Two decades in the making, Metrorail was the largest public works project in Florida history. Planning for Metrorail began in 1958. Construction began in June 1979. In 1981, county officials revealed that inflation and construction and land costs had caused the system’s budget to grow from $867 million to $987 million. There was also allegations of shoddy construction and several opening delays due to shortage of rail cars.  When it opened at 6 a.m. May 20, 1984, Metrorail’s elevated trains ran only 11 miles, stopping at 10 stations from Overtown to Dadeland South. At the time, county officials promised a 52- or 54-mile system that would go to Miami International Airport, Miami Beach and other destinations, and carry more than 200,000 riders a day.After three decades of operation, the system grew to just 25 miles, added only one line — to MIA — and has yet to carry 200,000 riders daily.

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