written by on November 15, 2022
  • miamitodayepaper.com


Miami trolley system may get five more years of life

City commissioners are to act on two resolutions today (11/17) that would provide additional funding to Miami’s trolley system and extend contract terms with a 20% increase in hourly service rates.

The first proposal would authorize the city manager to execute a public transportation grant agreement between the city and the Florida Department of Transportation whereby the city would use the state’s $1,020,450 to purchase two additional trolley vehicles.

The second resolution would extend the contract terms set forth in the agreement between the city and Limousine of South Florida, which has provided trolley services since 2012. The original proposal, adopted by the commission on January 12, 2012, had set a term of five years. Initial term with five additional one-year options for renewal for a total of 10 years.

The contract is now in its second extension and is set to expire on December 24, unless the commissioners approve another extension. The resolution states that it is in the city’s best interest to extend the commercial service agreement with Limousine of South Florida for another three years, with two one-year options for renewal.

Background information on the agenda item suggests that the hourly rate of service increase is proposed because the aging trolley fleet requires repairs that come with a hefty price tag for labor and replacement parts. Citing the complexities of the current economic climate and global supply chain issues, the proposal recommends increasing the current service rate of $51.79 per hour to $62.15 per hour to offset repair costs.

The city launched a trolley program in 2012 to ease growing traffic congestion and provide free mass transit in under-served areas.

Trolleys have deep roots in Miami’s history. The first trolleys appeared on the streets in 1906 and ran on an electronically operated streetcar system.

The city rediscovered this system in 1922 when the first streetcars using overhead wires were introduced. Trolley lines were extended to Coral Gables, Downtown Miami, and eventually Miami Beach. Services flourished in the 20s and 30s until operations ceased in the fall of 1940.

It would be more than 60 years before South Florida saw the rebirth of the once booming trolley program. Coral Gables introduced a seven-trolley fleet in 2003 as an easy and cost-effective option for residents to get around without contributing to congested traffic and parking in the area.

The City of Miami entered into an agreement with Limousine of South Florida on February 27, 2012 to restore trolley services in the municipality. The commissioners raised the hourly rate of service once in December 2021 from $44.69 to $51.79 in order to increase trolley driver pay.

If the commission approves the proposals today, Miami’s trolley system could see significant additional funding and continue operating for another five years, through 2027.

Source link