Somehow Miami Ranked 11th Nationally in Transit
That was the headline over at Curbed Miami on April 21. Apparently Josh Baumgard found the news as surprising as I did.
Most Miami residents have “public transit” among their biggest complaints.
Yet, according to research by AllTransit, the Magic City ranks 11th in the nation in transit among cities with a population of over 250,000, receiving a “Performance Score” of 8.6 (out of 10).
Looking into the AllTransit metrics, however, our Top 25 ranking makes sense. The study looks at the City of Miami – not the entire county – and within the city, our public transportation options are actually pretty good. For instance, City of Miami is the sole beneficiary of Miami-Dade Transit’s MetroMover – the free and super convenient “automated people mover train”. We also have twelve of the twenty-three MetroRail stations with our city boundaries, and, of course, numerous MetroBus stops. The City of Miami also provides a free trolley with routes that cover north Coconut Grove to the Design District, and even connects us to Miracle Mile and the Coral Gables trolley system.
AllTransit scored the municipalities nationally on six broad category metrics:
- Jobs: with six sub-categories measuring access to jobs within 30 minutes of transit and worker access to transit within a 1/2 mile.
- Economy: including average transportation cost as a percent of income for block groups within half mile of transit.
- Equity: Reliable public transportation broadens employment opportunities, increases household spending flexibility, and contributes substantially to upward mobility prospects.
- Health: Public transit riders are more active, have improved connections to healthcare facilities, and increase their access to high quality food sources.
- Transit Quality: The presence of nearby transit is not enough to fully realize these benefits. Frequent service throughout the day (including weekend and evening hours) and connections to key activity centers (jobs, schools, healthcare, etc) are characteristics of a good transit system.
- Mobility Network: Transit does its job best when neighborhoods are walkable and when the transit network connects riders to other mobility options.
Because the AllTransit metrics considers more than just public transportation in its calculation, it looks like City of Miami was able to gain points from its walkability, Citi Bike program, ZipCar and perhaps even FreeBee. All in all, a decent ranking for a city where the biggest complaint is the lack of public transportation, and we are getting even better with All Aboard Florida’s Miami Central station under construction, and talk of bringing a Tri-Rail station to the downtown area. And if Miami-Dade County will finally follow through on their promise of six additional light rail lines connecting us to Miami Beach, Doral, Kendall, Homestead and North Miami, maybe Miami will be in the Top 10 in future years.