Should Florida climb All Aboard?: Front Burner
Posted on July 6, 2015
Construction has begun in South Florida for the Miami to Orlando passenger-rail system dubbed All Aboard Florida. But some communities along the train’s route still hope to derail the project.
Service between new stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is now projected to begin in 2017, and extend to a new station at Orlando International Airport later the same year. The trains would run on the Florida East Coast Railway line that parallels U.S. 1 from Miami to Cocoa, then head west on tracks built along the Beachline Expressway to the Orlando airport station.
All Aboard Florida is planning to operate 32 trains a day — 16 each way — between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. With train speeds exceeding 100 mph, travel time for the 235 miles between Miami and and Orlando would come in at about three hours.
But many residents along the route between West Palm Beach and Orlando, where no stops are currently planned, contend the train will bring pain to their communities — including noise, safety hazards, and delays for motorists and boaters — without any gain.
Opponents, including one of today’s Front Burner columnists, have pounced on claims from All Aboard Florida and its supporters that the system is private, because the train’s developer has obtained federal approval to sell tax-exempt bonds to help finance construction and rail improvements for the project.
But supporters, including today’s other columnist, have touted the train’s potential to spur economic development and reduce traffic congestion.
Read More About It
- Details on the system from the train’s developer, Florida East Coast Industries, are available at allaboardflorida.com.
- A coalition of opponents to the system calling themselves Citizens Against Rail Expansion are online at saveourfl.com.