There are some who continue to misunderstand the facts regarding the All Aboard Florida passenger train service, which has been gaining steam and will begin transporting passengers through Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando by 2016.
The most incredible charge is one of long traffic delays and/or delays of emergency services. As you can see from the attached video, delays average 60 seconds – one whole minute! It’s time to discount this charge of excessive delays.
Additionally, some have charged that All Aboard Florida, the high speed rail service, will be funded with taxpayers grants or giveaways. This is also false.
This exciting project will be funded with private equity and federal railroad construction loans that must and will be repaid in full.
This confusion can easily by discounted by the facts of this $2.5 billion project.
1. Railroad crossings between Miami and Orlando will be substantially improved to make them safer, quieter and quicker. This will be a tangible benefit that is felt all along the train corridor.
2. The cost of upgrading the tracks and railroad crossings and adding new train cars will all be paid for by All Aboard Florida. An investment of over $2.5 billion.
3. The project will create thousands of construction jobs, operating jobs, support jobs and other permanent jobs for the central and south Florida workforce. The rail project is expected to create an average of 10,000 new jobs per year during the construction phase and support an additional 5,000 permanent employees annually to run the daily operations of the trains, train stations and amenities.
4. It will create $6.4 billion in economic activity for the state of Florida, through 2021.
5. It will provide hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue to local, state and federal budgets. These new taxes will offset the growing costs for existing public services and also fund new transportation and infrastructure projects throughout Florida. The revenues produced by the railroad project will benefit all Floridians.
6. All Aboard Florida will improve the reliability and efficiency of the railroad operations through their substantial investments in new signals, communications, train cars and bridges among other upgrades to the currently operating freight trains, and tracks.
7. Quiet zones will be added along the train route to eliminate the need for trains to use their horns as a safety warning.
8. More than $2.3 billion will be spent on labor income for Florida workers who live along the train route, through 2021.
9. Due to the speed and size of the trains, anyone along the corridor has a 97% chance of never encountering a train. And in the case of the 3% probability that someone gets slowed down by a train, the duration of the encounter is less than sixty seconds, in the worst case scenario, which accounts for warning time, gate closure, train passage and subsequent gate re-opening. The math contradicts the hysteria around traffic congestion and public safety impacts.
10. An economic impact study was recently conducted by The Washington Economics Group, which concluded – the All Aboard Florida passenger railway project would have a total economic impact on the state of Florida of over $6.4 billion during the next 8 years, comprised of $3.4 billion in rail line construction, $887 million from passenger ticket sales, $1.8 billion from train station construction and $284 million from train station retail operations.
The results of this analysis concluded that no significant impact to traffic, service or public safety would result due to the addition of passenger trains on the railroad. The all new passenger trains that All Aboard Florida are building will be short, light, fast, and significantly quieter than the currently operating freight trains.
Beyond some of the afore mentioned benefits to the states budget, Florida workers and Florida businesses; the All Aboard Florida passenger train stations will add additional jobs, salaries, amenities and services to communities surrounding each train station. The assertion by some detractors that some communities along the route won’t see many benefits is mostly propaganda by a group of political profiteers. The facts do not support their shaky argument.
The All Aboard Florida passenger train service that will soon connect the 235 miles between Orlando, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami is full steam ahead. The train is leaving the station in 2016 to transport Florida travelers across the state in a fast, environmentally-friendly, economical, convenient and comfortable mode of high speed train transportation.
Florida is all on-board with All Abroad Florida.