South Florida Business Journal: All Aboard Florida President confirms Orlando stop will not be available at launch

Posted on July 9, 2014

By Emon Reiser

Original Article: South Florida Business Journal

All Aboard Florida President and Chief Development Officer Michael Reininger said the passenger train connecting Miami to Orlando will only operate between its Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations when the service launches in late 2016.

The Orlando station and railway, called “Phase 2”, will be connected in early 2017 to the stations in the south and begin service then, Reininger said.

The second phase is still undergoing an environmental impact study from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which will gauge the needs of the cities and counties through which the All Aboard Florida’s railway passes.

Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL), a new organization made up of citizens from the communities along the All Aboard Florida route, sent a letter addressed to Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday saying its members have “significant concerns” about the project. According to the letter, members plan to submit formal comments to the FRA once the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is made available.

The coalition’s concerns include pedestrian safety, increased noise, decreased property values and disruptions to maritime traffic and quality of life. The letter also called the project’s financing into question.

Approval of the impact study would give All Aboard Florida developers the green light to begin construction of the north railway connection. Construction is expected to begin on the railways between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in the summer.

The news comes after All Aboard Florida unveiled its Fort Lauderdale station June 8. The West Palm Beach station is expected to be unveiled at the end of July.

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