Miami — Project on Fast Track
The Real Deal site reports that Miami Beach officials are fast-tracking plans to build a streetcar system in South Beach that would eventually connect the island to Miami.
The city commission was due to consider a recommendation to begin negotiations with Alstom, the French rail firm and lead bidder for the nearly $400 million project.
The Miami Herald reported that three firms bid for the public-private partnership. The major difference in the proposals related to how the streetcars would be powered.
To expedite the process, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales recommended the city begin negotiations with Alstom, then move to the secondary bidder — Connect Miami Beach — should the talks fall through. Miami Beach Mobility Partners is the third bidder.
The city would also postpone price negotiation until a design is chosen, the Herald reported.
If built, the South Beach sysem would comprise one-third of the long-discussed line connecting mainland Miami to the beach.
Under all three proposals, wireless cars would operate on a six to seven minute headway on Fifth Street, Washington Avenue, 17th Street and Alton Road. An alternate route would have the line cross Dade Boulevard instead of 17th Street, resulting in a longer loop.