Commentary: New ideas needed on public transit

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

Rare is the day when politicians deliberately schedule a hearing so the public can take them to the woodshed. Yet, to their credit, that's exactly what Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss and Mayor Carlos Alvarez did Saturday. They invited residents to a public rant session on the transit tax, followed by a boxed lunch and a round table on what county government should do about its transit policies.

One thing the County Commission definitely should not do is agree to make it easier for the administration to use the transit tax to fund the transit agency's everyday operations in the future. This is in direct contradiction to what was promised if voters approved the tax in 2002.

The ballot question introducing the People's Transportation Plan (PTP) was for new bus lines and extended and new Metrorail routes. It never mentioned financing a chronically underfunded transit agency's maintenance and repair of existing equipment.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.