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PINECREST (CBSMiami) – South Miami-Dade residents are about to find out about big plans that could impact their daily commute and perhaps their pocketbook.

A meeting held by Pinecrest leaders Wednesday evening will inform residents about proposed plans to replace the South Miami-Dade Busway with a toll road from Dadeland Mall south, possibly all the way to Florida City.

Officials from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) will be present at the meeting, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Road.

MDX made unofficial plans for the Busway project, which it aims to begin in a few years.

Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald that only a few people know there are plans for projects on the Busway, a two-lane highway that only buses can use.

“I want to start a dialogue,” Lerner said. “The general public is completely unaware of what’s being prepared.”

Lerner said Pinecrest residents are wary that the proposed toll road will ultimately put more cars on U.S. 1.

Lerner and others have been pushing for more transit options for U.S. 1 south of Dadeland Mall, which is where Metrorail ends. She said a toll road also would make extending Metrorail less likely.

“If you put in a toll road, it takes away the Metrorail option,” she said.

MDX officials have said, however, that all the plans are the preliminary. Right now, state and local transportation officials are conducting a study to see what could be done with the Busway. MDX officials have also said they will be listening to the community as they move forward.

Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Pinecrest officials have all heard a presentation from MDX, but Lerner said she wants to open up the discussion and inform people who have yet to hear about these plans.

“I want the public to hear the same presentation we did,” Lerner said.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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