Civil rights violations and the trolley system
The Federal government is now looking into the situation after citizen complaints. Miami-Dade County was given millions in transportation money as part of the Federal Stiumulus Package. A $69 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was given to the county.
The Herald says, "At issue is whether the local projects fail to serve poor and minority communities, potentially violating the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964." On top of that, it's just wrong. How are you going to pick and choose trolley routes based on the color of peoples' skin and not traffic patterns?
For years, many of us in Coconut Grove felt slighted, it seemed that all the other City of Miami neighborhoods had a free trolley service and we were overlooked. People told me in hushed tones that it was because "they" didn't want people from the Village West hopping on and going to the other neighborhoods. I couldn't believe that this was the issue in the 21st century, but the Federal govenrment is now looking into this.
CocoWalk, the BID, and so many business owners tried for the longest time to get the trolleys here. If you are a longtime reader, you know I've been harping on getting trolley service in the Center Grove for years. I was given all sorts of reasons for our lack of trolleys which didn't make sense. I was told that there aren't enough to go around, that we have the Circulator bus so we didn't need the trolley and we didn't need a trolley since we could walk from one end of the Center Grove to the other, as if this is what we wanted it for, to go a couple of blocks.
The trolleys go as far north as Mercy Hosptial, when I asked why, I was told because the hospital needs a trolley, but to be honest, I see those trolleys daily and I don't think I've ever seen anyone use them to go to or from the hospital, although I am sure that someone uses them, but it's just not worth the route for the few that use it. I only bring this up because I've been told that routes would be changed according to ridership. Well, after all this time, there is no real ridership to or from Mercy. But now we know why the routes are not changed to accommodate citizens who would use the service. They don't like the color of some peoples' skin; they don't like their low income levels either.
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