Alex Penelas gets top grades from Riders Alliance in mayoral race

Alex Penelas
Former Miami-Dade County Mayor gets a 95 score in transit-oriented survey

Alex Penelas is getting top marks from the Riders Alliance.

Penelas, the former Mayor of Miami-Dade County, received a 95% rating from the Riders Alliance, an independent grassroots organization focused on transit issues that was formed in 2019.

Penelas is one of seven candidates for the Miami-Dade County Mayoral election, and he was the only one of the six candidates rated by Riders Alliance to receive a score higher than 90 percent.

The score was based on a questionnaire and an interview with each of the participating candidates, 

The only mark against Penelas on the Riders Alliance scorecard noted that he supports expanding some highways. But he was credited with creating the half-penny transportation tax to fund transit and for funding the Green Line extension to Palmetto of the Monorail.

Penelas is against the Kendall Parkway and supports expanding pedestrian infrastructure.

“I am grateful that the Riders Alliance gave me the highest score of all mayoral candidates and highlighted my creation of the half penny funding for transit among the reasons,” said Penelas. “These folks do an amazing job creating awareness about our transit failures and pushing for real  solutions. Addressing our community’s transportation crisis is a large reason why I decided to run.”

Penelas has proposed repaying the $1 billion in transportation funds to attract federal government grants and public-private partnerships that improve mass transit, bus service and traffic flow.

“Being ranked first by transportation advocates within the Riders Alliance inspires me to continue fighting so that the billions of transit dollars that have been misspent by current County Commissioners, some of which are currently running for mayor, are used properly to expand our transportation system and bring relief to our residents the way it was intended to when voters approved it,” said Penelas. “When I am elected mayor, I will work closely with the Riders Alliance to move projects forward and get our transit program back on track.”

Six of the seven candidates in the Miami-Dade mayoral race were graded by the Riders Alliance.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava received an 89 score from the Riders Alliance and was flagged for not supporting an independent transportation authority. 

Trucking firm owner Carlos De Armas scored a 82 and entrepreneur Monique Nicole Barley received a 79 from the Riders Alliance. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez received a 73 score, and Rep. Esteban Bovo was graded out as a 67. 

Both Bovo and Suarez support the Kendall Parkway and expanding some highways.

Real estate agent Ludmilla Domond is the only candidate that did not participate in the survey.

Spencer Fordin

Spencer Fordin grew up in Port Washington, N.Y. and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Before working for, he spent 16 seasons with and nearly three years as a general assignment reporter in the Cayman Islands. You can reach Spencer at [email protected].


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