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What to expect when riding the Miami Trolley...

So I'm sure you've already heard about the new Miami Trolley. The concept is pretty cool: Free transportation from Brickell to Omni and it runs every 15 minutes from 6:30am to 11pm Monday through Saturday (and on Sundays for special events).

I live in Downtown Miami and work near the Performing Arts Center. Jumping in my SUV and driving down the parking garage to drive up another parking garage just a few blocks away seems less practical every day.  So I decided to give the trolley a shot.

The first time I used it, I got lucky and it happened to be passing my building as I walked out. It must have been my lucky day. Every other time it has taken 20-30 minutes to come by (as opposed to the 15 minutes they claim).  Wait a minute... it's a FREE service and I'm complaining?  Well, it wouldn't be so bad to wait if it wasn't always blazing hot or raining in Miami.

Once you actually get on the trolley, it's a pretty nice experience. First off, it's brand new, clean, and comfortable. It is not as crowded as the metro mover, and the AC is nice and cold.

 

Great, but could be better...

Some observations and suggestions on how the trolley would be much better:

  • Most of the stops have benches, but no canopies. Stand out there for about 2 minutes waiting and you will be drenched in sweat. On the other hand, if it's raining you are out of luck unless you have an umbrella. Some shade would make the experience a whole lot better - rain or shine. Add some canopies to the trolley stops!
  • The trolley typically takes a lot more than 15 minutes to come by. What if there was a way to know how long it will take for the next trolley to get to your stop? On my last trip to NYC, I was impressed how Google Maps was integrated with public transportation. It gives you estimated time for arrival and departure of buses and trains. What if we had a smartphone app that showed us where the trolleys were located on a map?  Offer a free app or tie in to Google Maps!

 

Overall the Miami Trolley is a great move to improving public transportation in Miami, but it could be better with some minor changes.

If you've had a chance to try it out, we would love to hear your thoughts!

For more info on the Miami Trolley:

http://www.miamigov.com/trolley/

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I tried it and I am NOT happy. As with you , it took almost 1/2 hr wait for trolly. Other times there are two, back-to-back. I see the trouble as the Southbound has to turn left to go to Brickell  Key and during rush hour it can take many minutes to do that. I will NEVER take the Southbound unless they eliminate that turn (they can go there  on the way back only). There is terrible traffic congestion there and that is why the trolleys are late and get back-to-back. The MetroMover is FAR superior if you are going all the way.

I tried it, I liked it and I think it´s a good proposal but needs more detail information, as Alex said, it would be great if you can know how long you have to wait at the stop for the next trolley,also I would love to see a map inside the Unit, maybe some touristic information about the history of Miami, a shelter at the stop it would be nice also and please less air conditioning.

We take the trolley frequently and really like it. Alex's points are great about shelter at the stops - since most stops are shared with buses, shelter would benefit all public transportation users. Hubert's point about Brickell Key is also well taken. Why does it need to do the Brickell Key loop in both directions?  I also think it might have been smarter to vary the route from mirroring the Metro Mover so closely. The trolley really just duplicates much of the route already covered by a free alternative. That being said it is a welcome addition to Downtown/Brickell. We live at One Miami and the trolley has enabled us to shop at the new Publix without a car (wish they had put a stop right at the Publix corner where it turns towards Margaret Pace Park.) We can enjoy nightlife in Brickell without walking home. Like others, we've experienced some longer than 15 minnute waits, but we've lucked out with speedy service just as often. It's hard for them to maintain a schedule with the traffic and construction on Brickell not to mention the drawbridge sometimes causing two trolleys to arrive in a row. But overall, it adds to the quality of Downtown life. 

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