Florida is looking to build a high speed train line connecting Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.
The project is in the early stages of development, but the estimated cost is $11 billion. The state is hoping to receive $2.53 billion in stimulus cash for the trains.
This isn’t the first time Florida tried to build high speed trains. About 10 years ago, the state considered it, but then Governor Jeb Bush shot the plan down. The current Governor Charlie Crist is supportive of the plan.
Tampa to Orlando would be built first from 2011 to 2014, then Orlando to Miami between 2014 and 2017. Here’s more details from the Miami Herald:
The report says the Tampa-Orlando segment would cost about $3.5 billion — including ”infrastructure, rolling stock and right-of-way.” The Orlando-Miami segment would cost more than $8 billion, according to the document.
If Florida receives the money, the state would look to leverage it into a partnership with a company or group that would assume the cost of operation and maintenance.
For the Tampa-Orlando segment, Florida proposes to build tracks along the median of Interstate 4, with five stations from downtown Tampa to Orlando International Airport.
According to a map on a state transportation agency website, www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/economicstimulus/, the Miami segment would go from Orlando east to Florida’s Atlantic Coast, turn south between Titusville and Merritt Island, and run alongside Interstate 95 to Miami. The line would end at the Miami Intermodal centre — a massive transit and car-rental hub under construction just east of Miami International Airport.
The plan is not binding and is subject to change. Applications are due beginning in late August, and the federal government expects to begin awarding funds between early fall and December.
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