Floridians and many others who travel through our great state want convenient, fast, dependable transportation. With All Aboard Florida, Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) is answering that demand by developing a privately owned, operated and maintained intercity passenger rail service that will be a solution for millions of business travelers, families, and tourists.
This site is a portal to share information with all those interested as this opportunity moves forward to make passenger rail travel between South Florida and Orlando, and potentially Tampa and Jacksonville, a reality. So, let’s take a look at the benefits.
The All Aboard Florida rail system will be operational in 2014. It will create approximately a thousand permanent, high-wage jobs, generate new revenue for local communities and the State, protect the environment and provide a fast, efficient transportation solution between Florida’s two largest markets (South Florida and Central Florida).
More than 50 million people travel annually between South Florida and Orlando for both business and pleasure. Add in those who travel within South Florida – among Florida’s largest cities – and the numbers grow exponentially.
Traffic volume brings with it the ills of traffic accidents, congestion, pollution, lost time and expense in gas and road maintenance. While typically Floridians are “married to their cars,” ever increasing gas prices combined with the traffic woes of this huge market are creating a demand for a new travel option.
Privately Owned, Operated and Maintained
FECI believes a privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail option is the right way to go and is taking a prudent, thoughtful approach commissioning engineering, environmental and ridership studies as the first steps in its plan. It will be significantly different from previous plans in several ways:
- The majority of the approximately $1 billion construction cost would be privately funded
- 200 miles of rail infrastructure and Right of Way (ROW) for the 240-mile route are already privately owned and in place to complete the project in 2014
- The State and taxpayers shoulder zero operating risk – this privately owned rail system will be 100% privately operated and maintained
The Benefit to Florida’s Travelers and Ecosystem
This service catering to Florida’s business travelers, families and tourists alike is cost-efficient, can be completed quickly and will be operated and maintained without government funding. Moreover, this new, fast and convenient travel option can be delivered without impacts to our beautiful state.
Frequent, regularly scheduled trains traveling daily from South Florida to Orlando in approximately three hours and offering amenities like Wi-Fi will make the time productive for passengers. Easy connections should bring increased ridership to other local transit systems.
The rail system will remove up to three million cars from our roadways annually, mitigating traffic congestion and lowering carbon emissions. And since 200 of the 240 miles of the project already exist, impacts to the environmental will be limited.
A Return on Investment for Taxpayers and Communities
In addition to better connecting Florida’s two largest metropolitan markets, the economic opportunities are terrific for Floridians. From creating jobs to stimulating local economies and reducing tax burdens, the benefits of a new Florida passenger rail system extend well beyond the rail’s destination points. For example:
- Project construction will create more than 6,000 new jobs for Floridians
- Rail operations represent another 1,000 permanent job opportunities, not counting additional jobs from property development around the rail system that could create even more employment opportunities
- With fewer cars on the road, the State and taxpayers can also save significantly on reduced highway maintenance costs
- Increased tax revenues from rising property values near stations can be applied towards local needs (e.g. schools, parks, public works, police and fire protection), not to mention the economic benefits for businesses and workers in proximity of train operations
Over the next several months we will be meeting with residents, business and community leaders, and public agencies throughout the state. You can count on us to share new information on this site.
We look forward to keeping everyone informed and working together to educate the residents of our great state to discover All Aboard Florida.
The All Aboard Florida Team