Metromover and Metrorail Will Run Until 4 a.m. New Year's Eve

Public transit in Miami-Dade already has so many issues when it comes to running in the daytime that discussing the possibility of expanded service during late-night hours seems like wishful thinking. To Miami-Dade Transit's credit, it does expand certain services into the wee hours of the morning during special events, but usually for just an hour or two at most. 

However, this New Year's Eve, Metrorail and Metromover services will be extended later than ever in recent memory. Both services will run until 4 a.m. That's a two-hour increase from the 2 a.m. cut-off time the rails have been running over the past few New Year's Eves. Metrorail usually ends service weekdays at 1 a.m., while the Metromover runs until midnight seven days a week.  

It seems we have Pitbull of all people to thank for this change. Mr. 305 will host his free New Year’s Eve Revolution in downtown Miami this year, a fact MDT makes note of in a news release, and apparently increased traffic in the area is expected because of the big bash. 

A note, though: MDT says service will end at "approximately" 4 a.m. All public transit the following day will run on the usual Sunday schedule. 

Despite having a reputation as a late-night city, late-night public transit options don't typically get much official discussion in Miami. As it stands, the only option after 1 a.m. is Metrobus (which runs on a limited schedule). Public transit discussion in Miami usually centers on figuring out ways to get people out of their cars and off the roads during peak traffic hours, but to truly get people to embrace public transit, a system should cater to other facts of life besides just the work commute. 

Indeed, a Miami Herald story last year about why so many young professionals in Miami remained hesitant about taking public transit found that a lack of late-night options was a common complaint. At the time, MDT claimed there wasn't enough demand to keep things operating past midnight. 

Few cities have mastered late-night public transit. New York City's subway is the only urban rail line that runs 24-hour service to all of its stations, though the late-night schedule is notoriously difficult to navigate and runs fewer trains. However, increasing numbers of American cities are beginning to experiment with more late-night options. Boston's T and Washington, D.C.'s Metro are now open until 3 a.m. on weekends. San Francisco this year began making serious efforts to expand late-night options as well

In a city where last call extends to 5 a.m., it's certainly something for Miami to think about, especially as plans for Baylink move forward to connect South Beach to the mainland.

For now, though, this is merely a one-night experiment, but if you plan to head to downtown tomorrow night, it's an experiment worth trying.
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Kyle Munzenrieder