Bus

Madeline Fox / WLRN

Palm Beach County is betting on buses – and WLRN decided to try out some of the upgrades. 

We rode county buses from Lake Worth to Delray Beach, where county dignitaries and PalmTran employees stuck their gold shovels in dirt Tuesday to mark the start of a year-plus project to build an expanded headquarters from which the county hopes to launch a next-generation fleet of buses.

Bus Tropical
Katie Lepri / WLRN

Robert Rutherford is behind the wheel at least five days a week, which means that inspiration for a story can hit him at any bus stop.  

The Wilton Manors native is a driver for Broward County Transit and also the author of a blog that documents what he sees in his drives across the county. 

The blog is called Bus Tropical. It's a play-on-words for a subtropical climate (bus spelled backwards is sub).  

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

South Floridians complain a lot about traffic. Jammed expressways, reckless drivers and unreliable public transportation contribute to a perennial dissatisfaction about the state of the region’s roadways – which sometimes not even the best Waze-like app can mitigate.

 

“Traveling from South Dade to North Broward is a pain on I-95. The lanes are so narrow, it feels downright dangerous,” says Jeziel Garcia, who lives in Parkland.

When people are crossing a U.S. border, they expect to be asked about their citizenship. But not when they're driving up the East Coast.

U.S. Border Patrol agents are boarding buses from private lines like Greyhound and Concord Coach within 100 miles of a U.S. border, asking passengers if they're American citizens. It turns out agents are empowered to do this through a little-known law called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. There are more and more reports of officers stopping cars and buses.

Transit-Alliance

Bus riders in Miami-Dade County are waiting longer for their buses to arrive than in years past. Depending on the route, waiting times range from 15-45 minutes. In some instances, buses aren't arriving at all. 

In Miami-Dade County, there are more than two million registered vehicles. Motorists will cover roughly 30,000 miles in a day countywide. But those numbers are meaningless if you're stuck on I-95 or any of the connected thoroughfares throughout South Florida. Basically, there just seems to be more and more cars on the road every year.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Do you take public transportation regularly? If not, what would make you want to use it? 

Miami Herald

We recently spoke with Mayor Eugene Flinn of Palmetto Bay and Vice Mayor James McDonald of Pinecrest about the debate between new bus lines versus more rail.

The county has a plan for $115 million  to go toward a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the South Dade.

the Miami Herald

 

A better bus system is coming to South Miami-Dade. But according to a group of South-Dade leaders, it’s too little too late. Homestead, Palmetto Bay and a few other cities have joined forces to revolt against the bus system in favor of a light-rail system.

They’ve drafted an agreement requiring county transportation officials to persuade the Metropolitan Planning Organization to fund a study on light-rail.

We recently spoke with the mayor of Palmetto Bay, Eugene Flinn, about what forced these leaders to ban together.

Miami-Dade Transit Gets $40M Worth Of New Buses

Nov 9, 2015
Alyssa Méndez Batista / WLRN

Miami-Dade Transit announced Monday the addition of 43 60-foot, diesel-electric buses to its existing metrobus fleet. Transit director Alice Bravo says the initial purchase of this fleet is close to $40 million, which means each bus costs over $900,000.

 

This addition comes on the heels of a Miami Herald investigation into mass transit in the county, published last week. It featured passengers’ complaints about bus schedules and overcrowding.

 

PATRICK FARRELL / Miami Herald

Criticism of Miami-Dade's public bus system can now be quantified -- in 27,000 complaints. 

According to a Miami Herald investigation that analyzed the high volume of complaints spanning the last 18 months, the most common question bus riders ask themselves is "Where's my bus?"

Other common infractions: Rude drivers, overcrowded routes and dirty busses. Really dirty -- roach-level dirty. 

Lisann Ramos / WLRN

This school year in Palm Beach has gotten off to a rough start. Parents complained to the school district that their children’s school buses are off schedule.

This week many students were either late to school or had to be dropped off by their parents. The issue stems from the county school district and the disorganization of their bus program. 

Now the district is trying to make amends. 

On Monday 40 percent of school buses ran late. The district was able to bring that number down to 26 percent.

Bus Fares Will Go Up In Broward

Oct 14, 2014
Creative Commons via Flickr / Michael Conrad (https://flic.kr/p/5QSnhS)

Broward County will increase its bus with about half of those hikes starting in November and the rest kicking off in October 2015.

The challenge in changing public transportation fares is that increases tend to disproportionately affect minorities and the poor.

www.miamidade.gov/transit/

07/21/14 - Ever wonder what it’s like to work a day in someone else’s shoes?  On Monday’s Topical Currents we’ll find out! We begin our series "All in a Day’s Work." We’re looking at a day in the life of all kinds of workers that we know are out there, but generally take for granted and really don’t think about too much.  We visit with Miami Dade Transit bus driver, Franklin Brown.  From the training to his first time behind the big wheel-Mr. Brown will share his eighteen years of experience.  It’s the first edition of “All in a Day’s Work” with bus driver Franklin Brown, on Topical Currents . . . Monday at 1pm. 

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