Doral Transit System (DTS) and Tracking SystemST-18: Increase the use of transit
The Doral Trolley… for all the right reasons.Doral Trolley System (DTS) official slogan
The City of Doral conducted a local circulator planning/feasibility study under a grant from the Miami-Dade County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The study was brought before Council on June 13, 2007 and was approved as a pilot program. Consequently, the City launched a two-year pilot program on February 1, 2008. The Doral Transit System (DTS) goal is to provide service within the City of Doral, and provide connection to Downtown Miami and Miami-Dade County’s north and south communities, which are all reachable via transfer connections with Miami-Dade Transit (MDT).
At inception of the pilot program, DTS ran one trolley bus from Monday to Saturday. The first gas-engine trolley was placed into operations on February 1, 2008. The fixed routes operated weekdays with headways of approximately 40 minutes. Weekday’s lunch route had headways of approximately 20 minutes and Saturday’s route had headways of approximately 70 minutes. Route planning focused on serving major traffic routes since congestion could significantly lower or adversely affect the level of service. This sort of planning helps attract people who may consider using public transit as a mode of transportation. Transit service plays an important role in the economy and in the lives of our citizens. DTS is a system that needs to operate efficiently so that it can provide the best possible service to users.
The Trolley Tracker provides visual and real-time specific location of the trolleys. The Interactive Response System provides the location audibly of the next trolley to a specific stop. Unlike traditional schedules, these systems let the rider know where the trolley is located in real-time and how long it will take to get to a specific stop. The Trolley Tracker is available via the internet on the DTS website: www.cityofdoral.com/trolley or through the City of Doral’s “Doral e-Gov” smartphone app. Additionally, DTS offers its riders an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service that provides riders with an estimated trolley arrival time. Riders may dial 305-593-6710 and enter the trolley stop number located on the Doral Trolley stop sign.
The City began this initiative in 2007 by leasing a trolley for $4,916.67 per month. It seated 24 passengers and had room for 10+ standing. It was wheelchair accessible with room for 2. Next the City utilized the competitively bid Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Agency (TMA) contract to procure the Operation & Maintenance Services. A few months later, the City initiated a two-year pilot local circulator program that provided free trolley service for residents and visitors. In June 2008, GeoSoft USA donated and installed a GPS tracking device for real-time information. Due to the success of the program, the City has been expanding and improving trolley service ever since, including adopting the 2010 Doral Transportation Master Plan and acquiring more trolleys for added routes.
The Doral Trolley does not generate any revenue since it is a free service. Since its inception, the City has continuously sought funding sources to aide in the capital cost and the operating and maintenance cost, which is outsourced to a private contractor. During the initial phase, the pilot program was locally funded. In Fiscal year 2013/2014, the operation and maintenance for the City’s eight-trolley fleet cost the City approximately $950K. In 2013/2014, the trolley was partially locally funded from the City’s Transportation Fund, which receives an annual share of the People’s Transportation Plan sales tax. The cost per rider was $2.62 and ridership increased by 16% compared to previous years, which resulted in a reduction of 6% in the cost per rider.
The objective of the Doral Transit System (DTS) is to provide efficient and effective public transportation for residents, linking them to work, shopping and school locations, providing alternatives to ease commute into the City’s employment areas, complementing Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) service, and positioning the City to respond to future public transportation opportunities that will result from street extensions, transit projects, and the build out of the City Urban Core (i.e. Downtown Doral and Park Square).
The DTS has three routes: Route 1 (Blue Route), Route 2 (Yellow Route), and Route 3 (Green Route). Route 1, the crosstown connector has been operating with minor variations since inception of the DTS. Based on the overwhelming demand on Route 1, DTS has extended its service hours. Route 2, the Commercial/Metrorail connector was launched on Monday, December 20, 2010. The intent of the route was to provide transit services for commuting workers and for visitors to Doral by providing connection outside of City limits to connect to the Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) Palmetto Metrorail Station, which connects to Downtown Miami and beyond. Route 3, the Residential/Metrorail Connector was launched on Monday, February 6, 2012 for weekday service, then on December 15, 2013, after many requests from the public, the services were expanded to offer Saturday service.