Florida will start the country’s first private high-speed train service.
The country’s first private high-speed rail service opened this month in Florida, promising to change the crowded south Florida highway, leaving as many as 3 million vehicles off the road.
The ambitious $3 billion Brightline express will run along the state’s most densely populated corridor, with more than 6 million residents and frequent visitors. Florida Atlantic university, director of the center for urban and environmental solutions, says John Ryan (John Renne), the project sponsored by the plenary meeting in Florida represents the long-awaited first test of the high-speed railway.
“For the first time, it was built by a private company,” he told Here&Now’s Jeremy hobson. “This is a game-changer for this type of model.”
The model involves developing retail, restaurants and apartments around the station. Everyone in Florida received state approval in October to sell bonds to fund the project. The company has said it will not use public funds.
As the service begins this month, the Brightline trains will run from west palm beach to fort lauderdale. The service will be extended to downtown Miami early next year and possibly in Orlando in the future. The journey from west palm to Miami will take up to five hours, and each journey takes about 60 minutes on the train, Mr. Rehn said.
In addition to cutting travel time, Mr. Rehn said the development of private mixed-use real estate at each station would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. He explained that when the government transferred traffic management to the public sector in the 1920s, potential revenue was lost.
“When that happened, we lost the connection between development and rail services around the station, and we started building lots of parking lots around the station,” he said. More and more people stop using public transportation because “once they are in the car, they may just drive all the way”.
Rehn said the Brightline train will have its own dedicated track, built in the 19th century, and will still carry freight cars. With the arrival of the federal highway project, the return of passenger trains will resume the lines that stopped working in those old tracks in the 1960s.
“The federal highway system has expanded… Everyone got off the train and got into the car, “all of Florida’s John guitars told Here&Now in 2014. “We have done a complete circle, the traffic and congestion, and the price of petrol is very bad now, people are looking for alternatives, to get rid of their cars, and find other ways to solve the country. ”
The project has also sparked outrage. Two counties along the rich treasure coast have sued to stop the Brightline project, saying it could cause major safety problems and could delay passenger cars. Most of these lawsuits have been thrown or abandoned.
The state’s $18 billion rowing industry is also under scrutiny. A suspension bridge system allows fishing boats and luxury yachts to pass through a serious tourist waterway in south Florida. But when the train is in the area, the bridge must remain. In 2014, Jim Naugle of the south Florida Marine industry association told Here&Now Peter O ‘dowd that train traffic would cause water traffic jams.
“The ocean industry here has a bigger impact on the economy than everyone in Florida and the economic impact on Orlando’s service,” Naugle said. “They need to find a way to protect this business.”
There are also concerns that development along the railway will increase the cost of living in areas that already lack affordable housing, Renne said. This could prevent other countries from seeking to start private financing of the train system.
“Housing is very expensive, so when you build new homes in these specific places, they are very demanding for people who want to live nearby,” he said.
All Florida crew members have yet to confirm the price of the Brightline ticket. A 2015 study commissioned by the company suggest that this will cost at least $16 from west palm to Miami – roughly $10 more than travel south Florida government-run passenger train similar route.
While everyone in Florida calls Brightline a “high-speed rail”, Renne says the actual speed is pale compared with overseas trains. He says the Brightline trains can reach speeds of up to 120 MPH and can run as fast as 80 MPH.
Florida has long been controversial. In 2011, Rick Scott rejected a $2 billion federal loan to build a fast train because of financial liability.
Mr. Rehn said everyone in Florida believes that if you can’t make enough money on ticket sales, the real estate next to the station will fill the void.
“Research shows that transport services themselves are rarely profitable,” he said. But when you combine real estate and development opportunities with transportation services, you can actually get a very favorable result. “