Proposed bus route cuts include Liberty City

Erick Johnson | 7/10/2014, 9 a.m.

A proposal to eliminate two bus routes serving Liberty City and Overtown was deferred last week after drawing stiff opposition at the Miami-Dade County Commission meeting.

Bus routes 46 and 254 are two of several routes that may be eliminated as part of the county’s bi-annual ridership evaluation and service adjustment. The review is taken every summer and fall when transit officials propose service and schedule adjustments as a response to ridership trends.

Transit officials said bus routes that fall below the average of 15 passengers per hour of service may be cut.

Those routes include 46 and 254, whose fate county commissioners will decide at the meeting July 15. At the meeting, they will also vote on route cuts for the 99 and 52 bus services.

Route 46 runs along N.W. 54th and 46th streets connecting N.W. 37th and 10th avenues, according to a Miami-Dade Transit map. The 46 also runs along parts of N.W. 69th Street and N.W. 7th Avenue. The route feeds into the Brownsville Metrorail station on N.W. 27th Avenue.

Transit officials said residents could use the 54 or 254 as alternates since both routes feed into the Metrorail station.

The other service that may be discontinued, Route 243 serving Overtown, connects Eighth and Sixth streets via N.W. Second Avenue and via Biscayne Boulevard as well. The route takes passengers to PortMiami via Biscayne Boulevard.

As an alternative to 243, transit officials said riders can use a free trolley service that serves PortMiami at 15-20 minute intervals from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Also facing elimination are parts of routes 99 and 52. Route 99 serves Aventura Mall. Instead of connecting N.W. 204th and 215th streets via N.E. Second Avenue, the bus would provide a more direct connection on N.W. Second Avenue directly linking N.E. 199th and N.W. 215th streets, transit officials said.

Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Barbara Jordan opposed the cuts, saying they will hurt riders and the elderly who rely on public transportation in their districts.

“It would cause people to walk some blocks, which would be very difficult on our seniors and people who have disabilities,” said Edmonson.

“I don’t agree with taking routes out simply because there are not enough resources to having routes there,” Jordan said. “This is not a money-making business.”

Route 52 connects Dadeland North Metrorail, station with Cutler Bay via the South Miami-Dade Busway. Transit officials want to eliminate route service connecting Dadeland South and Dadeland North Metrorail stations.