(Miami, FL March 17, 2017) – City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, who also serves as Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Council (TPO) and President of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC), is pleased to announce that on March 16, 2017 the Florida Department of Transportation issued an opinion stating that Florida Statute, Section 341.051, which provides that if a transit project does not receive federal funding then the State will only award up to 12.5% for the project, is not anticipated to apply to any of the SMART (Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit) Plan corridor projects. This is a huge victory for City of Miami residents and Miami-Dade County as a whole since the SMART Plan is now clearly eligible for State funding up to 50%, making implementation of the Plan substantially easier.
Commissioner Suarez, who spearheaded the efforts to increase State funding for the SMART Plan on behalf of Miami and in his capacity as TPO Vice-Chair and MDCLC President, is pleased with this outcome. “Traffic and congestion continue to be one of the greatest quality of life issues facing our residents,” said Commissioner Suarez. “FDOT’s favorable interpretation of Florida law makes it easier to fund the SMART Plan and advance transit solutions long deserved by our constituents,” added Commissioner Suarez.
He concluded by thanking Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Nicholas Duran who advocated for this issue in Tallahassee, as well as FDOT District 6 Secretary Jim Wolfe and FDOT Interim Secretary Rachel Cone, who all worked tirelessly along with Commissioner Suarez to advance these important transportation projects for our community.