On Tuesday, June 2, the Miami-Dade County Commission is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would enable Virgin Trains (Brightline) to construct five commuter rail platforms along the northeast corridor of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit Plan. If approved, government officials would immediately work towards finalizing an agreement to bring commuter rail to the Edgewater-Midtown-Wynwood area with service commencing in early 2022.
“We are thrilled that Miami-Dade County and Virgin Trains are committed to expanding commuter rail service along the northeast corridor of the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit Plan,” said Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood BID. “We firmly believe that a commuter rail station located at the geographic heart of the Edgewater-Midtown-Wynwood neighborhoods expands mobility choices, removes cars off our over-burdened roads and enhances the walkability of our neighborhoods. We look forward to working with our public-private partners to service the growing number of residents and commuters in our urban core.”
The first phase of the project, funded by Virgin Trains and expected to cost $75 million, would include construction of commuter rail platforms and rail infrastructure. Once complete, the county is expected to pay $29 million per year in rent. The second and third phases of the project would further expand rail service and amenities. Each phase would cost approximately $100 million and $350 million, respectively.
Various studies commissioned by the Wynwood BID, the City of Miami and private property owners speak to the high demand and favorable logistics for the area.
Recently, the BID commissioned respected urban planner Cesar Garcia-Pons to conduct a study on the viability of a commuter rail station located along the Florida East Coast railway in Wynwood. The study supports the BID’s long-held contention that current development, plus future development capacity and population growth, justify development of a permanent Wynwood station.
“From an urban planning perspective, it’s important that any new transit stations in Miami’s urban core not only be located near vibrant, mixed-use residential and commercial communities, but also within a neighborhood or area that has the greatest potential for residential and employment growth,” said Garcia-Pons.
We encourage area residents, business and property owners to provide public comments to the Miami-Dade County Commissioners by following the County’s public participation guidelines.