[IMAGE]Miami.jpg[/IMAGE]Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) recently began offering commuter express bus service between downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale utilizing Interstate 95's new Express Lanes.
The Florida Department of Transportation converted about 10 miles of I-95's High Occupancy Vehicle lanes between downtown Miami and north Miami-Dade County into all-electronic tolling lanes to increase the highway's carrying capacity. The highway's original five lanes were re-striped and narrowed to form a sixth lane in each direction, and the two newly striped left lanes were separated by a barrier of plastic poles to form the express lanes.
The project was funded by a $63 million federal Urban Partnership Agreement grant that also paid for 60-foot-long, 60-seater fuel-efficient hybrid buses to run transit service in the express lanes. MDT will begin operating the hybrid buses in mid July 2010 after using its regular buses during the initial months.
Additionally, MDT announced that it added express bus service from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Miami Beach.
The bus route, which is funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, provides a rapid, reliable and inexpensive transit connection for the more than 4.8 million of visitors who travel to Miami Beach each year from MIA, as well as the hundreds of local residents who work at the airport or in the Miami Beach restaurant and hotel industry.
On its first day in service, the Airport Flyer had more than 800 passengers who took advantage of this new service.