As it relates to the City’s trolley service, both the Coverage Concept and the Ridership Concept have been designed to keep the existing service hours (Monday to Saturday from 6AM to midnight and from 8AM to midnight on Sunday) and for the changes to be budget neutral to the City. The Better Bus Project’s proposed changes to the City’s trolley service are as follows:
South Beach Trolley
Under both concepts:
· Eliminate “Via 11 Street Loop” and reassign vehicles to Loops A and B to achieve a higher service frequency of 12 minutes under the Coverage Concept and 10 minutes under the Ridership Concept.
· Eliminate service to Belle Isle and Collins Park for all three loops and terminate service at Sunset Harbour Publix.
Both concepts suggest that Belle Isle would be served by an enhanced County Route 101 which would operate an all-day service across the Venetian Causeway from Omni Terminal to the existing Lincoln Road stop located between Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue and with a connection to the Sunset Harbour Publix. Route 101 service hours would be similar to our trolley service, and service frequency would be 30 minutes under the Coverage Concept and 20 minutes under the Ridership Concept. Route 101 would require a fare.
Both concepts suggest that the Collins Park neighborhood would be served by the Collins Express Trolley operating along Collins Avenue at a higher service frequency.
Middle Beach Loop
· Eliminate the segment west of Washington Avenue (17 Street, Meridian Avenue, Dade Boulevard, 21 Street).
· Operate from Mount Sinai Medical Center to Washington Avenue/17 Street along 41 Street, Indian Creek Drive, and Collins Avenue.
· Affected trips could be conducted by connecting to more frequent routes, such as South Beach Trolley (every 12 minutes) and several County bus routes (Route 20, Route 101, and Route 115).
· Service frequency would be 20 minutes.
· Eliminate the Middle Beach Loop entirely and reassign vehicles to Collins Express to improve service frequency along that route.
· Service from Mount Sinai Medical Center to City Center (and vice-versa) would be replaced by proposed County Route 20 (which would require a fare) with 20 minute service frequency, as compared to 15 minutes currently.
· No change to route.
· Service frequency will increase to 15 minutes due to reassigning vehicles from the Middle Beach Loop.
· No change to route.
· Service frequency will increase to 10 minutes due to reassigning vehicles from the Middle Beach Loop.
North Beach Loop
In both concepts, the North Beach Loop remains unchanged with 15-minute service.
In addition to the suggested trolley modifications described above, the Better Bus Project is proposing to eliminate Route 150/Airport Express, which currently provides direct service from Miami International Airport to Miami Beach, due to low ridership and low productivity. Route 150 would be replaced by a new local (i.e. non-express) route that would require multiple stops and may require transfers to travel from the airport to the beach.
· Trolleys and buses serve different purposes.
Both the Coverage and Ridership Concepts assume that the City of Miami and Miami Beach would change their trolley networks to maximize job access overall. The trade-off is that trolley routes are the result of a community-driven process and are controlled by cities. Service is free and different vehicles are used. To achieve the intended goal of the Better Bus Project means changing municipal trolley routes and the County bus network concurrently to create the intended synergies in the transit network.
Given that city trolleys are free to ride and County buses require a $2.25 fare, if some of the changes to the City’s trolley routes are implemented as suggested in the Better Bus Project, some Miami Beach residents who are currently riding the trolley for free will need to pay a fare to ride the County bus.
Eliminating segments of the City’s existing trolley routes or eliminating the Middle Beach Loop entirely as proposed in the Better Bus Project will require that some residents transfer from trolley to bus or walk a greater distance to access the bus.