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Agreed.  I hate that people make things for PEOPLE about politics.  There is no partisan divide on things that help all of us.  I don't care if you're rich and never ride a SunRail train.  The pe

Just heard Downtown Kissimmee to Downtown Orlando will be shorter than a 30 minute trip.    That’s fantastic!

https://www.transit.dot.gov/ntd/ntd-data The FTA released their monthly update of transit ridership for August, the first month the southern expansion was open. Sunrail ridership increased 70% fr

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Oh, it's already f'ed up anyway. Whoever decided that the first phase of the high-speed rail should be Tampa-Orlando and not Miami-Orlando should be shot because that's a good way of ensuring that we'll never see the system expanded beyond the first line.

It's a shame and missed opportunity, really. It's almost like the State of Florida doesn't know what it has -- two internationally recognized cities within 3.5 hours of each other. To market that combination would set it apart. Instead we get Tampa/Orlando. Oh well, at least SunRail and TriRail are saved.

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Without SunRail there would be no HSR. I think cost was a factor in choosing Tampa-Orlando rather than Miami-Orlando, but I think the Miami-Orlando line is likely a better project. However, Tampa-Orlando is further along in the NEPA process. Tampa just adopted a pretty extensive transit master plan and LYNX is about to undergo the development of its own long range master plan. All the pieces are coming together, finally!

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^ Yeah, the connections make very little sense to me. So we're going to have a commuter rail station at Sand Lake Road between John Young Parkway and OBT and high-speed rail would have definite station at the airport and a possible station near the convention center. Say someone hops on the bullet train in Tampa and wants to go to Downtown Orlando. They'd get off at one of the two stations in Orlando, transfer to a bus to take them down the street to the commuter rail station, then hop on that train. Figure 55-minutes for the bullet train ride, 15 for the bus, and 20 minutes for the commuter rail, and it's already an hour and a half without factoring in the time it takes to make connections and who knows how coordinated all the different schedules will be.

We need a true inter-modal station that connects HSR, Sun Rail, Lynx, and whatever future circulators we'll have.

Edited by bic
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Were things done my way, HSR would connect Downtown Orlando with Downtown Tampa. In fact, the entire intercity mass transit system would stem off downtown Orlando like the spoke of a wheel. The North/South commuter train is a nice start because it addresses the need to plan future development around the central axis rather than out in sprawling development.

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Were things done my way, HSR would connect Downtown Orlando with Downtown Tampa. In fact, the entire intercity mass transit system would stem off downtown Orlando like the spoke of a wheel. The North/South commuter train is a nice start because it addresses the need to plan future development around the central axis rather than out in sprawling development.

The North/South line makes sense.

I agree the only route that is viable and sustainable for HSR between Downtown Tampa and Downtown Orlando (with a few key stops at major attractions). I am certain ridership on this route will be the highest of all other proposed alternatives. Make the new Arena (Parramore) a Inter-modal hub where all transportation options converge. If Iam not mistaken, the city owns most of the land surrounding the new Arena which they assembled for the massive public safety complex. Since that is dead, why not use this land for our mass transit hub that connects to Tampa? That location is easy access to the CBD, CSS, FAMU/UCF/Valencia brances. That whole piece of land west of I-4, between Church St and Anderson St, is ideally situated for this Mega Hub and is already owned by the City of Orlando. Sounds like a Win-Win scenario for the taxpayer.

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The North/South line makes sense.

I agree the only route that is viable and sustainable for HSR between Downtown Tampa and Downtown Orlando (with a few key stops at major attractions). I am certain ridership on this route will be the highest of all other proposed alternatives. Make the new Arena (Parramore) a Inter-modal hub where all transportation options converge. If Iam not mistaken, the city owns most of the land surrounding the new Arena which they assembled for the massive public safety complex. Since that is dead, why not use this land for our mass transit hub that connects to Tampa? That location is easy access to the CBD, CSS, FAMU/UCF/Valencia brances. That whole piece of land west of I-4, between Church St and Anderson St, is ideally situated for this Mega Hub and is already owned by the City of Orlando. Sounds like a Win-Win scenario for the taxpayer.

Wouldn't it make more sense to put this at the Lynx station?

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From what I read about HSR.....there won't be any High-Speed Rail traffic in Downtown Orlando. Although that is quite unfortunate because it seems like guests at OIA will be escorted to Disney and Tampa and I thought downtown Orlando to downtown Tampa made the most since....but seems like none of us are making the decisions.

If anybody has any news or opinion on that please fill free to let me know.

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I really don't mind the HSR line running from OIA to downtown Tampa via a corridor along the Beach Line. However, the HSR design that I have seen so far does not anticipate ANY connection to SunRail. There is a stop planned for the Beach Line/I-Drive interchange but Sunrail will be over at Orange Avenue. Both lines are currently planned to cross each other at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Taft-Vineland road IN TAFT. Again, I don't mind if our main connection is on the south part of town, but it at least needs to be at Orange Avenue and Sand Lake, instead of several miles south. Hopefully, it's not too late to redesign HSR to enter the OIA property from the north instead of the south/west. The current HSR design is more direct from the tourist area but it really neglects any integration with SunRail. I still think I must be reading this stuff wrong. This just seems too obvious and it goes against the entire spirit of why we might get stimulus money for HSR in the first place.

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Keep in mind that "HSR" in this case does not mean a bullet train or TGV, just an efficient modernized rail line that most other countries consider the norm. So this does not preclude any changes from happening in the future, or for trains to not be able to utilize the High Speed Corridor and then switch to local tracks.

Does it make much more sense to plan integration now? Of course it does. But Florida is already having a tough time swallowing a simple HSR line, dont give them so much that they balk again. Trains work - like most other cities you will find that once they start running demand alone will start pushing more forward thinking. Let the HSR line and SunRail get going first. Once they prove themselves, THEN people will start wondering why they don't connect, and start to do something about it. There is no better way of getting people to look forward than a little 20/20 hindsight.

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Keep in mind that "HSR" in this case does not mean a bullet train or TGV, just an efficient modernized rail line that most other countries consider the norm. So this does not preclude any changes from happening in the future, or for trains to not be able to utilize the High Speed Corridor and then switch to local tracks.

Does it make much more sense to plan integration now? Of course it does. But Florida is already having a tough time swallowing a simple HSR line, dont give them so much that they balk again. Trains work - like most other cities you will find that once they start running demand alone will start pushing more forward thinking. Let the HSR line and SunRail get going first. Once they prove themselves, THEN people will start wondering why they don't connect, and start to do something about it. There is no better way of getting people to look forward than a little 20/20 hindsight.

They just need to add an additional stop at Sand Lake/Orange. The stops that make the most sense are:

OIA

Sand Lake/Orange Ave

Orange County Convention Center

Disney

Lakeland

Downtown Tampa

Tampa International Airport

They could probably also add in a stop at the Florida State Fairgrounds since it is right there. This would be great for concerts at the Ford Amphitheatre.

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  • 2 weeks later...

wait... so HSR AND sunrail are getting done? That's great news!

I have a feeling someone will find an economical way to get from the airport to downtown. Currently, i have to take a cab every time I need to travel, and it takes me almost 30 minutes from downtown to get to the airport. It's terrible having to travel down semoran every time I need to catch a flight. I can see this system actually being successful if it can find it's way to get from the airport to downtown, the convention center and the theme parks.

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No, the HSR awards have not been disclosed yet...but my fingers are crossed.

Current guess is an announcement in late January to early February. Insiders say there are four states in the top tier for the 8 bn ARRA money. Florida, California, Illinois and TX. Florida is asking 2.6 bn, CA asking 4.7, TX 1.8 and IL 0.55. It looks like the 8 bn ARRA money should cover 2 or 3 of these requests. Also, California's 4.7 bn request is for at least 3 separate routes and so it could be reduced and still be a win for CA. On top of the 8 bn ARRA funding, congress just approved another 2.5 bn in the omnibus bill. Some anticipate the Orlando - Miami route to follow 2 years behind Orlando - Tampa.

To me it looks like a 95% done deal. We'll se in another 6-8 weeks.

Edited by cwetteland
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  • 3 weeks later...

wait... so HSR AND sunrail are getting done? That's great news!

I have a feeling someone will find an economical way to get from the airport to downtown. Currently, i have to take a cab every time I need to travel, and it takes me almost 30 minutes from downtown to get to the airport. It's terrible having to travel down semoran every time I need to catch a flight. I can see this system actually being successful if it can find it's way to get from the airport to downtown, the convention center and the theme parks.

Another alternative is to take Link 11 to the airport. It leaves every half hour (:00 & :30) from Lynx Central Station and is a direct route down Orange Avenue to Sand Lake to Beechline to OIA. It takes at most 30 minutes. There are several stops along Orange Avenue in the downtown if you don't want to catch the bus from LCS. Fares are only $2.

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Any ideas on how to come up with the other half of the funding? We barely have enough to cover the $615 million cost of Sunrail. I don't know how they can expect Tampa and Orlando to come up with another $1.35 billion for high speed rail. I doubt the State is going to pitch in. They don't have any money left in the budget. Plus, this will only benefit Tampa and Orlando so I doubt other counties in Florida will want to pay anything for this.

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Any ideas on how to come up with the other half of the funding? We barely have enough to cover the $615 million cost of Sunrail. I don't know how they can expect Tampa and Orlando to come up with another $1.35 billion for high speed rail. I doubt the State is going to pitch in. They don't have any money left in the budget. Plus, this will only benefit Tampa and Orlando so I doubt other counties in Florida will want to pay anything for this.

i think this is kind of a down payment. obama is going to slip another $5 billion to congress in the next fiscal year to continue to fund these projects. i really hope down the road the money doesnt fizzle away and they spend all the down payment money on engineering and design. this would leave us with nothing. however, im afraid that if they decide to work on this in phases and claim that they will work on the rest when they get the extra funding.... we all know how that always turns out. i dont want to be a pessimist here, but im scared that the only thing we might end up with is a tourist train from the airport to I drive and disney.

Edited by shardoon
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  • sunshine changed the title to SunRail

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