For the past several months, we have reported on the utter failure of the Tri-Rail so-called leadership team of
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Tri-Rail: What a Train Wreck!

by Grant Miller

For the past several months, we have reported on the utter failure of the Tri-Rail so-called leadership team of Steven Abrams, Diane Hernandez Del Calvo and Teresa Moore.

At Tri-Rail’s Board meeting, Diane Hernandez Del Calvo presented next year’s budget for approval.  Tri-Rail expects to spend $111 million this year but budgeted $139 million for next year.  A 20% increase over this years’ expenses.  One may find that understandable considering Tri-Rail is finally expected to start its new service to Miami Central next year.  However, Ms. Hernandez Del Calvo made it clear that this 20% increase did not include any money for the new service as Tri-Rail doesn’t know how much the new service to downtown will cost.

The expansion to downtown has been planned for a decade and was supposed to start five years ago yet, Tri-Rail doesn’t know how much it will cost to operate?  How is this level of incompetence tolerated?

When asked how Tri-Rail could continue on this spending path, Mr. Abrams stated that the state and counties would just need to pay the agency more money in the coming years.  Mr. Abrams obviously can’t manage a railroad but, he was hired for his political skills and promise to secure additional local funding for the agency.  He has yet to secure additional funding from the state or three counties yet continues to allow the budget to grow and grow.

Regarding service to downtown, Mr. Abrams announced that service would not begin on November 1st as he previously reported.

Ms. Moore who until recently seemed to be solely responsible for negotiations with the railroad does not yet have a date when a Tri-Rail train can even have a test run on the new line.  Possibly Ms. Moore’s continued failures are the reason the agency believes they should hire even more staff in the legal department.  Rare is a government agency of Tri-Rail’s scope that has an internal Chief Counsel.  

However, instead of eliminating the legal department and outsourcing, Tri-Rail is expanding their legal office.

It doesn’t seem possible but, the story gets worse.  Board member Hal Valache expressed that Mr. Abrams was doing a wonderful job and did not know why Abrams shouldn’t just stay on as Executive Director.  Board Chair Maria Marino seconded Valache’s comments and suggested the topic be brought up for discussion at next month’s meeting.

The Authority’s Board must find a new Executive Director who understands how to run a railroad.  Further, they need to remove Hernandez Del Calvo and Moore from their positions with the agency.  Without all three “leaders” removed, Tri-Rail will never become an effective and efficient transit option for South Florida.

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