MiamiHerald / Metrorail launched its first new train Thursday since Ronald Reagan was a first-term president, promising the slow end to the transit system’s current crisis of breakdowns and unreliable schedules.

“I appreciate the fact that I will be riding in air conditioning,” County Commission Chairman Esteban “Steve” Bovo said at a ceremony unveiling the $8 million four-car train. “I appreciate that when it is raining outside, it will be dry inside.”

The new train represents about 7 percent of the available seats on a Metrorail system that tries to have 14 trains running during rush hour. That’s down from 21 a year ago, before Miami-Dade cut service to close budget gaps in transit.

While the four new rail cars serving as the system’s first replacement train represent a relatively small fix, their debut signals the start of a full retrofit planned to finish in 2019 and cost about $380 million.


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