Miami — Wireless Streetcar Considered
Seville in southern Spain opened a modern tramway system in 2011 using C.A.F. Urbos 3 LRVs with the firm's ACR ultracapacitor technology to allow wire-free operation in the city center, according to the September 2011 issue of Tramways & Urban Transit. Now, Miami Beach is considering the Seville model for a light rail system of its own connecting the Beach to Miami, the Miami Herald reports. The city commission will consider a possible feasibility study January 24.
Miami Beach public works representatives met twice with representatives of Spanish rail operator FEVE to discuss the potential of the firm undertaking a feasibility study, including the wireless operation. FEVE reviewed the 2004 plans for the Baylink system and submitted a draft proposal to conduct a new study. The study would focus on the feasibility and cost of using the system in this country.
The study, if undertaken, would develop technical specs for a wireless streetcar system; would propose how the project would be funded; and would explore environmental impacts and benefits other should the system be built.
Back in 2004, when different elected officials were in manypositions, 55 percent of voters favored building the Bay Link streetcar proposal which was then estimated to cost $488 million. It failed as funding anticipated from a half-cent sales tax increase failed to raise enough funds to support the project.