Public transportation in Miami is pretty dismal. There are buses and a couple of subway lines. That’s about it. But for a brief time last week, students from a local university had a whole new train station up and running — a stop on the Purple Line, with vendors, music, crowds, and imaginary trains running into the station on a regular basis.
“We just wanted people to start talking about it,” said Anna McMaster, one of three Florida Atlantic University urban planning graduate students who organized the two-day Purple Line event. The first in a series of simulated train “arrivals” (using a projection screen, sound effects, and an 8-foot-tall make-believe wooden train platform) was set to happen Friday evening.
The idea was to show people how great it would be to have trains running.
McMaster said her group had actually intended for the public to mistakenly get its hopes up.
“We wanted it to be a little confusing,” she said. “Once they feel that disappointment, they will be like ‘Well, why don’t we have this?’”
Ironically, the Purple Line event was set up in two parking lots. Under a highway overpass. Which tells you a lot about what the current public transportation is like in the city. You don’t even need that much imagination to start to dream about how much better it could be.