New commuter rail link ready to roll in central Florida

I was interviewed by Barbara Liston of Reuters for: New commuter rail link ready to roll in central Florida

… All Aboard Florida says 50 million people a year travel between Orlando, the most visited U.S. city, and Miami, Florida’s largest urban area, creating a feasible market for what would be the first privately funded, owned and operated inter-city passenger rail service in the country in a half a century.

If the project succeeds, “then you’ve expanded the effective commuter shed that someone could live in Miami and work in Orlando or vice versa,” said David Levinson, urban systems researcher and civil engineering professor at the University of Minnesota.

“It happens in Europe all the time and it happens in the Northeast Corridor all the time.”

SunRail is the tenth new commuter rail system completed in the United States since 2000, and follows the 2011 opening of the 21-mile “A Train” in Denton, Texas, according to the APTA.

Other new systems since the turn of the century were built in Austin, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Albuquerque, Seattle, Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon.

Despite President Barack Obama’s attempt to jump-start high-speed rail construction across the country with $8 billion in his 2009 economic stimulus package, no European or Japanese-style train has been constructed, Levinson said. …

2 thoughts on “New commuter rail link ready to roll in central Florida”

  1. It’s always better to research cost before making sweeping statements. Levinson comments above, “that someone could live in Miami and work in Orlando or vice versa.” Well, maybe if that someone was able to pony up the $100 one way ticket price, because that is what All Aboard Florida is quoting.
    AAF is not really about providing passenger service. It’s about Florida East Coast Industries getting government funding for its privately owned subsidiary (AAF) to upgrade the tracks so that they can move huge quantities of freight through heavily developed urban areas. The freight will start arriving in Florida when the expansion of the Panama Canal is complete.
    Please Mr. Levinson, do your research on this issue.

  2. 50 million a year travel between Orlando and Miami. How many people will this train pass by in the communities between West Palm Beach and Orlando daily? How many more hours of idling automobile engines will all these communities along the coast experience due to the multitude of railroad crossings daily? Why is this endeavor being allowed? How about we work on creating more real jobs in Florida so no one has to commute between Orlando and Miami for work.

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