Miami Today News reports that a bus system that moved nearly a a quarter of the fair’s attendees has been grounded not for lack of funding but for the loss of manpower amidst Miami’s recession-coping budget cuts as the Mayor’s Office of Film and Cultural Affairs loses it’s funding and staff:
“We were in the process of gearing it up,” Mr. Parente said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to be successful based on [the fairs’] economic ability to participate, but once I lost all my staff it became a virtual impossibility.” The program began four years ago to move fairgoers around the events in Wynwood. But as the December art week grew, the system, based at the Shops at Midtown to take advantage of its 2,500 parking spaces, included one route that ran through Wynwood and another that moved arts enthusiasts between the mainland and Miami Beach.With several buses on each route, Mr. Parente said, fairgoers could hop on a bus about every 15 minutes and, he estimated, 8,000 to 12,000 did. “It really had to have enough of a budget to establish frequency,” he said. “The lack of frequency saves you money, but people are less likely” to use it. The bus costs totaled about $10,000 last year, he added. And while the buses can “absolutely” come back if the city regains the staff, it’s unlikely the myriad art fairs will come together to organize an interconnecting system.
Lack of Manpower, not Funding, Kills Art Basel Miami Beach Buses (Miami Today News)