New ‘Cross Bay Express’ bus between downtown Miami and South Beach debuts

Miami has launched a new express bus service connecting downtown and South Beach.

For $5 one-way fares, people can get rides on a double-decker bus moving between the downtown waterfront and the entertainment district of Miami Beach, with stops at Bayside Marketplace, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street. The “CrossBay Express,” which holds 66 people, will run from noon to midnight daily, with stops every 30 minutes — although the route will run on regular traffic lanes, meaning it could get caught in daily traffic during rush hour or due to accidents.

On the return trip from the Beach, the bus will stop in southbound lanes on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard, across from Frost Museum and Bayside, only to drop riders off. Riders will be able to pay the fare and board on the east side of Biscayne, at Bayside and the Frost Museum, and in the Beach.

City administrators negotiated a one-year deal with Miami Express Transportation Co. to run the pilot service, which includes three buses and will cost $115 per hour to run. City Manager Emilio Gonzalez believes the route will pay for itself through rider fares, though if it does not, the city of Miami’s taxpayers will pick up the difference. Commissioners want to evaluate the success of the route after the first year.

City officials took the inaugural ride Thursday afternoon.

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