What is this?

With two out of three trips on transit served by buses in Miami, the continued dismantling of the bus system is alarming and misguided.

Our 5-part weekly series takes a deep dive into the state of our bus system.

Supported by:

  1. Ridership
  2. Service Cuts (5/21)
  3. Reliability (5/28)
  4. Route Network (6/4)
  5. Transit Demand (6/11)

Bus ridership is falling —

Where did everyone go?

Source: Miami-Dade Transit Ridership Technical Reports

Miami is facing a new era of mobility, and our bus system has failed to keep up. Instead of improving service, our County is progressively dismantling the system.

Riders are facing longer wait times, unreliable service, and a poorly designed route network facing haphazard cuts – sending the system into a death spiral of plunging ridership.

There's another bus in town —

Trolley ridership is growing.

Source: Citizens Independent Transportation Trust

On average, trolley ridership has grown 10% each year, demonstrating a clear desire (and unmet demand) for transit.

Paradoxically, free municipal trolleys compete against (and sometimes replace) county bus services — but almost never cross municipal lines, fragmenting the overall system.

Where's everyone else?

Back in their cars.

Source: Census Bureau; Vehicles Calculation based on ACS Estimates

From 2013 to 2016 — household vehicles increased by over 250,000 — far outpacing population growth. This matches similar findings in California.

Increased car ownership is not something to be celebrated. More cars make for longer commute times, less livable neighborhoods, and more fatal accidents.

Sounds like a problem?

Ridesharing won't fix it.

One bus = 30 rideshare vehicles

Assumes 40' bus at 70% capacity and 2 paying occupants per rideshare vehicle.
One Bus
= Cars
gArtboard 1 copy 2audit

A transportation plan that relies entirely on cars — shared, or private — isn't a transportation plan — it's a congestion plan. Pervasive ridesharing slows down our cities while failing to significantly reduce car ownership.

Buses make far more efficient use of scarce urban space, and cities that are investing to improve their bus systems are winning back riders.

But wait, won't autnomous vehicles fix... everything? No.

We're just getting started.

Next week we take a deeper dive into the service cuts that have been implemented over the past year. Want to guess why less people ride the bus?