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  • Transport Workers Union Of America - Local 291, Miami-Dade, Florida
  • Transport Workers Union Of America - Local 291, Miami-Dade, Florida

Miami-Dade spent $80 million on transit studies. Now obsolete, they’re being redone.

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When Miami-Dade SMART Plan was approved in April 2016, Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo recalled past efforts to expand transit by bringing old transportation studies with him to the dais in the Miami-Dade Commission chambers.

It was in the late 1990s when a consulting engineer named Alice Bravo was assigned to an ambitious study: how to extend rail west into the Miami-Dade suburbs. Some 20 years later, Bravo runs the county’s Transportation Department and Miami-Dade is once again studying the same thing. “That was when I was a little girl. I worked on it,” Bravo joked Thursday after a meeting of Miami-Dade’s Transportation Planning Organization, which two years ago authorized a new study on whether to extend Metrorail along State Road 836 and connect the Doral area with downtown Miami. “When we did that east-west study, the city of Doral didn’t exist.” A county audit offers the latest reminder that Miami-Dade’s current push to settle on a historic transit plan is a repeat of past efforts. A 2018 audit of Miami-Dade’s transit spending includes a brief passage summarizing past expenditures on the six commuting corridors being studied under the county’s 2016 SMART Plan.