Minibuses & Sea Wall Elevations: Hallandale Beach Is Working To Keep Residents Informed
By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper
February 8, 2023
“When it rains it pours.” This saying is so apropos for what happened to our minibus system this week. On Monday we were notified that not just one of our minibusses was down but actually three. As of Monday, only Bus Route 1 and Bus Route 3 are in service. Bus Route 1A has been out of service awaiting warranty repair at Ford, Bus Routes 2 and 4 do not have any buses. At the writing of this article, we were not informed as to why they were pulled from service. In addition to equipment failures, there has been a shortage of bus drivers.
Hallandale Beach for well over twenty years has been providing free minibus transportation to our residents and visitors. Over the years it was expanded to include routes to Young Circle, South Broward County Health Center on Pembroke Road and Aventura Medical Center. It was shut down during COVID-19. As soon as we were given the go ahead, it was back up and running. We extend our apologies to those impacted. Much has been beyond our understanding of how many people actually depend on this service.
Staff have been diligently working with our vendor. We used to have an in-house system, but it was moved to a contracted service a few years back. It appears that the vendor was having difficulty finding drivers and I quote “has been unresponsive.” We also have a partnership with Broward County. This partnership has expanded since the Penny Tax was passed. The County now provides funding to cities for all of the minibusses. On Tuesdays, Staff were meeting with them to see what resources they can bring to the table to keep the routes running, here is the update on the drivers who will be on each route:, Hallandale 1 is using bus 1601 Driver Fritz Volel, Hallandale 1A will be OUT OF SERVICE, Sorry for the inconveniences, Hallandale 2 is using bus 1010 Driver Eric Serna, Hallandale 3 is using bus M2039 Driver Ershell Honorat, and Hallandale 4 is using bus 1012 Driver Alix Rosier.
Due to the emergency nature of this issue I wanted to at least inform impacted residents and workers about it. Please visit our city website and social media for further updates.
Florida became the epicenter of the United States for Global Warming over 15 years. Back when Vice President Al Gore began ringing the warning bell on Climate Change and Sea Level Rising, I was Chair of the U.S. Mayor Water Council and still serve on its Environmental Committee. At that time there were still a huge amount of climate deniers.
Many of my local elected officials led by President, Mayor Manny Diaz worked very hard to bring the issue to the forefront. We lobbied hard for Energy Efficiency Block Grants, EECBG to help reduce our Carbon Footprints. Sadly, it was a hard sell even though NASA would report on the issue due to their satellite image studies and there are still deniers. When I come across them during my speaking engagements and lobbying, I like to show them pictures of our City’s flooding and high tides.
Fast forward to today and it has become an all hands-on deck situation. Yes it is daunting but we all need to do our part and for 10 years elected officials from South Florida Counties have united to put in place rules, regulations and programs to address the crisis.
One key policy change and regulations have been changing, regarding building Sea Wall Elevations. During COVID-19, our Environmental Committee recommended that we develop an awareness campaign for our impacted residents. In Hallandale Beach, there are approximately 1,050 addresses that are impacted since they live on the Intracoastal, on one of western lakes or on the Schaefer Canal, property owners are responsible for their own Sea Wall.
Broward County has adopted new height requirements to address Sea Level Rising. Some readers may have seen new walls going up that are much higher than their neighbors. Some have higher caps and an additional wall placed on the Cap.
Our Staff presented a Sea Wall Awareness and Compliance Program last month to our Commission. We had a robust conversation about the impact of this new program and what it means to different areas. We want to ensure at least that it is on every waterfront property’s radar.
The main focus will be education and inspections. I have seen three wall failures in Hallandale Beach. One was at a private home in Golden Isles. This was mainly due to age and tidal changes. The walls there were built in the 60’s. Another was along the Intracoastal near Walmart after a major storm. This wall was not that old. The other was at a Condo on A1A. This was due to age and a major sinkhole. The tidal and wave effects had eroded the ground under the parking lot and a portion of the lot engulfed a couple of cars and pulled down the Sea Wall.
Sea Walls are a very expensive investment. So, we want to make sure owners are taking the time to inspect, maintain and yes replace needed walls. Our Staff was tasked with doing further research as to what programs are available to help owners. We also are researching what we can do collectively to address the western parts of our community that do not have walls and are facing erosion around the lake and canals. Please be aware that a letter and information will be sent to all impacted owners this year.
As always, I am available for your questions, concerns and ideas to help make our City a better place. Please feel free to reach out to me at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. Or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.