Metromover suspended indefinitely
On the Web
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Metromover transit system has been suspended indefinitely until federal investigators can determine what caused a crash between two Metromover cars that left 16 people injured Tuesday afternoon.
All day Wednesday, commuters who normally travel on the transit system that transports as many as 26,000 people each day had to take shuttles to their destinations. Some said their commute had doubled and even tripled as a result.
The sudden closure and shuttle service caused a lot of confusion for commuters, forcing many to simply walk to work Wednesday morning. "I don't know where my shuttle is," said Sharon Brown, at the Government Center stop. "We're both here in the dark."
The suspension of service Thursday would inconvenience commuters all day long. "Today it kind of sucks," said Joseph Morales during the afternoon commute. "I know there was an accident and everything, but you have to go about the whole long way to get home. It takes me about a half and hour to an hour to get home. Today it's going to take me about two hours."
Morales echoed complaints of morning commuters who could not find shuttle buses that were supposed to replace their usual Metromover routes. "A little confusing," he said. "I usually get it over there by Eighth Street, and I had to walk over here to get the shuttle, so it was definitely confusing."
The suspension of the entire Metromover system will continue until federal authorities with the NTSB finish their investigation into what lead to the collision between a pair of the unmanned cars in the area of 1200 SW First Ave., just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Miami-Dade Transit, passengers aboard a northbound Metromover could not open its doors after it came to a stop. Shortly thereafter, another northbound Metromover ran into the back of the parked Metromover. Investigators are looking into why the doors of the first car would not open, in addition to what lead to the collision that came afterward.
Marie Christine Gelin was one of those injured. "Many people was going inside. After that, I heard people say, 'Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Everybody fall down," she said. "I got hurt on my leg and my hand on this side. I feel hurt on this side."
"I saw people screaming, people on the floor. There was a lady that really got hurt. She was on the floor. I had to help her get up," said Sandra Amador, another passenger.
City of Miami Fire Rescue said they checked out scores of passengers who complained of varying degrees of pain. "We had a total of about 16 people that went to the hospital," said Miami Fire Rescue Lieutenant Ignatius Carroll. "We looked at about 40 people, 16 people to area hospitals here. No serious injuries at all."
Despite the collision on the tracks, Miami-Dade Transit assured commuters that the system is safe. "Miami-Dade County has a tremendous safety record, and these cars move all day, everyday," said Vickie Mallette of Miami-Dade County.
Via phone, a spokesperson with Miami-Dade Transit said she hopes to see Metromover running again by Friday, but that all depends on the NTSB, who are now handling all media inquiries.
(Copyright 2010 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)