Legislative IQ: All Aboard Florida faces new opposition even after slowing pace of proposed railroad expansion

Posted on July 8, 2014

A new interest group called Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL) has taken issue with All Aboard Florida’s plan to create a rail-line linking Miami to Orlando.

CARE FL, which represents a number of wealth communities and private clubs according to Arnie Rosenberg of The TCPalm, sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott questioning how the proposed rail expansion will affect the quality of life for residents along Florida’s treasure coast, as well as how the expansion will be paid for. CARE FL identifies a number of specific concerns, including “how communities will be able to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians,” and the “environmental impacts” that the expansion will produce. These issues, the release says, “cut to the heart and soul of our basic concern: quality of life.”

The organization also questioned whether All Aboard Florida is “truly not a private-sector venture” but “a hybrid that relies on community funding.” A Florida Department of Transportation news release published July 7, 2014, specified that “the All Aboard Florida proposal is a private sector venture.”

CARE FL has retained Stephen Ryan, an attorney with previous experience fighting railroad expansion, as well as a public relations firm, according to Rosenberg.

The letter came after All Aboard Florida announced that its planned passenger rail service will initially run only between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach as the group works out the logistics of building the rest of the line to Orlando, reports Michael Turnbell of The Sun-Sentinel.