As the USDOT pares down the list of applicants to the final recipients for the $8 billion available for High Speed rail, we hope existing regional, and local connectivity plays a significant role in the final assessment – a decision which certainly wouldn’t bode well for Florida’s proposed Orlando-Tampa connection. The Transport Politic aptly notes the eastern terminus of the proposed Florida HSR is located in the southern exurbs or Orlando – far from the rapidly urbanizing downtown, far from the Lynx BRT, and far from any existing or planned transportation infrastructure. A suburban terminal for the Florida HSR, or any other HSR, would foster more experiences like the one profiled by NPR in this recent expose on one family’s Amtrak journey across North Carolina – stranded in a new city with few affordable mobility alternatives. While HSR could alleviate intraregional travel needs, it would just as easily prove ineffective without comprehensive transit infrastructure, linked to regional and local transit systems in order to make any significant impact on our daily routines.

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2 Responses to Brief Thoughts on HSR

  1. John Hopkins says:

    Good piece, Gabriel, and I’m afraid I agree that Florida should not be at the front of this line. It’s hard for me to know, this far down the road, who is most to blame for the disjunction of our few non-road transportation facilities. Miami and Orlando are hardly alone in abandoning central train terminals. Jacksonville, for instance, has a modern station for Amtrak tucked away on the north edge of the city. It’s not quite suburban, and you can get there by bus, but the sizable parking lot shows that cars are the main way people are expected to go and come from the place.


  2. Michael says:

    I read that the proposal was to use the median in I-4 as a right of way. It’s no wonder then that the stations would be in the middle of no-where. Florida already has a reasonable rail network, why not use it?! Government needs to work with (Jacksonville based) CSX not try to run away from using what is already there.


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