sunshine

SunRail [Phase 1 Completed]

2210 posts in this topic

By Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted June 3, 2005

Motorists stuck daily in I-4 traffic might find out this summer if plans for a commuter train running from southern Volusia County to northern Osceola will become a reality.

Commuter rail and other proposals to create mass-transit alternatives to Interstate 4 through greater Orlando have been around for decades, and their prospects have risen, fallen and sometimes crashed over the years.

This plan, which would run along existing railroad tracks and have a dozen stations, is championed by U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, and could start service by 2009. That timetable needs a critical set of decisions this summer.

"Commuter rail, that's a topic that must be determined, and will be determined, by August of this year," said Seminole County Commissioner Randy Morris, who chairs MetroPlan Orlando's board of directors.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/custom...-home-headlines

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Commuter rail is the most promising transportation plan in Central Florida, and the station placement looks good. If Osceola and Seminole are on line with this, Orange County better not mess this one up too.

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IMO this project is exactly what we need, but I've decided I'm not getting my hopes up anymore for rail projects.

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The timing is right now! Imagine in four years time many of the current projects will be finished. It be great to take a train to Sandford.. Then you can bring the Zoo into Orlando's scope.

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This is great news... It's sad to think that the county that would benefit from this most would be the most likely to "derail" it.

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And the state is willing to pick up most of the costs for this, including service costs up thru 2013...are we a blue state all of a sudden? :P

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I'd be willing to concede that Florida is a Purple State if this thing gets done.

Seriously, this sounds like a far more practical and better conceived plan than the grandiose past plans for lightrail.

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This would be great, but I'm not holding my breath...

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This would be great, but I'm not holding my breath...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh, I'm not asking anyone to harm themselves. ;)

I'm just suggesting that this is more practical.

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Dale and I agree on something. :D  :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

*earth stops rotating momentarily* ;)

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It was so exciting reading this in the Sentinel this morning. Some good transportation news for once! Although, being of the "glass half-empty" persuasion that I am, I can see one of the county's balking at something.

Question to the more established residents - was the state as generous with the light rail plans a few years back?

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^ Not that I know of...the effort a few years back killed by Orange County was mostly funded by the Federal gov't, but the state would have had to kick in a large share as well. But that project involved a bullet-train system in the middle of I-4...

I hope this happens. It would be the first successful Regional effort to releive traffic congestion. I like how the article points out the large costs of building more highways vs. the rather minimal cost of this commuter rail system. Not to mention it's on existing tracks.

My only concer in Mayor "Sprawsville" Crotty killing Orange County's share, because there is no line going to the attractions area and his coveted "Downtown Orange County"/I-Drive area. I don't think I saw any mention of expansion lines to the attractions from downtown in the article???

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^ Light rail had no bullet train ...

The Fed was paying 1/2

The State had aggreed to 1/4

The City of Orlando had aggreed to 1/8

And the county didn't want to pay the other 1/8

Winter Park and Maitland rejected it out of stupidity and so it would have force the northern leg to I-4 so the north was put on hold. So the final vote only involve I-Drive to Downtown and the County decided there wasn't enough ridership between those points. They couldn't see past that one leg .. that that was first segment of a larger system. They also couldn't imagine all the residences that we have moving into downtown today. (short-sighted)

From their viewpoint at that time ... nobody lived downtown so nobody to ride to I-Drive ... and nobody who worked downtown lived on I-Drive .. so they were probably right for that moment in time.

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^ Light rail had no bullet train ...

The Fed was paying 1/2

The State had aggreed to 1/4

The City of Orlando had aggreed to 1/8

And the county didn't want to pay the other 1/8

Winter Park and Maitland rejected it out of stupidity and so it would have force the northern leg to I-4 so the north was put on hold.  So the final vote only involve I-Drive to Downtown and the County decided there wasn't enough ridership between those points.  They couldn't see past that one leg .. that that was first segment of a larger system.  They also couldn't imagine all the residences that we have moving into downtown today.  (short-sighted) 

From their viewpoint at that time ... nobody lived downtown so nobody to ride to I-Drive ... and nobody who worked downtown lived on I-Drive .. so they were probably right for that moment in time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Or perhaps Rosen didn't want people to be able to stay at fancy hotels downtown and ride to the convention center.

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^ Not that I know of...the effort a few years back killed by Orange County was mostly funded by the Federal gov't, but the state would have had to kick in a large share as well. But that project involved a bullet-train system in the middle of I-4...

I hope this happens. It would be the first successful Regional effort to releive traffic congestion. I like how the article points out the large costs of building more highways vs. the rather minimal cost of this commuter rail system. Not to mention it's on existing tracks.

My only concer in Mayor "Sprawsville" Crotty killing Orange County's share, because there is no line going to the attractions area and his coveted "Downtown Orange County"/I-Drive area. I don't think I saw any mention of expansion lines to the attractions from downtown in the article???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whatever else could be said about Crotty, he was the pointman for 20/20, which would have provided $400 million for rail, and he was very visibly disheartened when if was voted down.

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Because this project benefits Central Florida residents who commute among the multi-county area as opposed to solely transporting tourists from the attractions to downtown, I think this proposal will have more popular support than previous rail proposals. I hope so anyways.

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I have encouraged the members of the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers to attend the upcoming public meetings concerning the commuter rail project. I have also posted the meeting dates, times, and locations on our web site.

Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers

Another good web site with information on this project and other transit projects is:

CFRail

I will be at the Longwood and DeLand meetings

Wayne R./ President, Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers

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I plan on attending the meeting at Boone High School on June 9th I believe. I'll double check. If I see you there, i'll introduce myself! Thanks for the info.

Edited by prahaboheme

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Are there any indications thus far that any of the counties are likely to balk ?

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much useful information on cfrail site.

Is orlando going to try to integrate a combination of light rail and commuter rail, or is going just for commuter rail at this point? just curious.

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Dale there might be a slight indication:

'Orange County, which would bear the biggest share, is another matter. It was Orange County that, in 1999, killed another regional rail proposal, saying "no thank you" to a $450 million offer of state and federal money to help build a light-rail train system.

And last month the state Legislature refused the county's request for the power to raise rental-car taxes to set aside money in part for commuter rail.

County Mayor Rich Crotty said it's still too early to tell what might happen. "I'm hearing some positive things, but I haven't seen the details," he said.'

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Praha, I'll see you at the June 9th meeting at Boone.

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^awesome, i'll more than likely be the only 21 year old, blond haired guy there...

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