Just as I-4 serves as the backbone of our region’s roadway network, a regional rail system will anchor an effective future transit system that includes bus rapid transit and fixed route bus service.
There are three main types of rail systems: high speed rail, commuter rail, and light rail.
High Speed Rail
As the name suggests, high speed rail travels at high speeds over large distances. This type of rail is best-suited for travel between large cities.
In 2009, the federal government unveiled a new national plan for intercity passenger rail coupled with a commitment to provide more than $13 billion in federal funding over five years. On January 28, 2010, Florida was awarded $1.25 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (economic stimulus) funds to start construction of Florida’s first high speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. An additional $800 million was awarded in October 2010. On February 16, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott informed U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood of his decision to reject funding for the high speed rail project, thereby halting the project. The Orlando-Tampa line would have run 84 miles from Orlando International Airport to downtown Tampa.
Commuter rail uses existing railroad tracks to connect outlying regions to a centralized city over long distances and operates during peak travel times (morning and evening rush hours). SunRail, Central Florida’s first commuter line, will run along a 61-mile stretch of existing rail freight tracks through Volusia, Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties. SunRail’s first phase will include 12 stations, linking DeBary to Orlando. Phase two will serve five additional stations, north to DeLand and south to Poinciana. Service is expected to begin in 2013.
Click here to visit the official SunRail website.
Light rail is designed for short commutes and is typically powered by overhead wires. This rail system links a downtown area and offers service every few minutes. Though the most appropriate technology is not finalized until initial studies of a proposed project are complete, it is likely that Central Florida's next rail project, which runs east-west from the Orange County Convention Center to the area generally known as Medical City/Innovation Way, will be a light rail system.
PROPOSAL BY AMERICAN MAGLEV TECHNOLOGY
MetroPlan Orlando is conducting a planning review of a rail proposal by American Maglev Technology (AMT). The proposal will be discussed at the MetroPlan Orlando Board meeting on December 12, 2012. The document below outlines the MetroPlan Orlando staff review and recommendation on the project:
Dec 3, 2012 • 260Kb
The staff report was based, in part, on information from the following resource documents:
- American Maglev Technology / Florida EMMI, Inc. Business Plan
- Maglev Ridership Estimation Report - Dec. 2011
- FDOT Assessment of Maglev Phase 1 - Dec. 2011
- Maglev Proposal Submission to FDOT - Jan. 2012
- Maglev Presentation to Orange County Commission - Jun. 2012
- Letter from American Maglev Technology to MetroPlan Orlando - Nov. 2012
With so many exciting transit-related developments in store for Central Florida, it’s vital to take full advantage of each investment to ensure regional connectivity. Connections must incorporate transportation and land use planning, along with customer service, convenience, and safety. Connections 2013 is an integrated tracking resource developed by MetroPlan Orlando to coordinate transit connections. The resource clarifies roles and responsibilities for the various organizations that share a common interest in the success of a regional transit system.
Oct 25, 2010 • 185Kb