Long-Term BERT Service
Attachment A depicts a presentation prepared by Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works with an updated status on the proposed Beach Express North/Julia Tuttle BERT long-term (2023) service using the inside shoulders. County staff will attend the May 22, 2020 FERC meeting to present the update and respond to any questions or concerns from the Committee.
FDOT is currently in the design development phase for the structural improvements to the inside shoulders of the Julia Tuttle Causeway required for the long-term BERT service. Coordination with U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration is required given that the Julia Tuttle Causeway is a federal interstate highway (I-195). FDOT anticipates awarding the construction of the inside shoulder improvements, including new overhead signage and lane restriping along the entire causeway, in 2022. The FDOT work is scheduled to be completed in 2023 prior to the County commencing BERT service using the inside shoulders.
Interim BERT Service
On a parallel path, the County is also evaluating the feasibility of implementing interim BERT service using the outside shoulders of the Julia Tuttle Causeway by early 2021. Attachment B depicts the various scenarios (A-G) being considered. The costs displayed in the charts are still under review and are not final. Below is a brief description of the routes being considered. Routes are listed in order of total route distance from the longest to the shortest.
Scenario A – Golden Glades Intermodal Facility to Miami Beach Convention Center with interim stops at Earlington Heights Metrorail Station, Mount Sinai Medical Center, etc.
Scenario B - Golden Glades Intermodal Facility to Mount Sinai Medical Center with an interim stop at Earlington Heights Metrorail Station
Scenario C – Miami Intermodal Center to Miami Beach Convention Center with interim stops at Earlington Heights Metrorail Station, Mount Sinai Medical Center, etc.
Scenario D – Earlington Heights Metrorail Station to Miami Beach Convention Center with interim stops at Mount Sinai Medical Center, etc.
Scenario E - Earlington Heights Metrorail Station to Fontainebleau Hotel with an interim stop at Mount Sinai Medical Center
Scenario F - Earlington Heights Metrorail Station to Mount Sinai Medical Center
Scenario G – NE 36 St & Biscayne Boulevard (Denny’s Restaurant) to Mount Sinai Medical Center
Scenario A is the Beach Express North/Julian Tuttle route as adopted in the SMART Plan and as endorsed by the City Commission. As such, it is the Administration’s preferred route for both the interim and long-term BERT service. Given the desire to implement the interim service in an expedited timeframe, the County is considering shorter (i.e. less costly) routes that require fewer buses. From City staff’s perspective, it is essential that the service connect to a transit hub on the mainland, thus, Scenario G is clearly not desirable. Furthermore, any scenario that terminates at Mount Sinai Medical Center would not serve the Fontainebleau Hotel or Convention Center area, thus requiring those workforce commuters to transfer. To this end, it has been mentioned that the City’s trolley service could potentially provide the last leg of that commute by connecting to the BERT at Mount Sinai and serving Fontainebleau and Convention Center; however, City staff conducted a ridership analysis and found that our trolleys do not have the capacity to perform this function. Moreover, the Middle Beach Trolley route would need to be modified to provide a direct connection from Mount Sinai Medical Center to Fontainebleau Hotel and Convention Center.