MIAMI – After years of discussion and public clamoring, getting to Miami Beach by train may finally become a reality by the end of the decade.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and County Commissioner Eileen Higgins announced plans to expand Miami’s Metromover to Miami Beach in a video posted to social media Wednesday.
“We’ve heard our community loud and clear,” Levine Cava said. “You want more transit and that includes a simple affordable way to get to and from Miami Beach. So we’re here to tell you Metromover from Miami to the beach is coming.”
With the expansion, visitors and residents would be able to get from Miami International Airport to South Beach via rail. A county news release also hinted at a connection to PortMiami.
The plan supplants an earlier proposed monorail project. Officials said that idea proved too costly and complicated, versus connecting Miami Beach with the “easy, familiar,” already-existing system.
Additionally, riders heading from downtown would have had to change trains at least once.
“The monorail plan for the Baylink comes with a price tag that’s just way too high for our budget, while failing to deliver the one-seat ride that you’ve asked for,” Higgins said.
According to the county, that price tag ballooned to $1.3 billion. County officials didn’t specify how much a Metromover expansion would cost, but did say it would be lower.
County transit staff “will work to advertise, evaluate, and negotiate the new solution by October 2023, facilitating an accelerated delivery with project design commencing in 2024, construction beginning in 2025 and operations anticipated by 2029,” a county spokesperson said.
We’ve heard our community loud and clear – you want more transit, and that includes a simple, affordable way to get to & from Miami Beach.— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) November 2, 2022
Today, we’re thrilled to share our updated plans to extend Metromover to the Beach – the one-seat Baylink connection that riders asked for! pic.twitter.com/OW7OgVXgsd