Staff Editorial 9/26: The imperfections of public transportation

New York has the subway, London has the tube, Boston has the T and Miami has the … what?

While public transportation is integral to the culture of most major cities around the world, Miami residents that don’t have a car can testify that our city is sadly lacking in this department. Residents of Washington can hop on the train and be taken nearly anywhere, but Miamians hop on the train to be taken to the bus, which then takes them to the Metromover, which lands them vaguely near their destination.

Miami was just not built to be conducive to public transportation. Developers in cities like New York had nowhere to go but up and consequently created a dense city center. On the other hand, Miami is a sprawling city. It would be nearly impossible to connect the greater Miami area by public transportation. Too many people live in single-family homes, rather than apartment buildings, to make it feasible.

Residents are also against expanding the Metrorail line because, quite frankly, it’s not attractive. And an underground subway system would be impossible because Miami sits at a low sea level.

As for the buses, the system is excessively flawed. It’s a rare occasion when they run on time and some routes don’t even run on weekends. Luckily, UM is only two Metrorail stops away from a major bus hub (Dadeland North), but that doesn’t do anyone any good if the bus you need isn’t running according to schedule.

Freshmen at UM aren’t allowed to have cars and many upperclassmen don’t have cars either, so we should be aware of the public transit options that we do have. The Metrorail stop right across the street is a lifesaver, making the difficult transportation system much easier to navigate. There’s also a Twitter account, @Miami_Transit, that you can use to find the easiest way to get to a destination. Also, the Hurry ‘Canes shuttles provide students a ride to Sunset Place and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science for free, and ZipCar rentals are available for students who need the occasional set of wheels.

Public transportation is an imperfect system, and not just in Miami. It’ll never be great, but there are ways to take advantage of what’s here. Just be sure to take extra time into account, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.