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Miami-Dade Opens Direct Service to Airport

Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) began providing direct service to Miami International Airport (MIA) July 28 with the opening of a Metrorail station at the airport. The Miami International Airport Station is the 23rd in the Metrorail system and the terminus of a new, 2.4-mile line extension.

With the opening of this extension, MDT has begun operating two different Metrorail lines. The original Green Line serves 22 stations between Dadeland South and Palmetto, while the new Orange Line—with 15 stations—also begins at Dadeland South but diverges at the Earlington Heights Station and continues to the airport.

“With our new Orange Line, not only are we providing direct service to the airport, but we have also increased frequency of travel for 70 percent of our Metrorail patrons,” explained MDT Director Ysela Llort.

“This is a big step in the right direction for public transportation in our community. Now more than ever before, we’re getting more people to more places,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez during inauguration ceremonies for the new station. “With today’s grand opening, our community joins global cities like London, Paris, and Tokyo that already enjoy a rail link that directly connects their major airports to their urban cores.”

The airport station offers a transfer point for the MIA Mover, which transports passengers directly into the airport. MDT also noted that the new connection between Metrorail and the airport will provide a boost to the local economy by creating jobs and facilitating work-related travel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving travel time by taking vehicles off the roadways.

The new MIA Station is a multilevel structure that provides passengers with a central transfer point to Metrobus and later to South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail commuter rail, Amtrak, Greyhound, tour buses, and other modes of transportation via the Miami Central Station, which will be completed in 2013.

Llort called the Orange Line “not only an important transportation project that will provide travel choices for people, but it is also a transformational economic development project in the sense that every hotel and business in downtown Miami, Kendall, and everywhere else along the Metrorail system will now be at the front door of Miami International Airport: the largest economic engine in the region.”

The Metrorail extension to MIA and MIA Station received $404.7 million in county tax revenues through the People’s Transportation Plan approved by voters in 2002. Florida DOT contributed $101.3 million.

MDT also has opened the parking garages at three Metrorail stations for overnight and long-term parking. The garage at Earlington Heights is accessible at any time, while the Okeechobee and South Miami garages are available during regular operating hours.


Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade County

A panoramic view of the platform at MDT’s new Miami International Airport Station.

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