July 31, 2013

Miami-Dade celebrates one year anniversary of rail service to airport

Miami Metrorail train at Government Center station. Photo courtesy DearEdward, Flickr Commons.

Miami Metrorail train at Government Center station. Photo courtesy DearEdward, Flickr Commons.

Miami-Dade Transit is commemorating its first year of Metrorail service to Miami International Airport (MIA).

The opening of Metrorail’s 23rd station, the Miami International Airport Station, and Orange Line service to the station, changed the way residents and visitors travel to and from the airport.

“It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since Orange Line service to MIA began, but it’s no surprise that so many of our residents and visitors have already taken advantage of this wonderful public amenity,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We’re proud to offer our patrons a convenient, economical alternative to driving to the airport, and we look forward to the continued success of the Metrorail Orange Line in the years ahead.”

More than 750,000 people have passed through the MIA Station since its inauguration on July 28, 2012. With the addition of the Orange Line, as well as the increased frequency in service between the Dadeland South and Earlington Heights stations, Metrorail has seen a boost in its overall yearly ridership by nearly 13% over the previous year. This increase exceeds the 12% increase in ridership that had been projected for the first year of service to MIA.

“We owe this great service and its success to the Miami-Dade County taxpayers, who had the foresight to plan for and fund a Metrorail extension that would tie our local businesses and urban core to MIA – one of the largest economic engines in our region,” said Miami-Dade transit director Ysela Llort.

Construction of the 2.4-mile extension and MIA Station was funded with $404.7 million from the People’s Transportation Plan surtax, which is overseen by the 15-member Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust. The remainder of the project cost – $101.3 million – came from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The opening of the Orange Line and MIA station also marked a milestone in Metrorail’s history because for the first time since it opened in 1984, Metrorail has two rail lines – the Orange and Green lines.

The award-winning MIA Station features a multilevel structure that provides passengers with a central transfer point at the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC). At the MIC, travelers can transfer to different modes of transportation, including Metrobus, and in the future, to Tri-Rail, Amtrak, Greyhound, tour buses and other modes of transportation.

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