The TC Palm: Martin County hires CARE FL’s attorney to fight All Aboard Florida

Posted on March 6, 2015

By Lisa Broadt


A Washington lawyer with experience fighting railroad expansion could become Martin County’s latest weapon in its battle against All Aboard Florida.


The County Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to spend up to $80,000 for attorney Steve Ryan’s expertise, which includes litigation and lobbying.


Commissioners two weeks ago voted unanimously to dedicate up to $1.4 million to taking legal action against All Aboard. Martin County’s approval came about two hours after the Indian River County Commission allocated $2.7 million to its own fight against the high-speed passenger rail service.


Ryan already represents the town of Jupiter Island and the opposition group Citizens Against Rail Expansion — better known as CARE FL — in their fights against All Aboard.


Ryan previously helped the Rochester Coalition — a group made up of the Mayo Clinic and local governments — fight a plan to run 34 coal trains a day through the middle of Rochester, Minnesota, where the clinic is based. That project is delayed “indefinitely,” according to Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the company behind the proposed freight line expansion.


CARE FL is coordinating its legal efforts with Martin and Indian River counties, according to Bill Ward, CARE steering committee chairman.


“We’re analyzing some strategies,” Ward said.


All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 passenger trains daily along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor.


The private company’s $2.25 billion project would begin service from Miami to West Palm Beach by the end of next year and through the Treasure Coast to Orlando International Airport in early 2017.


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