FIU Students Organize Second Miami Maglev Forum In Hopes Of Sparking Transportation Revolution

South Florida is known for many things. Beautiful weather, multiculturalism, hot nightlife and soul crushing public transportation that literally makes you want to die. (You don’t see that last part in the Chamber of Commerce brochures.)

One group of high achieving young people are trying to revolutionize the way South Florida gets around by bringing a radical form of public transportation here.

Two brothers—Darius and Demetrius Villa—and their friend, Aleksandr Khalfin, founded the High Speed Rail America Club (HSRAC) at Florida International University last year and they have found some success in spreading their message.

The club researches and promotes high-speed rail trains, also known as bullet trains, in America. Bullet trains, which average more than 150 mph, don’t exist in our country, and it’s a fuel-efficient and quicker way to travel, Demetrius told RISE NEWS in an interview last year.

They say that they are the leading high-speed advocacy group for millennials.

The group believes that Miami should build up an ambitious system of Maglev transportation that would eventually connect the Magic City to Miami Beach and FIU.

With a healthy amount of grassroots support now at their back, the HSRAC wants to get some political muscle on their side.

They plan to do this by presenting a Miami Maglev Forum on April 7th from 10 AM-12 PM on the FIU campus. And they hope that local political leaders will show up to learn about the proposed idea and to interact with young transportation activists.

They tried and failed at this once before.

“Last September, the group partnered with American Maglev Technology, the FIU Honors College, and All Aboard Florida to host the first Miami Maglev forum,” a press release from the HSRAC read. “While the forum itself had students and FIU community leaders in attendance, a grand total of zero representatives came from the leadership of Miami, Miami-Dade, and Miami Beach. Students were highly upset of the lack of leadership from their elected officials, and grew further disenchanted with the infrastructural direction of the community.”

The release goes on to say that transportation directors, commissioners, and mayors of all three municipalities (Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, Miami Beach) were emailed, and no responses were received from them.

“To make amends to both the citizens and their elected officials, we are hosting a 2nd Maglev Forum to be able to discuss ideas, the direction of the community, and towards finding a solution that the populace agrees with,” the release reads.

If you want to learn more about the group or the event, you can follow them on Facebook.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: Thomas Lok/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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About the Author
Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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