible to federal funding.


The Metromover operates three rail loops with newer vechicles and is equipped with free wireless internet throughout the greater Downtown area

Metromover is a free, elevated, automated mass transit people mover that runs on three loops: the Downtown Inner Loop, Brickell Loop, and the Omni Loop. The systems totals 4.4 miles with 22 stations at roughly every two blocks in the greater Downtown area. Metromover serves the neighborhoods of Downtown, Brickell, Omni, Park West, and Overtown.


Slogan 'We"ll Take You There!'
Parent Miami-Dade County
Founded August 2, 1960
Headquarters Overtown Transit Village
Locale Miami, Florida
Service area Greater Miami, Broward, and Monroe Counties
Service type bus service, bus rapid transit
Alliance Broward County Transit
Routes 93 2 are contracted bus routes
Stops 8,000+ bus stops
Fleet 817 buses Composed of NABI, Gillig, New Flyer MCI and Optima buses
Daily ridership 293,000 [15]
Fuel type Diesel, Hybrid Diesel Electric, soon (CNG)
Operator Miami-Dade Transit

The Metrobus network provides bus service throughout Miami-Dade County 365 days a year. It consists of about 93 routes and 893 buses, which connect most points in the county and part of southern Broward County as well. Seven of these routes operate around the clock: Routes 3, 11, 27, 38, 77 (last bus from Downtown Miami 1:10am, first bus from Downtown Miami 4:10am), L (No 24 hour service to Hialeah, all trips terminate at Northside Station) and S. Routes 246 Night Owl & Route 500 Midnight Owl operate from 12am to 5am. Most other routes operate from 4:30am to 1:30am. All Metrobuses are wheelchair accessible, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and equipped with Bicycle racks.

Bus route 301 (Dade-Monroe Express) extends into Monroe County, reaching Marathon, where a transfer is available to a Key West Transit bus proceeding further into the Keys. With the appropriate bus transfers, one can travel all the way from Key West to Jupiter entirely on public-transit buses.

South Miami-Dade Busway

The South Miami-Dade Busway (originally the South Dade Busway) began operating on February 3, 1997 and was extended in April 2005. The final 6.5-mile (10.5 km) segment of the Busway extension to Florida City opened on Sunday, December 16, 2007. It is parallel to US1/ S Dixie Highway, and replaced an abandoned Florida East Coast Railroad line. It is an alternative to daily traffic congestion. The 13-mile (21 km) roadway was built by the Florida Department of Transportation just for Metrobus routes and emergency vehicles. Express buses on the exclusive lanes shuttle passengers to and from Dadeland South Station (see Metrorail) in under 40 minutes.

Both full-size and Articulated buses operate on the Busway and in adjacent neighborhoods, entering the exclusive lanes at major intersections. Local and limited-stop service is offered between Florida City and Dadeland South Metrorail Station. Park & Ride lots along the busway are located at SW 152d Street (Coral Reef Drive), SW 168th Street (Richmond Drive), SW 112th Avenue, SW 244th Street, and SW 296th Street. At Dadeland South Station, riders transfer to Metrorail. Riders headed downtown can transfer from Metrorail to Metromover, which consists of three shorter downtown loops, at Government Center Station.

The South Miami-Dade Busway features 28 stops, all of which have been converted to light-rail style stations. A multi-use path stretches the length of the Busway.

South Miami-Dade Busway stations

  • SW 104th Street
  • SW 112th Street
  • SW 120th Street
  • SW 124th Street
  • SW 128th Street
  • SW 136th Street
  • SW 144th Street
  • SW 152nd Street (Park-N-Ride)
  • SW 160th Street
  • SW 168th Street (Park-N-Ride)
  • SW 173rd Street
  • W Indigo Street
  • SW 184th Street
  • Marlin Road
  • SW 200th Street
  • SW 112th Avenue (Park-N-Ride)
  • SW 216th Street
  • SW 220th Street
  • SW 232nd Street
  • SW 244th Street
  • SW 264th Street
  • SW 272nd Street
  • SW 280th Street
  • SW 296th Street (Park-N-Ride)
  • SW 312th Street
  • Historic Homestead (Future Park-N-Ride, currently under construction)
  • SW 324th Street
  • SW 328th Street
  • SW 344th Street (Park-N-Ride, currently open for service as of June 2015)
Former stations
  • SW 117 Street (closed 12/1/14. Replaced with SW 120 Street)

Routes that use the Busway

  • 1- Serves the station at 173 st and a route that travels through Perrine, Florida and Quail Roost DR which every bus passes every half hour.
  • 31 Busway Local- serves all stations between northern end of the busway and Southland Mall, before looping to serve Cutler Bay shopping centers and the South Dade Government Office Complex
  • 34 Busway Flyer- travels the entire length of the busway, but does not stop at any stations before SW 152nd Street
  • 38 Busway MAX- travels the entire length of the busway, deviating from the route slightly to serve Southland Mall, and travelling beyond the end of the busway to serve Florida City shopping centers
  • 52- begins at Dadeland North Metrorail Station, then runs along busway to SW 152nd street, before becoming a Richmond Heights and Goulds local route
  • 252 Coral Reef MAX- begins at Dadeland South Metrorail Station, then runs along busway to SW 152nd Street, before becoming express route to Country Walk
  • 287 Saga Bay MAX- begins at Dadeland South Metrorail Station, then runs along busway to SW 168th Street, before running as express route through West Perrine and Saga Bay

Busway vs. rail controversy

The Busway has been the site of many accidents, as some car drivers driving south on US 1 (which runs parallel to the Busway for much of its length), and looking to turn west, do not stop at the red arrows that govern the right turn lane at an intersection that has a Busway crossing adjacent to it. They make a right turn and go right into the path of a bus that is entering the adjacent Busway intersection. Buses currently have to slow down to 15 mph (24 km/h) before crossing the intersection, and the police often patrol the intersections looking for red arrow runners. Surprisingly, even the intersections where the Busway runs as far as 2 blocks west of US 1 suffer the same problem, with car drivers either not seeing or flatly ignoring the red lights at SW 184th and 186th Streets. City planners and residents alike have commented that rather than dismantling the former Florida East Coast Railroad line for the busway, the Metrorail system could have been extended southward over the railway line.

Paratransit (STS)

Paratransit/Special Transportation Services (STS) is available for people with a mental or physical disability who cannot ride Metrobus, Metrorail, or Metromover. For $3 per one-way trip, STS offers shared-ride, door-to-door travel in accessible vehicles throughout most of Miami-Dade County, in some parts of south Broward County, and in the middle and northern Keys. STS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including most holidays.

See also


  2. "Transit Development Plan" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. September 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Contact Us." Miami-Dade Transit. Retrieved on September 14, 2011. "Miami-Dade Transit Administrative Offices Overtown Transit Village 701 NW 1st Court Miami, Florida 33136"
  8. Martha Brannigan and Alfonso Chardy (July 7, 2011). "Miami-Dade to weigh $100M loan for ailing Transit Agency". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Alfonso Chardy (December 8, 2010). "Miami-Dade Transit's federal funding freeze `not fraud'". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Martha Brannigan, Alfonso Chardy and Matthew Haggman (May 10, 2011). "Miami-Dade transit agency eyes service cuts as feds hold back money". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-07-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1

External links