MIAMI-DADE COUNTY. Fla. – Broken elevators and escalators, some sitting dormant for over a year, are plaguing Miami’s Metromover system, and are causing large concerns for riders, especially those with disabilities.
When Local 10 News first reported on the broken escalator at the Adrienne Arsht Center station in Miami’s Omni neighborhood, a sign on the escalator mentioned an estimated repair date of July 31, 2023.
Now, it looks like riders won’t be able to use that escalator until just before Miami rings in the new year — and not New Year’s Day 2024.
That’s because the sign now reads Dec. 31, 2024, confirmed by the Miami-Dade County website.
The county points out: “There is at least one way to ascend and descend at all stations without having to use the stairs. Moreover, escalators with long turnarounds for resolution are those beyond repair and slated for replacement,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Local 10 News spoke with riders who are frustrated due to the constant repairs of elevators and escalators at the Metromover stations in downtown Miami.
“They are always broken and you get tired to go up the stairs every day,” said one woman.
Miami-Dade County officials told Local 10 News that as of Thursday, four escalators and two elevators are still down at surrounding stops.
According to the county’s website, the new repair date for the escalator at Adrienne Arsht Center Station and three other stations is now scheduled for December 2024.
The escalator at the Adrienne Arsht Center station “needs major refurbishment and will take longer. For that reason we expedited repairs on the elevator, to have at least one option available for users that need it,” Miami-Dade County said in a statement.
Miami-Dade residents told Local 10 News on Thursday that the broke escalators and elevators have also caused an inconvenience for parents.
“Especially school time, when the kids get off from school and there are a lot of people waiting probably for like two months because the elevators did not work,” one woman said.
As elevators and escalators in disrepair continue to be a growing problem at public transit stations in Miami-Dade County, local leaders took action last month in order to get them fixed at a faster pace.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava sent a letter to the contractor, Schindler Group, on May 19, that included a list of demands and the possibility of pursuing damages if there are further delays in repairing them.
The mayor is chalking up the problems to the county’s outside vendor. She said Schindler, the company responsible for repairs, keeps shifting its timelines and has parts on backorder.
Schindler says elevators and escalators installed at metro stations about 40 years ago are “well past their life cycles” and the major overhaul riders are seeing now was to be expected.