Discussion about Florida passenger rail operations including proposals. Official web-sites:
Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority
For Virgin Rail/Brightline: Virgin Trains Worldwide (includes Brightline)

Moderator: Kurt-Trirail

  by Jeff Smith
Miami News Times

"The City of Miami Beach Commissioners and I authorized the City to proceed without hesitation to immediately take steps towards bringing a light rail/wireless streetcar system to operate within our City to reduce congestion," wrote Levine on Facebook last week. "This system is expected to eventually connect [Miami Beach] to the City of Miami, offering viable transportation options for everyone that lives, visits or does business here."

At their meeting last week, the city commission passed a resolution that authorized Levine and City Manager Jimmy Morales to immediately begin discussions with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and the Florida Department of Transportation about what is now being dubbed "The Beach Corridor Transit Connection Project." The project had previously been known as "Baylink." The city also authorized a contribution of $417,000 to the overall study.
Along with the connecting link between Miami and Miami Beach, the overall plan calls for constructing a light-rail system that would operate throughout the City of Miami Beach. Currently public transit options are limited to Metrobuses, a South Beach local bus route, and the recently launched free trolley system.

"The initial phase of the project will consist of a 2-way connection on 5th Street and Washington Avenue, and is referred to as the 'South Beach Component.' The second phase is expected to take place along Alton Road and 17th Street, complementing the cross-bay route to Downtown Miami," said Levine in a release according to Curbed Miami. "Future contemplated phases are expected to include a route along the Julia Tuttle Causeway connecting Miami Beach with Midtown Miami and eventually the airport."
  by Rockingham Racer
"Wireless streetcar system." What in the world is that?
  by The EGE
Battery-powered streetcar (running on rails) with massive capacitors to quick-charge the car at stations. Recent developments in battery and capacitor technology have made such things possible; there are some small agencies out there already using buses with similar technology. No electrocution danger, no unsightly wires, no wires to corrode from the salt air. It's a neat concept that carries a lot of promise for future transit systems, especially smaller properties.
  by Rockingham Racer
I'm all for it, but it's very low on the radar here in Miami.
  by MattW
Is the plan for energy storage or an in-ground power supply?
  by Tadman
Interesting proposal. I have a hard time getting my mind around the concept of Miami's traffic patterns. They already have commuter, subway, people mover, and long distance trains. There is a fairly sure thing in corridor service to Orlando arriving soon. But it seems disjointed.

The commuter train doesn't appear to go downtown, so you have to go commuter->subway->people mover. Amtrak doesn't go downtown, either, requiring the same transfer in a crummy area. Is it really a three-seat ride to get to work? And would this new light rail somehow interface with Tri-Rail or the subway? So you would have six types of equipment operating in a 5m person metro area that may or may not require 3-4seat rides? And it also appears the AAF will go directly downtown, so is it now going to be more convenient to ride AAF than tri-rail?

I'm baffled by the lack of any type of planning here. The physical layout of the Miami metro area appears to be a true corrider on account of the ocean and the Everglades so it sounds like a well-planned commuter and transit system would be very useful and easier to do than say, LA.

I'm not from the area. I've been to FLL once 10+ years ago and a few layovers at MIA airport, so I realize I'm out of my depth here. But I look at Chicago - twice the headcount spread over three states - and they do a pretty good job of coordinating all trains into downtown and then having subways to disperse those people.
  by Rockingham Racer
It's quite evident that Miami has had its head in the sand for about 20 years now concerning transportation, but at least they're coming to realize it. [I live in Miami.] Better late than never.

It is NOT a three-seat ride to get to downtown by public transit. From the north, take Tri-Rail or a bus to Metrorail. The people circulator is a convenience, and it's free, so that could make it a three-seat ride if it happens to pass by your place of work.

From the north, it's a bus [that uses a busway] to the southern terminus of Metrorail, and then it's on to downtown from there.

BTW, Metrorail had a one-month experiment of running express trains from outlying terminals. They ran only 1 in the 7 am rush hour and 1 in the 8 AM rush hour. I haven't seen a report as to how it did. Same thing in the PM rush: 1 per hour go both north and south out of downtown.

On topic, it was a foreign company who proposed this concept. Miami Beach powers that be that it was such a good idea, they put the project out to bid, as I understand it. Goes to show you that planners down here really haven't been all that forward-looking.
  by Literalman
Not a three-seat ride. The last time I rode it (a few years ago), the people mover didn't have seats. :-)
  by mark777
When it comes to mass transit, Miami has had it's head in the sand for eons. The light rail proposal is a start, but anything that shares the right of way with the typical congested streets of Miami, will become a disaster rather quickly. Then add in the many talented drivers of Miami, and you get an idea where this is going. I lived in Miami for a number of years but left back to NY several years back. Since I have a large number of family members who live there, I visit it often. Traffic seems to literally be getting worse in every one of my visits, and all I keep seeing are the endless "projects" to expand the 836, 826, Turnpike, etc... costing Billions of dollars to the tax payers. Yet traffic has gotten worse. For years I had advocated the expansion of Metro Rail, submitted several maps showing where Metro Rail should and could be realistically expanded to, but never got attention. The obvious was so obvious.... Bring transit to the western portion of Dade county which since the 1980s, has continued to expand at a rapid rate, out pacing the expressway system. The once proposed east west corridor from FIU to downtown would have been a winner. But as usual, these ideas go away with the wind.

Having lived in NY for many years, hands down, NY has the best transit system in the US and one of the best in the world. The biggest issue facing any expansion here is space, and that brings on the NIMBYs as well. Miami had and still has one big plus... space. Many of its roads are wide with wide medians which would allow a set up a la DC Metro style where the Metro shares space with the median of Expressways as well as having plenty of open space for elevated lines to be built without needing to encroach on residential properties. They say it's too pricy. Care to know how much more it is costing to remake the 836/ 826 interchange? or the 836 extension out to 137 ave? For years I watched endless project after endless project, making expressways from 3 to 5 to what is it now in lanes? I still get stuck in traffic in the same places that I use to get stuck in back in the 1990s and 2000s. Miami's population will continue to grow, and quite honestly, if it intends to be a successful city, it needs to rethink it's transportation system. They need to rethink how they spend those billions of dollars and get people out of their cars. Light rail lines are a start, but will not offer much in the way of time savings if these lines operate sharing it's right away with road traffic. I'm picturing the Friday/ Saturday night traffic jams in and out of Miami Beach with a light rail train navigating through the streets. Wonder how that will go? But, nonetheless, it is a start in the right direction. That means that there is someone down there who is starting to use their noodle and starting to understand that bigger roads will not solve their congested road problem. Throw in some expansions of Tri Rail to SW Dade on CSX tracks, and maybe some light rail lines using the median of some of the roads. Then you will have something. But ultimately, there will be no way around it, Metro Rail will have to be expanded if Miami is to ever eliminate it's congestion problem. First things first, eliminate the corruption of local politicians, and you might have something there. Hopefully, this idea will mushroom into a better one, and take advantage of the proposed Miami-Orlando rail service, and a possible expansion of Tri Rail on FEC, and connect the dots and make Miami a more user friendly city in public transportation.
  by Jeff Smith
Miami Beach selects Alstom to develop $380M light rail 'streetcar'
•City of Miami Beach county commissioners have voted to move forward with the preliminary development of a $380 million light rail streetcar system with French rail consortium Alstom, the Miami Herald reported.
Last year, Alstom submitted an unrequested proposal to the commission for a Miami Beach streetcar, and the commission subsequently requested formal bids with the intention of forming a public private partnership (P3) to construct and maintain such a rail system. The city commission said it wants a 35-year construction and maintenance P3 agreement for which it would pay approximately $11 million in yearly construction costs and then $26 million in annual payments, given a 12.5% total construction spend. The city is not seeking federal funds as the required studies, it said, would take too long.
Rockingham Racer wrote:"Wireless streetcar system." What in the world is that?

where i come from, we call them buses. :P
  by Jeff Smith

In all seriousness, some further clarification: Miami Herald

Italics/Emphasis added
Miami Beach commissioner wants city to rethink light rail choice
The city is negotiating with a consortium of firms called Greater Miami Tramlink Partners. The team includes French rail company Alstom, which would supply a train that would run on proprietary technology — tracks that are powered by electrified rails underneath.

Alemán told the Miami Herald she wants Alstom to assert that its technology could be easily connected with a future rail system (commonly known as Bay Link) that would cross Biscayne Bay along the MacArthur Causeway, even if a different train company made the trains. She said the issue of compatibility is of utmost importance.

“If this is just a Miami Beach solution, then that’s not what I’m looking for,” she said. “The endgame is a connection between Miami and Miami Beach.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/c ... rylink=cpy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by jtbell
Jeff Smith wrote:
Miami Beach commissioner wants city to rethink light rail choice
The city is negotiating with a consortium of firms called Greater Miami Tramlink Partners. The team includes French rail company Alstom, which would supply a train that would run on proprietary technology — tracks that are powered by electrified rails underneath.
That must be Alstom's APS system. It uses a third rail flush with the ground, which is energized only when a train is right on top of it. Some cities in France use it, and I think Rio just opened a line for the Olympics.

http://www.alstom.com/us/products-servi ... er-supply/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Look under the "Video" tab on that page for some scenes of it in operation.
  by dowlingm
APS is a huge delta on cost. Dublin looked at it and walked away. Qatar are doing it but there's a bit more cash to splash there
http://www.alstom.com/press-centre/2016 ... adis-tram/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I doubt the assurance of inter operation will be forthcoming. If anyone else's trams operate over an APS route there will be power storage of some sort involved.
  by JasW
Rockingham Racer wrote:It's quite evident that Miami has had its head in the sand for about 20 years now concerning transportation, but at least they're coming to realize it.
I don't think so. Carlos Gimenez (running for reelection as county mayor, for those of you not from the area) said yesterday in response to his opponent Raquel Regaldo's position on expanding Metrorail that the county's transportation future was already bright because self-driving cars were in the offing and because the county commission had approved Uber and Lyft.

You can't make this stuff up.