Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  H


TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:June  7, 2017



The purpose of this Commission Memorandum is to provide an update on the status of the Miami Beach Transit Connection project. 





Between 2003 and 2016, Miami-Dade County, in collaboration with cities of Miami Beach and Miami, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), conducted several studies and actions to advance the proposed Beach Corridor Transit Connection Project, formerly known as Bay Link.  In 2016, the City of Miami Beach initiated the Project Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the Miami Beach Light Rail/Modern Streetcar Project, as well as procurement for a Public-Private Partnership (P3) Developer for the proposed project. 

At the December 14, 2016 Commission meeting, City Commissioners unanimously approved a Resolution that, in summary:

  1. Directs City Administration to work with County administration to advance short-term transit initiatives such as Bus Express Rapid Transit (BERT) service and long-term for a light rail/modern streetcar connection across the MacArthur Causeway to connect Downtown Miami with the City of Miami Beach;

  2. Suspends approval of an Interim Agreement with our top-ranked P3 Proposer until Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners takes formal action that would indicate the County’s commitment to the County’s Beach Corridor Project (i.e., the connection across the MacArthur Causeway);

  3. Directs City Administration to pursue federal, state, and local funding for the Miami Beach Project; and

     4.  Directs City Administration to complete the environmental documents.


Miami Beach Light Rail/Modern Streetcar Study Update


In compliance with the City Commission’s directive provided via Resolution passed at the December 14, 2016 meeting, and noted in the Background section of this memorandum, the following is a summary update:

  1. In response to Commission directive No. 1 above, City staff has conducted coordination meetings with Miami-Dade County to express support for development of short-term transit remedies across the MacArthur Causeway. 

  2. City staff immediately suspended negotiations toward an Interim Agreement with the top-ranked P3 Proposer.      

  3. Staff is in collaboration with Miami-Dade County to explore the potential for Federal funding.  Through these coordination meetings, the County has advised staff to delay publication of the draft environmental report until advised to do so, pending input from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

  4. City staff and consultants have completed the draft technical reports in support of the Project Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), in collaboration with FDOT staff.  The work to date has been developed with the flexibility to adapt the document to the FTA’s requirements.  

  5. Coordination with the County on all actions above is ongoing.


Beach Corridor Transit Connection Project Update


On May 11, 2017, Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) authorized its consultant team to start work on the Beach Corridor Transit Connection Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study, expected to be completed in 12 months, in response to Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners’ latest directive.  This study will be authorized in phases.  Currently, the consultants are scoped to conduct a “high-level” screening of technologies and alignment options, along with potential associated technical, environmental, cost, and community considerations.  In addition, the scope of work will include the technical studies necessary to complete the mandatory National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation to qualify for potential Federal and State funding.  In March 2018, DTPW will provide an update to the Board of County Commissioners.


DTPW is developing the Public Involvement Plan which will include the formation of a Project Advisory Group and a Technical Advisory Committee, of which the City of Miami Beach will be an invited member.


It is important to note that, while County staff has expressed interest in a Metromover type of alternative for the connection across the MacArthur Causeway, the study will consider all potentially applicable public transportation technologies.  Further, it should be noted that City staff has expressed significant concerns to the County regarding 1) any elevated system in the City; and 2) the impact of a transfer from one system coming across the MacArthur Causeway to another system operating in Miami Beach.


The above information is provided to the Mayor and City Commission as an update.

Ensure Comprehensive Mobility Addressing All Modes Throughout The City

Legislative Tracking