Should Miami Have More Late-Night Public Transit Options?
Miami is a late-night city. Bars are open until 5 a.m. and even later in the Entertainment District. But the public transit system, which gets its deserved criticism in the daytime, shuts down almost completely after midnight. Only the bus is an option. That leaves Miamians traveling to and from clubs or late-night dinners with few options.
Photo: James Livingston | MNT Flickr Pool
Should the city and county look into extending hours past midnight?
The Miami Herald today has an in-depth story that amounts to basically young urban professionals complaining about the public transit system, which, hey, is certainly something worth complaining about.
Another problem is a lack of late night transportation options. The trolley that runs from Midtown Miami to the Brickell Metrorail station stops running at 11 p.m. and Metrorail closes at midnight, foreclosing low-cost options for those who don't want to drink and drive...
MDT says there is not enough demand to keep Miami's Metrorail open past midnight. Other cities are going in the opposite direction, extending hours of their public transit systems. Boston's T will be open until 3 a.m on weekends this year, the Washington Metro closes at 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and the New York City subway system is open 24 hours a day.
Meanwhile, only limited bus routes are available. Otherwise, the only option for those not wanting to drive is a taxi or, in a legal gray area at the moment, Uber or Lyft.
And as anyone who has tried to find decent, affordable parking in South Beach or downtown on a Saturday night knows, parking spots and garages tend to fill up around late-night destination hubs.
Also, all of those people leaving the clubs a little buzzed and getting into their cars can spell obvious danger.
But it's not just partiers to worry about. Plenty Miamians get off work when transit system isn't in full force.
With such a late-night city, wouldn't it only make sense to experiment with more transit options during the night?
Though, as the Herald article points out, Miami's transit system can be a pain even during daytime hours, and its inconvenient for those with destinations that aren't directly along a route.
"Shawn Daly, a 28-year-old Miami native now living in New York City, said he sometimes had to walk 20 minutes in Miami after reaching the Metrorail stop closest to his destination," the paper reports.
And walking 20 minutes in Miami at 3 a.m. is not something many want to do.
Still, as Miami-Dade continues to find ways to improve transit, it only makes sense that having more options late at night should someday be a goal.