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Commissioner Eileen Higgins “Getting People Moving”

La Comisionada Eileen Higgins "Hacer que la gente se mueva"

The new Advanced Traffic Management System will improve transportation in Miami-Dade thanks to Commissioner Eileen Higgins

District 5 Commissioner Eileen Higgins recently championed legislation that will dramatically improve public transit in Miami-Dade by improving rider experience, increasing transit options, and implementing traffic solutions. 

As an elected official who wants to get people moving, Commissioner Higgins was a strong advocate for the South Corridor Rapid Transit Project which runs 20-miles in length from the Dadeland South Metrorail Station to SW 344th Street Park-and-Ride/Transit Terminal. 

Commissioner Higgins visited with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on her trip to Washington, DC in early 2020, and in May, the County was awarded $100 million by the FTA for the South Corridor Rapid Transit project. This is the first rapid transit expansion in years! In July, the Board of County Commissioners Transportation and Finance Committee unanimously approved the contract to begin construction. The unanimous support from the committee shows the commitment to implementing transit solutions that get people moving while also getting the construction industry back to work. 

This project will provide mobility connection from the heart of District 5 in Downtown Miami all the way to Florida City and should be up and running by 2023.

The Commissioner also believes the Bus Shelter Program is essential to keep residents feeling safe and protected. The program will maintain the current bus shelters and provide an additional 300 new shelters throughout the County. This was one of the biggest complaints that Commissioner Higgins received about transportation, so she put forth legislation to combat it. While this item covers the unincorporated areas, Commissioner Higgins will continue to work with cities in her district to increase the number of bus shelters. 

Commissioner Higgins is also proud to have partnered with Urban Health Partnerships by supporting the installation of 35 narrow transit benches at transit stops in Little Havana. These new benches will be placed at transit stops that currently don’t have any seats for residents to sit on while they wait for their buses.

Finally, one of the biggest improvements to transportation will be the new Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), which is an intelligent technology program that will coordinate the traffic signal timing in the county. 

According to Commissioner Higgins, the current system was installed in 1970s and has a 2,000 signal cap, while the County has almost 3,000 traffic signals. The system needed an update, so Higgins has put a stop to the battles between special interests by making the motion to get the project going. 

The new system will improve travel times and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists by using the ability to sense when bikers and pedestrians are waiting to cross. The system uses sensors, cameras, artificial intelligence and data-processing technology. The project will address the signals at the worst intersections first, and will be installed on all traffic signals in the County within four years. 

The ATMS technology will allow for input to be taken from the street about how many cars and pedestrians are present at a specific intersection and the signals will be able to adjust to the timing. For example, Commissioner Higgins noted that if you are at a red light and the signal senses that there are no other cars or pedestrians present, the light will turn green for your convenience. 

Further, the new system will help buses communicate better through GPS, so the signals know when the buses are approaching. This means the signals will not turn red, and buses will never have to stop at a red light. 

Commissioner Higgins believes that these improvements will benefit everyone, improving mass transit, mobility, and rider experience.  

“If you get cars moving, you get buses and trolleys moving, It’s a double win.”

Commissioner Eileen Higgins

Commissioner Higgins also spends her time focusing on other issues, such as food insecurity and housing. She is running for reelection on August 18. 

For more information on the transportation improvements, see the press release: https://www.miamidade.gov/

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