Miami — Local Support Uncertain
The proposal for a Miami Beach
modern streetcar line operated on a wire-free basis by Alstom-built Citadis streetcars may be stalled because of public opposition and a sense of local government officials that there is no urgency to make a decision, the Miami Herald reports. If built, the south Florida line along the Atlantic Ocean seashore would be a first in the U.S. for France-based Alstom.
The fast-paced proposal for a two mile modern streetcar line on South Beach streets may slow as it has encountered increasing public opposition and a corresponding reduction in the urgency once felt by the City Commission.
The Miami Beach City Commission on December 14 was to consider suspending negotiations until the Board of County Commissioners commits to building its section of a modern streetcar route across Biscayne Bay. This would delay progress for a few months or up to a year. The resolution tabled by Mayor Philip Levine, also proposes requiring voter approval for a streetcar line contract.
In the past month, dozens of Miami Beach residents have spoken against the $244-million streetcar that would run on track on Fifth Street and Washington Avenue. Some supporters only want the line if it connects across the causeway.
The current urgency arose last year when a consortium of firms including French rail company Alstom submitted an unsolicited proposal to build the long-proposed line connecting the Beach and Miami. The city would begin formal negotiations with the Alstom team if the commission were to approve the project.