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The Ghost of Baylink Returns In New Light Rail Routes

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Transportation officials have unveiled new potential routes--though, as far as we can ascertain, no new maps, of a Miami-Miami Beach light rail system, building on the sexy but ill-fated 2004 Monorail plan Baylink while adding the possibilities of a rail extension to Miami International Airport and crossing the Julia Tuttle Causeway, instead of the MacArthur. The trains would run at grade level in downtown Miami and Miami Beach, but would use elevated tracks in portions of the MacArthur Causeway, which sounds like the greatest roller coaster ride ever, and/or I-95. How extraordinarily daring of them to contemplate the possibility of crossing the Tuttle. All snark aside, it has been 10 years since Baylink was proposed.

As everyone now knows, Miami used to have quite the trolley system in the 1920s and '30s, conveying people even as far as Miami Beach, but it went out of style quick in the advent of the automobile. Baylink, a brief flirtation with the Spanish railway company FEVE and its system in Seville, this latest incarnation all aim to rebuild this system, or at least reintroduce its simple logic through the light rail solution.

Naturally, Miami, Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County officials have not come to any agreement on the routes, and so continue to be paralyzed in their indecision. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said they prefer the rail go over the MacArthur Causeway, but Miami Beach says it hasn't made up its mind where its light rail will go. So there. Until recently, a consensus among officials was building to link Miami's brand spanking new convention center and Miami Beach's, expected to be an architectural marvel, as the two opposing ends of the light rail. Simple. Clean. But with the Beach's Mayor Levine chucking the Tishman/OMA redevelopment contract, it's all back on the table.
· Light Rail Service Under Discussion Again [Miami Herald]
· Previous Baylink coverage [Curbed Miami]
· Previous Miami Beach convention center coveragee [Curbed Miami]
· Visualizing historic trolley routes through the Miami of Today [Transit Miami/YouTube]

Miami Beach Convention Center

1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139