Partner Paul Schwiep, who serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust was featured in a story in Miami Today about the Trust's vote to stop funding Miami-Dade public bus system. The full story can be found at:

Chairman Paul Schwiep spoke in favor of a slow unwinding, saying the trust would be in better shape after five years.

“If we just un-unified the budgeting system, so that all the surtax funds were segregated and were used only for PTP projects, capital and operations and maintenance of PTP projects, the amount that would be attributable to those expenses would exceed the amount that the county administration is proposing in its pro-forma over a five-year period” to take from the trust to operate the transportation department.

Because so many of the county’s transportation projects are interwoven – fee-free Metromover service, the Golden Passport discount program for seniors, the Metrorail Orange Line to Miami International Airport, and news cars for both Metrorail and Metromover were all PTP projects – separating the funding would result in a net loss for the trust, so it makes more sense to do it gradually, Mr. Schweip explained after the meeting.

“It’s not just that we’re returning funds to the trust; we’ll end up with more funds in the trust,” he told trust members. “My view was, and remains, that we got into this unification situation over a long period of time, because transit needed to access surtax funds, and we’re not going be able to unwind it overnight – that kind of a meat-cleaver approach will end up doing more harm than good,” said Mr. Schwiep, who is an attorney with the Coffey Burlington firm.


“It’s been a long time coming and it’s not perfect, but it sets us on a path to unwinding unification,” Mr. Schwiep said. “I think there’s a lot of good faith on the part of administration to try and accomplish this and have the surtax funds be dedicated to new projects.”