Transit Tracker Up and Running

By John Dorschner   
    Real-time GPS tracking is now available for virtually all buses in the county, Transit Director Alice Bravo said Thursday.
    She said a few individual vehicles are having problems, and "we're tweaking the app," but the countywide system is operational before the end-of-March deadline set by the department.
MDT Tracker App

        The app is MDT Tracker. If it works as hopes, it could save Dade's suffering bus riders a ton of inconvenience: No longer waiting in the hot sun or driving rain at a bus stop looking off into the distance for that once-in-30-minutes bus. Instead, one can relax in a Starbucks or wherever, stepping out to the bus stop just a minute or two before the bus arrives.
    The question: We need to hear from bus riders whether the system is working. Riders can email me comments at Stay tuned for the feedback.

App Opened
    The availability of real-time bus tracking in Miami-Dade -- which is been operational in many other American cities for some years -- was announced at the monthly committee meetings of the Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust.
    Also at the CITT:  

    Prodded by a question from board member Peter Forrest, Executive Director Charles Scurr told the board that the CITT hasn't been able to verify for the past several months that financially troubled Opa-locka is using its CITT funds for trolley as required.
    "The situation is still in process," he said.
    Because a county auditor found that the city wasn't using its CITT funds (the half-penny sales tax) for transportation as required by law, the CITT suspended payments to Opa-locka except for the trolley service.
    The FBI recently raided city offices and carted away boxes of documents.
    Scurr said that earlier this week, CITT's trolley expert, Nestor Toledo, saw for himself that the trolleys were still running -- and quite full.
    Where the money is going is another matter. "If the problem persists, we are going to to come up with some creative solutions," Scurr said.
Charles Scurr

       Scurr also said that Dade rail plans suffered a serious setback when the Legislature failed to act on a proposal by Tri-Rail concerning liability issues -- a move needed if Tri-Rail is to extend its operations to downtown Miami.
    In another matter, Scurr said he had concerns about Commissioner Barbara Jordan's recent proposal to start charging for Metromover, the downtown circulator that's now free. More on that in a later post.
    Finally, Board Member Anna Ward said she continued to be worried about the work of guards for 50 State Security, which has the contract to protect transit stations. "Either the people are not there, or when they are there, they're looking at their cell phones."

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