City Council Passes Support of Bus Rapid Transit Service - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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City Council Passes Support of Bus Rapid Transit Service

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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 10:31 am

Homestead City Council members passed support of implementing bus rapid transit service for the South Dade Corridor Rapid Transit Project.

The vote on June 20 passed 5-0 with two absent.

“Our goal is to get a transit solution down here as quickly as possible that coincides with what we’re building as far as a transit hub,” Mayor Jeff Porter said. “We just need the county to give us a transit solution that’s doable, affordable, and in a reasonable amount of time, and BRT seems to be coming out on top.”

Porter was joined by Councilwoman Jenifer N. Bailey, Councilman Jon Burgess, Councilman Elvis R. Maldonado, and Councilman Larry Roth in the votes at the meeting while Vice Major Stephen R. Shelley and Councilwoman Patricia Fairclough were not in attendance.

The reading also included relocating the downtown Homestead transit station be relocated to the site of the of Homestead Station with the process beginning next year with final completion as early as 2021 with the total cost around $250 million.

The council voted in favor of the BRT as opposed to extending the metrorail to Homestead, which would cost as much as $1.4 billion with completion estimated between 7-10 years.

City Manager George Gretsas noted a study done by the county identifying commute times would reduce 30-40 percent with BRT.

“This BRT system is about the same speed to get to the location and substantially better than the current bus system that they have now and it’s about the same speed as the heavy rail, but it is substantially cheaper and you can get it implemented much quicker and also in the future if there is desire to extend the metrorail you would have the ability to convert the system over time,” Gretsas said.

Burgess noted it the BRT system would take about 40 minutes from Homestead to the Dadeland station and 60-65 minutes to downtown Miami with one changeover at Dadeland.

“That would be a significant improvement over what we have today,” Burgess said.

The council also voted unanimous support in favor of granting final plat approval for a 46,000-square foot multi-tenant commercial retail shopping center on a 5.7-acre parcel on Campbell Drive between NE 13th Avenue and NE 15th Avenue.

The Homestead Hyundai car dealership was granted permission to use a 45-foot flag pole exceeding the 35-foot limitation.

Voting on an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries was delayed until July 25 because it was not heard at the Planning and Zoning Board Meeting, which was cancelled earlier this month.

The council approved the establishment of deposit accounts with Capital One, National Association, and other entities involved in a New Markets Tax Credits Transaction to provide financing for the Homestead Station Project.

Resident Paul Wiggins was appointed to the Community Relations Board.

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