James Linwood Schulman

Florida is Stiffing Miami on Transit

They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. A lot of Miamians add being stuck in traffic to the list.

Odds are you were stuck in a standstill this morning and will be there again this afternoon. Miami traffic is hot mess and it feels like there is nothing that can be done to improve your commute.

Well, that’s actually not true.

Miami-Dade County has promised an expansion of the Metrorail for ages. Their latest iteration looks fantastic: adding six lines across the County, with 60% of Miami-Dade living within 2 miles of a station. Even if you never plan to use it, every new transit rider is one more driver off the road. And it will also reduce our carbon emissions, helping in the fight against climate change.

The problem: how are we going to pay for it?

While Miami-Dade has flubbed this before, they do have a new plan to create a tax district to pay for part of this mass transit plan.

And while Transit-Oriented Development is a must, we need legislators to advocate for the State to pay its share. The Florida Department of Transportation has proposed a $10.8 billion budget for this fiscal year. That adds up to about $524 per Floridian.

Based on our population, that means we should be getting $1.41 billion a year in funding. But the State is only planning to spend $700 million a year in Miami for the next five years. Put simply: they’re only giving us back half of what we deserve.  If we got our share, it would pay for the projected budget for the Metrorail expansion entirely in five years.

We need to elect representatives that won’t be pushed over and will fight for Miami to stop getting shortchanged.

I would head to Tallahassee with a focus on expanding the Metrorail lines and supporting the SMART plan to bring rail across the county. This will help catch Miami up to the 21st century where larger cities are more reliant on public transportation – thus boosting the economy, lowering traffic issues, bringing forth new jobs and creating a stronger sense of community.

Sounds like a real win/win/win. Right?

If you’d like to spend less time in the car and more time at home or out with family and friends –we’d love your support to make this a reality. The Democratic Primary is on August 28th, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

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Political advertisement paid for and approved by James Linwood Schulman, Democrat, for State Representative, District 115.