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KendallKid

Florida Rail Transit | Intercity Rail | Florida High Speed Rail

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I've modified this thread to discuss the state of Intercity Rail in Florida. --monsoon

Is the Florida High Speed Rail System dead?

Edited by metro.m

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As they say in Princess Bride, "he's only mostly dead". I applaud the Florida High Speed Rail authority for keeping at it. Maybe we can vote on it again next time around, but there's a chance at least some phases could be completed without another amendment.

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As they say in Princess Bride, "he's only mostly dead". I applaud the Florida High Speed Rail authority for keeping at it. Maybe we can vote on it again next time around, but there's a chance at least some phases could be completed without another amendment.

And i applaud your memory as to that Princess Bride quote. :lol:

Edited by KendallKid

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^ LOL. I agree that w/the current legislature in control and Jeb behind the wheel, Fla HSR is already derailed and laying on the side of the CSX tracks allowing slow-moving, traffic halting, heart of the city clogging freight trains to pass by. Personally, I never agreed w/the proposed first leg anyway. Honestly, going from the Orlando Int'l Airport to downtown Tampa really wouldn't benefit any locals at all. I understand that getting tourists off of our roads is a concern to locals, but the train really wouldn't benefit the tourists who DRIVE here...I am way off base here?

As for voting on the issue...why vote? Certainly, our voices are heard, but are they actually LISTENED to??? Oops! I forgot...I need a feeding tube to be heard by this State's electorate...but that's another thread.

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Personally, I never agreed w/the proposed first leg anyway. Honestly, going from the Orlando Int'l Airport to downtown Tampa really wouldn't benefit any locals at all.

As for voting on the issue...why vote? Certainly, our voices are heard, but are they actually LISTENED to??? Oops! I forgot...I need a feeding tube to be heard by this State's electorate...but that's another thread.

And yet at the end of the day, the money that funded the revote on the HSR wasn't from Floridians, but all the parks in Orlando (Universal and Sea World)that were tweaked because Disney got its way on the proposed alignment. More importantly, without a light rail system in Orlando to tie into the proposed system, it was going to be hurting in Orlando anyway.

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I agree. I think it's just been delayed for a few years. I think it will be a subject of debate in the 2006 race for governor, and will be brought to the table once again.

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From the Florida Governer's office. High Speed Rail in Florida Jeb gives the reasons it was canceled. Even if he were to be voted out today, the financial risk to the state would remain.

Florida ought to take a page from NC & Virgina and build up rail service using conventional rail then work to convert it to HSR.

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You should know better than to take the Governor's word on the Bullet Train, at face value.

What I find funny is, there's no money for rail, but we can come up with billions for a possible outer loop beltway in Jax, a cross state tollroad near Sebring, and a 7 county beltway outside of Tampa? All of which are uneeded.

That's just pure balony. This state can't and will not be able to pave its way out of traffic congestion and many people know this. Just wait and see, HSR will come back kicking as soon as our govenor's term is up.

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What I find funny is, there's no money for rail, but we can come up with billions for a possible outer loop beltway in Jax, a cross state tollroad near Sebring, and a 7 county beltway outside of Tampa? All of which are uneeded.

What's up with that! Someone's got some explaining to do, if this much money is being spent unnecessarily.

:shok:

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Personally, I think we need to take baby steps towards a transit system. Other than Miami, who has a transit system? This high speed rail system needs some connections.

For example, let's say I'm in Tampa, and I want to go to Orlando. I hop on the train, and get to Orlando. Great - Now what do I do. Do I hop on the imaginary rail line to Church St?

IMO, first we (Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville) need to get a decent transit system in the cities, then we can look at a rail system to the other cities.

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Personally, I think we need to take baby steps towards a transit system. Other than Miami, who has a transit system? This high speed rail system needs some connections.

For example, let's say I'm in Tampa, and I want to go to Orlando. I hop on the train, and get to Orlando. Great - Now what do I do. Do I hop on the imaginary rail line to Church St?

IMO, first we (Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville) need to get a decent transit system in the cities, then we can look at a rail system to the other cities.

Here's my response to this. Just because you plan for the bullet train or a statewide system now, doesn't mean it will be up and running today or tomorrow. All of these cities already have various plans to improve local mass transit in their region. Refusing to go ahead with statewide rail does nothing but raise the cost of acquiring right-of-way to insane levels, that will cost us billions more in the future, for not smartly planning ahead in the present.

Nevertheless, lets say I board a train in Orlando to go to Tampa. I get dropped off in Ybor (one stop before the final at TIA), which is a pretty popular destination by itself. Today I have the option of catching the streetcar, which gives me access to the Channel District and downtown, as well as catching the city bus or trolley to access other parts of town. Now in reality, once HSR is up and running, local bus routes would have to be redone (in the form of express routes, etc.) to complement rail. Also the streetcar's planned expansion & local commuter rail could be running by then (at this rate HSR wouldn't open at least until 2010?) as well.

Lets go vise-versa, I hop on a train in Tampa or Miami to go to Orlando. We already know that Orlando is well on its way to having a 60 mile commuter rail line up and running in another 3 or 4 years. So once I get to Orlando, I could hop on the commuter rail line, which will run from downtown Kissimmee, through downtown Orlando & Winter Park, all the way up to Deland. To access more suburban locations, like in every other city with rail transit, one would catch the bus, which would have express routes to get to their remote destinations.

We also know Jax & JTA are working on improving local mass tranist, as well with commuter rail and BRT and that South Florida already has rail, which is still being rapidly expanded. So in the end, this arguement loses a lot of steam because all of Florida's major cities (especially in phases I & II) already have mass transit plans in place, that would most likely be operational by the time HSR would be built anyway.

So we then claim it costs too much. Well the answer to that problem is to eliminate some pork billion dollar road projects, such as the 7 county beltway around Tampa, a cross-state tollroad, just north of the Everglades and an Outer loop beltway around Jax to name a few. Another idea would be to let private investment build, operate and develop dense housing around it.

I think I've rambled enough, but my point is, we should be working to work out all the bugs and questions with HSR now, instead of attempting to put the entire thing on the self, without seeking a solution. We did the same thing with our highways over the years and now we're in a mess that we won't be able to pave ourselves out of.

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We already know that Orlando is well on its way to having a 60 mile commuter rail line up and running in another 3 or 4 years.

That would be a very agressive schedule if they are planning to use federal money to build this line. I would put this at more like a decade or more and that's if they can demonstrate the ridership numbers to receive federal funding to build the line. Its interesting that every rail proposal starts out that it will be built in 2-4 years.

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That would be a very agressive schedule if they are planning to use federal money to build this line. I would put this at more like a decade or more and that's if they can demonstrate the ridership numbers to receive federal funding to build the line. Its interesting that every rail proposal starts out that it will be built in 2-4 years.

The first leg of the commuter rail should be up and running in 2009, while the second leg will come online in 2011. It's going to be using existing railroad tracks, so the only right of way acquisitions and construction will be for the stations.

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The first leg of the commuter rail should be up and running in 2009, while the second leg will come online in 2011. It's going to be using existing railroad tracks, so the only right of way acquisitions and construction will be for the stations.

Well that really has nothing to do with what I said. If they are going to use federal funding (I don't know if they are or not) then they are going to have to meet all the federal requirements for getting that money. This includes extensive environment, safety and ridership studies. And the feds will only pay a max of 60% so the local governments also have to demonstrate they have the money for the rest and that this line will be solvent.

The federal govenment also has very strict rules for passenger trains running on freight tracks. For example every single grade crossing will have to be dealt with to make it safe for passenger trains. This means closing it and rerouting the road, building bridges or putting in expensive signals and gates. It is a long an time consuming process to design all of this and get it funded.

Its much much more than putting a train on existing rail road tracks. (which most new systems that take more than 10 years to get running do as well)

In 2005, only 4 new systems were approved of the 25 or so that applied.

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I like to think of HSR as more of an airport and less as commuter transit. If I fly into Tampa, do I get a rail service anywhere? Do I even get bus service anywhere? But the airports do just fine. I think the regular services will be more than capable of taking up any slack that is present until the HSR stations are linked with more apporpiate public transportation.

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I had no idea the feds would pay for that much of the rail system.

Actually 60% is the maximum allowed under the New Starts program which presumably Orlando will go after to help pay for the system. Generally if a system is to stand a chance for approval they need to keep the federal amount to 50% or less as there is a lot of competition for this money and the feds tend to favor systems where there is larger local commitment to funding.

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Actually 60% is the maximum allowed under the New Starts program which presumably Orlando will go after to help pay for the system. Generally if a system is to stand a chance for approval they need to keep the federal amount to 50% or less as there is a lot of competition for this money and the feds tend to favor systems where there is larger local commitment to funding.

I dont think the 2009 date is set in stone. Heres why. How much is the area going to invest in commuter rail? Have they finished doing any preliminary ridership analysis? Environmental impact studies? Have they purchased right of way? These "details" delay these things. Why else would the metrorail,an existing sytem with local funding, take until 2014 to be complete where as the Orlando line be estimated at 2009. I think that 2009 date is somewhat ambitious and not likely.

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