Monday, November 26, 2007

Miami Day 3

Day 3 started out earlier than yesterday. In fact I was out of my room and at the transit center by 6:45am. I wanted to get an early start tomorrow in order to be ready for tomorrow when I had to leave even earlier in order to arrive at Railvolution on time.

Today I wanted to travel to the far reaches of the Metro-Dade system in order to get the best looks I could at the Miami area and its transit system. I took route 16 from the Omni transit center to the 163rd Street Mall. The route traveled along Biscayne Blvd, one of the main north-south streets then it travels NE 6th Ave, NE 125th Street/123 rd Street, NE 16th Ave, NE 159th Street, NE 15th Ave, then loops around the mall that is part enclosed mall and part strip center. The "transit center" is a area behind the mall with bus areas. Not a very inviting center to say the least.

My next route was the 91. I will not even begin to describe this route a s it zig zags along multiple streets, does a loop and makes a U-turn. Just like the 16 I drew another NABI low floor which are no better than UTA's Gillig Advantages.

This route does go by the stadium that the Miami Dolphins play in. I got off at the intersection of NW 82nd Ave and NW 186 Street and here you can see a picture of my 91 bus after having dropped me off.

Next I waited for the 282 bus which is also referred to as the Hialeah Gardens Connection. It was very fitting being from Utah that the corner was taken up by a large LDS church, one of two I saw on my trip.

This route goes through residential, office complexes, light industrial, commercial and finally heavy industrial areas before finally ending at the Palmetto Rail Station. This bus was the only non-NABI low floor I rode in all my Miami journeys. The bus was from Blue Bird and it was one adapted to transit use from a school bus. The bus was painted like an old trolley car but was not a trolley replica bus. However, the seats were high back cloth with nice cushions which made it the most comfortable bus I rode in Miami.

I originally planned to continue my bus riding from here but I looked down and saw route 41 but could not find a route 41 bus and it was supposed to leave in one minute. Then I looked again and I was supposed to take the 87 to the 41 but by the time I realized that the bus was pulling out and I wasn't looking forward to spending another hour on a NABI low floor so I decided to catch MetroRail down to Coral Gables, my next destination.

I got off the MetroRail at the University Station which is the home of the University of Miami. Here you can see a couple of shuttle buses I took a picture of while going down the escalator.

Here is another University of Miami cutaway shuttle passing the MetroRail Station.
Next I took the 56 bus to the Biltmore Hotel. Here is a picture of another 56 going by just after I exited the my 56 bus.

Here is a picture of the Biltmore built in 1932.
Next I walked along De Soto and took a picture of the Venetian Pools.
Coral Gables is considered a "walking community" but I will comment on that in the future. I left De Soto and walked down Andalusia/Biltmore Way, Segovola, Alhambra and the Ponce De Leon. Here is a picture of Alhambra Circle before it hits the business district.
I had not had anything to eat and since it was past 1:00pm, I was getting a little hungry. I was still craving Chinese like yesterday but did not have a lot of luck finding a place. I finally decided to hop the free Coral Gables fake trolley and take it back to MetroRail unless I saw someplace to eat along the way. The bus was pretty full the whole way but slowly emptied out at Village at Merrick Park. Once we turned off of Ponce De Leon onto Ruiz we were delayed for 15-minutes because trying to pick up a garbage container that goes on the back of a truck. He couldn't get the thing to roll all the way up onto the truck. After about 5 attempts he finally got it far enough on the bed of the truck that the bed lowered he moved the truck. Here is a picture of the fake trolley along with the guy that was behind him.
Next I took MetroRail down to the Dadeland South Station. Good thing I was traveling southbound at this point as there was no trains moving northbound at the moment due to a stalled train. Here is a picture of my train arriving at the station.
One I got off at the station you could see my destination which is the Dadeland Shopping Center which is an interesting multi story structure that includes a Target. To the left is some new condos that have been built with easy access to the MetroRail.
Once I got to target I got a pizza from the Pizza Hut located in the Target to satisfy my huger. After doing a little bit of shopping I headed back onto MetroRail to Government Center, caught the MetroMover and head back to the Hotel. I wanted to rest this evening since I had my big presentation at Railvolution the next day.

Well that's day 3 down, tomorrow is a trip to Miami Beach for Railvolution then more bus riding.

No comments: