Transit is the future, but making it there means investing in it now.
Author: Kevin Amézaga, Executive Director & Founder
Published On: Monday, November 16, 2020 | 12:52 PM
Transit is the solution for much of the problems we are facing, and we can no longer afford not investing in it. Miami is my hometown, and as a college student, I’m worried about the future of my community. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to afford to live here or if much of what makes Miami beautiful, the Everglades, our lands and wildlife, will still be here.
I still have hope that we can do the right thing which is why my friends and I started the Miami Riders Alliance. I believe in a new vision for Miami-Dade—a clean, mobile, and beautiful community with opportunity available to all—leading as an example to the rest of the world, not falling behind.
Here’s 4 reasons why:
- We have to be realistic with our response to the pandemic. Creating large, walkable areas in front of our restaurants and businesses with access to micromobility (rented scooters and bikeshare) is the safest way for us to open our economy in a responsible manner.
- During the pandemic, we have witnessed record levels of recreation—families jogging, bike sales sky—rocketed, and a resurgence of public spaces’ use; many studies show this increase in physical activity improves public health and civic engagement.
- According to CDC, an increase in the proportion of households located in transit-oriented developments from 10 percent to 40 percent in an area like Miami would generate more than $648 million of total annual health benefits.
- An FIU Study found that Greater Miami is the second-most unequal metro area in the nation. Not only does transit investment make business-sense, it’s the right thing to do. Public transportation increases access to opportunity–to higher-paying jobs, safer and more affordable neighborhoods, and education.
- Coupled with denser, more walkable, and affordable neighborhoods, transit would reduce the biggest cost-burdens for working families. Our high cost of living is crippling our local economy. Transitioning to transit use can save a household about $9000 per year.
- Thousands of high paying jobs would be created to design, construct, and maintain the world-class transit system our community needs.
- The overall local economy would benefit from cost savings and productivity gain from reducing commute times as well as the lower cost of transit which would provide significant long-term benefits.
- Transit attracts businesses leaving high-tax cities, as these firms look for liveable communities with access to reliable and affordable transportation for their employees.
- Transportation is the largest contributor to pollution in the U.S. and transit is the most efficient modern, sustainable transportation option.
- Environmentalists and urbanists also see transit and walkable neighborhoods with open spaces as a solution to protect communities from sea level rise and other effects of climate change.
Investments in our county’s public transportation and sustainable transportation (metro, bus, bike, pedestrian) infrastructure are the key to #OurCounty coming back stronger than ever.
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners will be faced with recovering our economy, curbing an ongoing pandemic, a worsening climate, and steep budget cuts—all during this historic, national reflection on systemic social, economic, and racial inequality.