City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez Travels to Tallahassee to Advocate for Increase to State Funding for Transit Projects

City of Miami, Florida(Miami, FL February 16, 2017) – At the urging of City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez and following his resolution to pursue this amendment as a legislative priority on behalf of the City, Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Nicholas Duran are sponsoring an amendment to Florida Statutes to increase State New Starts Funding from 12.5% to 25% for non-federal, locally funded projects. Commissioner Suarez is in Tallahassee today advocating on behalf of this amendment and the City’s residents who will benefit from the passage of this bill.

Currently, Florida Statutes allow for a public transit project that receives federal funding to qualify for up to a 25% match from the State. However, Florida Statute Section 341.051 provides that if a transit project does not receive federal funding then the state will only award up to 12.5%. Unfortunately, the current law penalizes locally funded projects. Senate Bill 752 and House Bill 315 aim to correct that by increasing State New Starts Funding  from the stated 12.5% to 25% for locally funded projects.

“This amendment will have a tremendous impact on transportation projects in Miami where traffic and congestion have become one of the greatest quality of life issues for our residents,” said Commissioner Suarez. By way of example, he mentioned that, should this amendment pass, it would be easier to fund the SMART (Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit) Plan, which advances six rapid transit corridors, along with a network system of Buss Express Rapid Transit (BERT) service. “Increasing State funding for transit projects would bring us substantially closer to implementing mass transit projects in our City,” added Commissioner Suarez.

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