Orlando To Miami Train Plans Move Forward
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of public transportation #WorthDoing. The All Aboard Florida train that would link Miami with Orlando International Airport won the approval of a state board Wednesday night, allowing the 235-mile system to borrow nearly $1.75 billion at a low interest and tax-exempt rate. Pretty soon you’ll be able to click clack your way down the track to MIAMI.
The meeting went on for 8 hours with back and forth regarding the pro’s and cons of the south bound train. All Aboard Florida backers included virtually all of Central Florida local, state and congressional leaders. The state board approved All Aboard Florida’s request for tax-exempt status because it ruled the train would serve the public and provide an economic boost to the region. The bonds are not backed by the state, meaning All Aboard Florida is responsible for repaying them.
“I support 100 percent All Aboard Florida. I am a railroad lover,” said U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville.
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, said the train “brings jobs to Florida. It reduces traffic, which affects us all.”
Will Florida Be All Aboard With New Train Plans?
All Aboard Florida expects to make money by charging close to $100 for a one way trip and developing around its three South Florida stations, including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Plans call for apartments, office space, retail shops and restaurants. It costs about $160 on average to fly round-trip from Orlando to Miami and with the train located right next to the Orlando airport, we can’t help but wonder what will make riding the rails that much more appealing. The Orlando to Miami train ride will take about 3 hours and is a less stressful option than trying to drive down the Florida Turnpike if you prefer the scenic route.
The train was supposed to be up and running last year, but it has been delayed by various issues, including negotiating a lease for land along the BeachLine Expressway. That agreement is close, but still not signed.