Going to the Metrorail? Headed downtown? In an effort to ease traffic congestion in Palmetto Bay, an exciting new alternative began Monday, June 11th. During morning and evening rush hours, a FREE Park & Ride will operate at Holy Rosary - St. Richard's Catholic Church (SW 77th Avenue and 152 Street) to and from the Dadeland South Metrorail station.
Two of the new iBus shuttles will run continuously from 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m., and from 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. To make the ride as quick as possible, the iBus will use the Miami-Dade County Transitway, avoiding lots of traffic and red lights.
The Village, along with County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, kicked off the new service with coffee, donuts and even handed out 20 free one-day Metrorail passes to the first riders during the first week.
I rode on the first bus with a few early risers and excited commuters. Bonnee Binker was on the bus challenging her adult son Brian to use the I-Bus to get to work. “I live on the norther end of Cutler Bay and work in Coral Gables so I usually sit in traffic for more than an hour,” explained Brian. “I was excited to know Palmetto Bay wanted to help. Today, it looks like this might cut my commute in half or more. The only real solution to traffic is getting cars off the road.”
Erin was with her mom Heather as they checked out her new routine for getting to the New World School of the Arts in Downtown Miami. They were thrilled to have a free and fast way to commute to school.
On board was Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham, Mayor Eugene Flinn and County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. “I did get the legislation passed to allow the iBus onto the Transitway and I am so happy we can now offer this to frustrated commuters, explained Cava.
Our trip took 15-minutes door-to-door. During the very first week ridership exceeded the prior I-Bus daily average of riders. The mere fact that the iBus can now pick up and deliver outside the Village boundaries makes it orders of magnitude more valuable.
The Village recognized resident and activist Peter England who put together the initial meeting with Holy Rosary-St. Richard.