Feb 21, 2024 - News

Miami Beach rejects train extension connecting to downtown Miami

Miami's Metromover rail system in front of buildings downtown and an American Flag.

Miami Beach officials nixed a plan to extend the Metromover to South Beach. Photo: Getty Images

Traffic is so bad in Miami Beach that an elected official earlier this month proposed contracting helicopter taxis to help tourists avoid spring break gridlock.

Why it matters: Miami-Dade County's proposed "Baylink" extension would be the first mass transit project connecting Miami Beach to the mainland, according to the Herald.

  • The elevated people-mover would run across the MacArthur Causeway and end up at new transit stations on Fifth Street in South Beach.

Driving the news: Commissioners voted Wednesday urging the county to reject the project after residents from affluent neighborhoods complained it might attract crime and that the plans were based on incomplete studies.

Reality check: The county doesn't need approval from the city or residents to move forward with the project, which is expected to be paid for by the county and state, Axios has previously reported.

What they're saying: "Disappointing but unsurprising that the Miami Beach City Commission is bending to the whims of a very privileged and vocal few," wrote Nick Durán, public affairs manager for Transit Alliance Miami, on X.

The other side: "We do believe that traffic needs to be improved," president of the South of Fifth Neighborhood Association Keith Marks told the Herald. "We're not asking to stop the progress on that, just to do new studies and look at better alternatives."

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