Travel to and from Miami is about to get a whole new look. Miami is already easy to reach by car, ship, or plane; after all, PortMiami is the busiest cruise port in the world and Miami International is the second-busiest airport in the country for international travel. Now, passenger rail travel is set to return to the Magic City.
In “Florida’s Most Well-Connected Cities,” I talked about Miami’s current public transit offerings. One of them is the recently expanded MetroRail, whose long-awaited new station finally links the 22 other stations to Miami International Airport. More than a simple airport connector, however, this new station will be known as Miami Central Station.
Miami Central Station, also called Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), already serves nine MetroBus lines as well as MetroRail’s new Orange Line, from which passengers hop on an automated people mover towards the airport. In 2014, MIC will expand to act as a terminus for the Tri-Rail commuter rail and Amtrak service. To match the sleek new Central Station, a fleet of updated MetroRail cars will debut in 2015.
Just down the road – or, should I say, tracks – downtown Miami may soon see another intermodal station take shape. Florida East Coast Railway plans to expand its US 1 corridor use to include up to three new lines of Tri-Rail services and the new inter-city connector known as All Aboard Florida, both planned for 2014.
Architects call the Downtown Station an “urban village,” complete with retail, office space, hotel rooms, and residential units. Another aspect of this unique project is that the main hall will be at ground level – with transit lines floating 45 feet above Miami’s busy street grid. The project would span four city blocks that are currently paved parking lots, which used to be the site of the city’s first major train station.
The next two years will see a dramatic change in how people travel to and from Miami. How how does public transit affect the way you move around your city?
Credits: Renderings and data linked to sources.