Brightline Trains Florida discussion 2024 Q1

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About public transit to the Port Miami cruise ships.

The Coral Way trolley, a decorated bus, goes to Port Miami about every half hour (that's a casual schedule!), all day and evening. Not to be confused with the Coral Gables Trolley, which is its own thing. You can track the Miami trolleys on a live map here: Get Trolley Info, Schedules, & Maps

Haven't seen any news since the elections on the likely Metromover (doodlebug peoplemover) Baylink expansion to Miami Beach. Here's a myth-busting advocacy page in favor of it: Baylink Frequently Asked Questions – Better Streets Miami Beach It's not the previously proposed monorail.

In 2014 the Miami TPO completed a vision quest study for the Metromover. While it included the orange line below to Port Miami, it didn't have the most optimistic things to say about it. Considering the history of broken promises to disadvantaged areas for the transit tax, in the People's Transportation Plan, a skyline to the cruise ships is, check one: __ unlikely, __ even more likely. Like airports, the workers also need a way to get there, but this one isn't happening.

The Metromover Baylink would be alongside the thick gray line, the causeway, to the Beach via Watson Island. The thin gray line running NNE out of the dark red box at the top is Brightline/FEC. Commuter rail will have at a stop in a disadvantaged area still gentrifying, north of the map. Overton already largely gentrified. Source, search "metromover" in this library, look for 2013: Miami-Dade TPO

miami-metromover-2014.png
 
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About public transit to the Port Miami cruise ships.

The Coral Way trolley, a decorated bus, goes to Port Miami about every half hour (that's a casual schedule!), all day and evening. Not to be confused with the Coral Gables Trolley, which is its own thing.
Yes, that's the trolley I've taken to/from the Brightline station - it's free! The only issue is, it only makes one stop and it's a pretty large port. For me, it's a pretty easy walk to the Virgin Cruise Terminal but some of the terminals would be a considerable way from the trolley stop. The other issue is, the Trolley runs into the same traffic that Ubers / Taxis run into. Would be nice to have a dedicated people mover that links Metro, Brightling and the various cruise terminals - really cool to see that it has at least been proposed. Hopefully I'll get to ride it one day.
 
Another one today at the same crossing, this time with 2 fatalities. It says this crossing does not have quad gates because the maximum speed there is less than 79mph.

"Mayor Paul Alfrey said police saw the driver try to go around the railway gates before being struck. 'I need to stress to people, you have to follow traffic laws, including around trains ... this is about personal responsibility; you can't be dumb,' Alfrey said."

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/...pened-at-same-intersection-as-we/72205246007/
 
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"Mayor Paul Alfrey said police saw the driver try to go around the railway gates before being struck. 'I need to stress to people, you have to follow traffic laws, including around trains ... this is about personal responsibility; you can't be dumb,' Alfrey said."
Congratulations to the mayor for this sort of pronouncement. People always trying to blame the railroad, pay attention.
 
Maybe after having 3 fatalities at the same crossing, it is time to consider quad gates or some other enhancement, irrespective of the speed criterion?
IIRC the article said the city is considering applying for a quiet zone, which I think would require safety enhancements. Although the train horn made no difference in these incidents.
 
This article shows the video. Quite remarkable. What was the driver thinking? Or not?

https://news.yahoo.com/videos-shows-moment-brightline-train-233351950.html?
This video clearly puts the blame directly on the driver. If I owned a building that had view of a RR grade crossing think I would put a camera in with hope that could sell it to RR anytime a grade crossing incident happened. If camera was good enough to read license plates give results to police and media if justice system did nothing.
 
Maybe after having 3 fatalities at the same crossing, it is time to consider quad gates or some other enhancement, irrespective of the speed criterion?
Quad gates stop the bozos who try to get around vehicles stopped by regular gate. I once stopped at a high speed rail crossing in Spain--quad gates with chains came down 2-3 minutes before the train came through. What you see is gates with chains hanging down. The chains could be metal or they could be faux chains. A driver has no way of knowing.
 
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There are many traffic light in Florida that have red light waits of more than 3 minutes. Can be frustrating to many drivers then add in RR crossings.
That's roadway signal timing. Each intersection on a roadway corridor has signals timed to the posted speed. Since rail intersection times and roadway crossing timing are so unpredictiable, rail crossing signals are unlikely to be sychronized with roadway times. Every driver needs to understand that railroads have priority over surface transportation... always. Personally I would not argue with a locomotive..even in my UltraMax SuperDuper SUV 3-wd w/diff lock transmission. I would lose.
 
Yeah, my theory with most of the crashes since it opened in South Florida is car brained people wanting to not wait for a mile long train of rocks going 25mph and getting struck by a passenger train going 70.
So you're suggesting the an impatient driver can't distinguish between a Brightline train and a freight train and therefore will try to blow a crossing that is active. I recommend that you have a serious discussion with the local school board about life skills education, especially driver training. Everyone is on the hook for recognizing what is.
 
Unfortunately, though still important, railroad crossing education isn't close to the most pressing issues when it comes to traffic violence. Remember that 40k people lose their lives to it annually, about as many as firearms.
 
One of my concerns with the crossing accidents is that rather than spending money to upgrade crossings e.g. quad gates, the knee jerk reaction (which also costs nothing for the municipalities) is to slow down the Brightline trains through the area. Besides making the service less competitive, it might turn the Brightline trains into the proverbial train of rocks and actually result in more people driving around gates.
 
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