Reporting Maggie Newland
MIAMI (CBS4) – There is relief in sight for frustrated travelers at Miami International Airport. The MIA Mover, which runs between the airport and the rental car lot, should be open sometime Tuesday. It shut down after a derailment on Sunday.
Twelve passengers were on board at the time, two people suffered minor injuries.
The closure of the train forced passengers on to shuttle buses for transport between the airport terminal and the adjacent rental car center on LeJeune Road.
“Frustrating, it’s ridiculous,” said Paula Tabora upon learning she’d have to wait in a long line for a bus to take her to the rental car lot. Tabora said she’d just flown in from Honduras and had a 3 hour drive ahead of her. “What am I going to do now?” she questioned, “I can’t wait too long because I’m diabetic.”
“It’s a bit of nightmare,” said Herbert Dercasen who arrived from Amsterdam. “I’ve only been traveling for 24 hours, so this will be extra.”
Crews worked into the night Sunday to try to get the train back on track, but in the end, they decided to remove the car that malfunctioned.
“I have been told, that there was a guide wheel that came off and that’s the reason that the train tilted to one side,” said MIA Spokesman Marc Henderson. “Obviously there’s going to be a more extensive investigation to see exactly the reasons and the causes why.”
The MIA Mover, which cost about $270 million, has been open since September. Henderson explained the problem this way: ” You get a new car, sometimes there’s glitch in the new car you’ve got to take the car back. This is probably no different.”
Until the system is back up and running, airport officials said travelers who are returning a car before heading to the terminal should add an additional 30 to 45 minutes to their scheduling.
“If there is a silver lining here is that there is not a lot of traffic,” said Henderson.
The MIA Mover can usually transport about 3,000 people per hour and roughly 2,500 passengers with luggage. On Monday, 12 buses and three vans were used to shuttle passengers between the airport and the car rental center. Police tape blocked the entrance to the MIA Mover as confused passengers were turned away.
“They told me to go to the third floor, then they gold me to go to the first floor and wait for a shuttle,” said Adolfo Anez who flew in from New Orleans. “It took me close to 40 minutes.”
Some passengers decided not to wait and jumped in cabs at the rental center so they wouldn’t miss their flight.
“It was not working, so we didn’t want to wait that long,” said Arturo Garcia of Germany.
Others didn’t seem to mind.
“It’s been very smooth, everything has just gone seamlessly,” said Laura Eve from Louisville.
Monday night, the trams were back on the tracks for test runs without passengers on board. The car that derailed is still out of service.