Rapid Bus Transit proposed for NW 27th Ave.

Miami Times staff report | 7/10/2014, 9 a.m.

A proposal to bring a rapid bus transit (RBT) service to NW 27th Avenue is picking up speed among members of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Board of Governors, who last week supported the plan to relived traffic congestion on the road.

MPO Board members are looking into installing a dedicated traffic lane for the RBT, unlike the 27 bus route, which must share lanes with other vehicles, causing traffic buildup during stops for riders.

As the first main road west of I-95, MPO board members said traffic congestion is becoming worse on 27th Avenue, a 30 plus mile-long street that runs from Coconut Grove to Broward County.

The road serves many Black neighborhoods, including Alapattah, Brownsville, West Little River, Opa-locka and Miami Gardens. There are also many new and renovated residential apartments and restaurants that line NW 27th Avenue.

Many residents currently use bus route 27 to attend popular destinations on 27th Avenue, including North Side Shopping Center, Miami-Dade Community College and Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. While the 27 route has frequent service, the bus is often overcrowded especially during rush-hour traffic.

That’s why transit officials want a RBT to help reduce traffic congestion on the busy street, which offficials call the “north corridor.”

County officials compared the girdlock amond the county’s 2.5 million residents to that of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a city with a metro area population with more than 20 million,

A new RBT is also proposed for three other busy roads. They include State Road 836 or the Dolphin Expressway; the “Kendall” corridor, which generally refers to the main commuting road approaching Miami from the southwest; the “Douglas Road” corridor, the main north-south road that connects Coconut Grove and Coral gables to areas just west of downtown Miami.

The county already has one RBT route, the South Miami-Dade Busway, which runs 13 miles along U.S. 1 from Florida City to Dadeland South Metrorail Station where commuters can connect to the elevated train to Miami. The busway opened in 1997 and was extedned in 2005 and 2007.

Board members are studying the details of the plan to determine how long it will take to accomplish and how much the project will cost. The board members include County Commissioners Javier Souto, Dennis Moss and Rebeca Sousa. Former Miami Mayor maurice Ferre is also a board member.