The regional transportation board's support clears the way for the Florida Department of Transportation to solicit bids on use of the public right of way.
American Maglev Technology (AMT) has proposed to build, operate and maintain a privately financed transit project in the Orlando area. The project is a fully automatic train system powered by magnetic levitation, which lifts the vehicle from the track and propels it.
The MetroPlan Orlando Board approved the AMT project to proceed if conditions in a MetroPlan Orlando staff report are addressed. This process is expected to take several months. After the issues are resolved, and funding and lease agreements are in place, construction will begin on Phase 1.
- Plans call for three project phases, with a total cost of $800 million. Only Phase 1, estimated to cost $315 million, is being considered at this time.
- No taxpayer money will be used for construction, operation or maintenance. AMT is requesting to lease existing public rights-of-way.
- Phase 1 includes 14.9 miles of track, with stops at Orange County Convention Center, Florida Mall, the Sand Lake Road SunRail station and Orlando International Airport.
- The system is expected to be operating two years after a final lease agreement is in place.
MetroPlan Orlando Actions:
The MetroPlan Orlando Board approved the AMT project on December 12, 2012. MetroPlan Orlando staff had recommended that the board support Phase 1 of the project, with several stipulations, including:
- A complete technical assessment be carried out to validate the safety of the technology.
- A joint Request for Proposals from all jurisdictions be issued to determine if there are competing proposals interested in the affected parcels of public right-of-way.
- An alternatives analysis study currently under way on the corridor from International Drive to Orlando International Airport continue to determine what kind of additional public transportation is necessary to meet future travel demand in the corridor.
- The project team begin work to identify how fares might be integrated with LYNX and SunRail for seamless passenger transfers.
- The Florida Department of Transportation will conduct a technology assessment to ensure that safety standards are met.
- Any concerns raised by the affected governmental bodies about right-of-way, alignment and revenue will be addressed.
- Once the governmental concerns are resolved, a joint Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued by the Florida Department of Transportation, Orange County, the City of Orlando, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
- If there are no additional proposals as a result of the RFP, lease agreements for the public rights-of-way needed for the project can be negotiated, and AMT can proceed with its funding and construction schedule.