How Miami-Dade, Florida collected $3 billion and still can’t afford to expand Metrorail

If spending of Miami-Dade’s transportation tax had gone as planned nearly two decades ago, the county would be preparing for a milestone in 2021: the five-year anniversary of a new elevated Metrorail line running 10 miles north along 27th Avenue to the Broward County line.

Metrorail’s “North Corridor” expansion was originally supposed to open by 2016 under a construction timeline laid out in 2002 on how to spend a transportation sales tax then-Mayor Alex Penelas pitched to voters in a referendum that year, according to a 2005 county summary of the plan.

Far from celebrating, Miami-Dade’s elected leaders and transit advocates are still pointing fingers over how a half-percent sales tax that’s generated more than $3 billion failed to deliver more than three miles of additional rail.