Miami lies on the Atlantic coast in the southeast of Florida and has 2.2 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area (Dade County).
Miami's present urban rail system consists of a heavy rail metro line and an automatic downtown peoplemover. Both systems are operated by MDTA (Miami Dade Transit Agency).
Metrorail is a full metro system connecting the northern parts of Miami to the southern coast via the city centre. From there an automated peoplemover (Metromover) distributes passengers in the downtown area. Metrorail's Green Line is an elevated (2 km at grade), 36 km long line opened 21 May 1984 between Dadeland South and Overtown, after construction had started in 1979. Tri-Rail station was added in 1989 to create a transfer station for Tri-Rail's suburban services. The average station distance is 1,700 m which results in a commercial speed of more than 60 km/h. All 22 stations have escalators and elevators. Platforms are 190 m long (8-car-trains). An elevated metro was the only option for Miami due to the high ground water level in the area. In 2012, with the opening of the 3.8 km airport branch, the Orange Line was introduced. It shares most of its route with the Green Line.
21 May 1984: Dadeland South - Overtown
17 Dec 1984: Overtown - Earlington Heights
19 May 1985: Earlington Heights - Okeechobee
1989: Tri-Rail added
30 May 2003: Okeechobee - Palmetto (2.3 km)
28 July 2012: Earlington Heights - Miami International Airport (3.8 km)
The downtown Metromover opened 21 April 1986. This is an elevated, rubber-tyred, fully automated 3 km ring line. Later, in May 1994, two branches, one north (Omni-Loop, 2.2 km) and one south were added (Brickell-Loop, 1.8 km). The Metromover links to Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell and runs 8-15 m above street level. All stations are wheelchair accessible and video surveyed. Trains are formed by one or two 12 m long cars. Those trains serving the ring line only run clockwise, whereas both branches are served anticlockwise on two separate routes.