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in fact, if this thing gets underway and is a success, they should expand it via the tracks at OBT and 50 that go to Apopka and beyond via 441. that's a big commuter corridor also.

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Well, well, well. Anyone read the article in the Sentinel today ? Seems that Seminole county is now running interference for Dr. Evil, aka Rich Crotty. Seminole is demanding, as a condition, that it be allowed to own the tracks on which the commuter train wil run.

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For what it's worth, Florida DOT purchased the tracks that Tri-Rail operates on. CSX handles the dispatch, although Tri-Rail and Broward County have expressed interest in taking over that function entirely along the corridor. Recently CSX apologized for causing several Tri-Rail trains to run really late. Tri-Rail said it was because CSX was pushing freight trains through during rush hour instead of giving the commuter trains priority as was agreed to.

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Well, well, well. Anyone read the article in the Sentinel today ? Seems that Seminole county is now running interference for Dr. Evil, aka Rich Crotty. Seminole is demanding, as a condition, that it be allowed to own the tracks on which the commuter train wil run.

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How is that running interference? Seminole County has been along for the ride (no pun intended) since the rail's proposal and is seeking some stock in the system (God forbid they step on Crotty's toes), whereas Crotty was misinformed and was causing a determent to the process. I don't see your connection.

Edited by prahaboheme

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How is that running interference?  Seminole County has been along for the ride (no pun intended) since  the rail's proposal and is seeking some stock in the system (God forbid they step on Crotty's toes), whereas Crotty was misinformed and was causing a determent to the process.  I don't see your connection.

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What I mean is that Seminole County is now cast in the role of the deal-killer, which ought to take away your fun of blaming Crotty.

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so, how will this affect the deal?

we're so close right now.

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Well, Mica is prettu upbeat about the whole thing and seems to think it's a good idea that the respective counties should own their rails. And Aessotarig has pointed out that the South Florida counties own theit rails.

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Federal legislation to give $15.7M for local transportation projects

Federal legislation passed Friday by the House of Representatives, and which is expected to be approved by the Senate and President George W. Bush, will bring $15.7 million for Central Florida transportation projects over the next five years.

In addition to naming eligible projects in Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties, the highway bill dramatically increases Florida's return on federal gas tax dollars, providing an additional $2.3 Billion in state transportation funds.

"This historic measure provides Florida one of the most significant increases in federal commitment to highway and transportation improvements," says U.S. Rep. John Mica (7th District-R). "For too long the citizens of our state have subsidized new highways and bridges in other parts of the country that do not have the incredible growth we have in Florida."

As a donor state, Florida pays more federal gas tax dollars than it receives, despite growing population and infrastructure needs. In his position as Florida's senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mica led the effort to improve Florida's rate of return.

The highway bill ensures Florida will receive nearly $11 billion for highway and mass transit projects over the balance of this decade. As for the local projects, federal funds will be available for up to five years and will be distributed through the Florida Department of Transportation.

Among those local projects receiving money are $8 million for Central Florida commuter rail stations, $800,000 for the Eastern Connector, $1.6 million for an Interstate 4 frontage road in Volusia County, $320,000 for improvements to U.S. Highway 1, $800,000 for the East Central Florida Regional Rail Trail, $400,000 for the Lake Mary downtown bypass connector and $1.2 million for improvements to U.S. Highway 17-92 in Maitland.

Source - Orlando Business Journal

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To answer my own question:

"Eastern Connector: $1 million

This proposed throughway in East Central Florida would connect the GreeneWay in Seminole County to I-95 somewhere between Port Orange and Edgewater in Volusia County, providing an east-west alternative to I-4 & U.S. 17-92.

The funds would permit FDOT to perform a review of the merits and feasibility of an Eastern Connector. Florida

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Its funny that they would plan that E/W connector when they are improving the SR 44 interchange and are widening SR 44 all the way to I-4.

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Orange weighs train deal as funding deadline looms

Orange County commissioners might seek more public input before considering a deal for a Central Florida commuter train, but state officials say a delay now could put at risk hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal money -- and the train itself...

Orange Commissioners Want Public Hearing

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I'm actually more concerned about the stance that Osceola has taken - requiring ownership of the rails. It could well be the case that an Osceola-CSX impasse is the sticking point, not Crotty.

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^^ you mean Seminole, not Osceola, I think. And while I agree that is concerning, logistically that is something that could be hammered out between the parties involved via negotiations and what not in expedient fashion. Whereas Orange bring this to the public, the scale is so much larger that the process will inevitably be so drawn out. And it also concerns me that the public by and large is gernerally uneducated about the benefits of this type of transit. And we all know how the Orange County community is prone to turning their heads as soon as they see dollar signs. If that is going to be the case, we will never get anywhere.

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^^ you mean Seminole, not Osceola, I think.  And while I agree that is concerning, logistically that is something that could be hammered out between the parties involved via negotiations and what not in expedient fashion.  Whereas Orange bring this to the public, the scale is so much larger that the process will inevitably be so drawn out.  And it also concerns me that the public by and large is gernerally uneducated about the benefits of this type of transit.  And we all know how the Orange County community is prone to turning their heads as soon as they see dollar signs.  If that is going to be the case, we will never get anywhere.

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I tend to agree that rail ownership makes more sense.

And as to Orange County, never mind Crotty. If rail of any kind were put to a vote, I daresay it would go down in flames (right after another one of those Mike Thomas columns lampooning Doug gueztlow as a 'has-been').

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Crotty has agreed to a public hearing before the vote. It will be first on the agenda at the August 9th meeting. Go and express your thoughts if you get a chance! I'm going to try to make it.

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I forgot about today's meeting, but just saw a recap of it on WKMG Channel 6 news. They didn't say one positive thing about commuter rail and mainly just showed the opposition speaking out against it. One line went something like "it's hundred year old technology with a new millenium price tag." Another person said "4,500 passengers in 20 years. That's not going to get cars off I-4-- we'd be lucky if it got 100 cars off I-4."

Sigh...

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