Miami rethinks public transport

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Miami, like many North American cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC), faces an auto dependency problem and a lack of transit infrastructure. Traditionally designed for and with the automobile, the city has experienced growth, including real estate, which requires it to rethink its transport policy. Especially since more and more residents are looking for "walkability" that is to say the possibility of being able to move without a car.

The city recently studied and launched several projects to relieve traffic in the busiest places, and facilitate travel between the various cities of Florida. Three projects were created: new Metrorail lines in Miami, a tram serving Miami Beach, and a train from Miami to Orlando.

An ambitious project with Alstom on the front line

For the creation of these new infrastructures, Miami relied on partners of choice.

The Japanese company Hitachi, through its Italian subsidiary Hitachi Rail Italy, will be in charge of the production of Metrorail transport systems. The company intends to establish a strong presence in the rail market in the United States, which is currently underdeveloped. She is currently creating a driverless public transit for the city of Honolulu, which will be operational next year.

In addition, a tram network will also be created in Miami Beach, on the entire South Beach / South Pointe. French society Alstom, the origin of this project, is competing for the equipment needed for this new "light train" that will facilitate the movement of tourists and residents. The construction of on-site infrastructure, apart from the production of trains, is estimated at around 387 million $. A large-scale project to modernize one of the most touristic areas of Eastern America, which is also expected to be connected to the new developed rail network in the west of the city.

Finally, the most ambitious project is that of the new generation train to connect Miami to Orlando, called Brightline. The line will run through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, ensuring optimal comfort, and will provide fast connection between cities (30 minutes between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, 60 between West Palm Beach and Miami, for example). The line will be operational in 2017.

User behavior evolves in Miami

With the emergence of new transportation solutions such as Uber, Zipcar, or even Citibike (local velib), users are changing their way of getting around, and would like to be less dependent on the car. It is the generation of the shared economy, the "green attitude", including some of the Millennium.

According to Carlos Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, " the new generations prefer to travel by train, bus or Uber. For them, the car is a constraint, whereas it was a luxury for us. The ways of thinking are changing, and we are seeing it more and more in our community". Miami has participated in the development of Uber which is officially authorized, even near airports.

A rapprochement with the European and Asian models

These modes of transport have been tested and approved for many years in Asia and Europe, and have proven their effectiveness. These solutions represent a major step forward to reduce car traffic, help reduce fixed costs (car purchase, insurance, maintenance, parking ...) but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

It will also help develop the real estate market in the more remote areas of central Miami, which will be accessible more easily and quickly.

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