OPA-LOCKA — Opa-locka now has a bus shuttle service that takes residents around the city and its vicinity free of cost.
The Opa-locka Express was launched recently when Mayor Myra Taylor and commissioners hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the service at a pavilion behind the Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Blvd.
Taylor and other commissioners praised Vice Mayor Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson for being the force behind keeping the shuttle at the forefront of commission meetings.
“Our seniors, the students and many of the residents without transportation will benefit tremendously from the Opa-locka Express,” Johnson said.
The city has set itself a goal of eight riders per day on the shuttle which will operate on two routes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and link up with Tri-Rail and some Metrobus stops.
Major stops in the city include the Walgreens at Northwest 160th Street, Sherbondy Park, City Hall, the Tri-Rail station, Dr. Robert B. Ingram Elementary School, Magnolia North, Nile Gardens, Nathan B. Young Elementary School, Ingram Park, Segal Park, Vankara Academy and Miami Dade College’s North Campus.
The transit partners in the shuttle project were the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Miami-Dade Transit, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust that administers the People Transportation Plan funding.
Neighboring municipalities that provided guidance and support were the city of Hialeah and the city of North Miami.
Plans for the shuttle formally began in November 2008 when the city accepted a grant from the Metropolitan Planning Organization to conduct a feasibility study.
In February 2009, the commission approved Kimley Horn & Associates as the consultants to conduct the study. The city hosted two meetings for residents’ input for the survey which was completed in March 2010.