DEVELOPERS BEEN IDENTIFIED FOR MIAMI CITY LIGHT RAIL/STREETCAR PROJECT

Miami Beach’s City Commission has finalized the names of three developers with whom it will negotiate an interim PPP agreement for the construction of a light rail/street car project. As per the commission’s decision, Miami Beach to carry out negotiations with Greater Miami Tramlink Partners for the project, which comprises of a light rail/streetcar loop in South Beach. The city announced on July 13 that it holds the option of considering proposals submitted by two other teams if the talks fall through. The three developers’ pitches were measured based on design, not on price. The team Miami Beach nominated is led by French rail company Alstom, which suggests building 106-foot rail cars that would run over a street-level rail that becomes electrified when it makes contact with the cars, easing the need for overhead wires. Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said the team’s offer comprises making infrastructure advancements, such as raising street levels when necessary.  The other two designs the city considered would run on rechargeable batteries. Alstom submitted an unsolicited proposal in 2015 for a 14-mile, design-build-finance-operate-maintain “Bay Link” rail system that would  connect Miami Beach with downtown Miami by crossing the MacArthur Causeway over Biscayne Bay and include five stops in South Beach. Miami-Dade County has yet to decide whether to build the Bay Link but Miami Beach is hoping that by getting out in front with its more modest $387 million project the South Beach loop will ultimately represent the first third of the Bay Link — if it is built — which could carry about 20,000 passengers per day. With the fruitful negotiations of the Greater Miami Tramlink Partners with the Miami Beach Public Private Partnership project, the use of Alstom’s proprietary train car technology would reinforce the team’s position as a contender for the Bay Link because Miami-Dade County has said it wants all portions of the system to operate flawlessly. Miami Beach will carry out an environmental study this fall that would succeed the project for state funds. The city supposes to discuss an interim agreement by April 2017 although the other two teams have filed a bid objection.     Source: ncppp.org