All Aboard Florida Shares New Images of Miami Station, Tries To Blunt Building Criticism

Categories: News

Courtesy of All Aboard Florida
New renderings of Miami's proposed downtown All Aboard Florida station.
Rick Scott's pet project to build a new passenger railway service between Miami and Orlando has lately turned into a public punching bag. Carl Hiaasen calls it a "future train wreck for taxpayers", while Michael Grunwald writes in Time Magazine that Scott's chief of staff's ties to the firm building the line are "pretty sketchy."

Perhaps in response to the building criticism, All Aboard Florida went on the charm offensive yesterday, inviting a group of bloggers to a pitch about why the Sunshine State needs a private train line to get from Miami to Orlando in three hours.

"We hope to show that a private-public partnership can succeed in rallying the community together behind a project of this kind," said Julie Edwards, the rail line's chief marketing officer.

The line would start in downtown Miami, and would connect with Metrorail and the Metromover. The Miami station, which will be close to the downtown Courthouse and Government Center, will take up 9.5 acres and will include retail spaces.

"We want to give the community more options," said Ali Soule, the project's public affairs manager. "We want to take more cars off the road and make downtown more pedestrian-friendly."

The trains would run on Florida East Coast Railway tracks, parts of which were built by Henry Flagler, and would take just under three hours to get to Orlando. There would be 16 southbound and 16 northbound trains each day with three stops: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando.

"We know there's a market to turn these three metropolitan areas into a mega city," Soule said.

Of course, some residents in between are none too thrilled with the plans. Residents between the West Palm Beach and Orlando stations won't have any stops on the line, but will have new trains whistling through their backyards.

In a video, the firm claimed the trains would add only minimal traffic to the surrounding neighborhoods because trains would pass through urban stops in about 46 seconds. As for noise, the firm says the trains are lightweight yielding less clamor on the tracks. The project will improve existing tracks to reduce sound.

The company provided a few new renderings of their planned Miami station and this route map for how the train will operate in town:

via All Aboard Florida
Edwards and Soule's own surveys suggest the trains would be more a boon to tourists than locals; while the project would boast new retail spaces and jobs, a ridership surveys shows most customers would be tourists.

According to Edwards, some of the train cars will be equipped for bicycles, but All Aboard Florida still is not sure how it will help commuters with the "last mile." That is, the railway service does not know what type of shuttle or car sharing resources it will offer for people trying to take the train to work.

As for pricing, All Aboard Florida has not released the cost for a ticket on the train. It was hinted though, that with the 56 cent federal mile and cost of tolls, a ticket from Miami to West Palm Beach, could be somewhere between $30 to $40. Sum that up for the 235 miles from Miami to Orlando and prices might just be too steep for the average local.

The presentation didn't include any talking points about the project's politics, which are at the heart of much of the criticism. Scott, after all, turned down a ready-to-go federal stimulus plan to build a $2.4 billion high-speed line connecting Miami to Orlando, and then offered state assistance to a private firm with deep ties to his own chief of staff to build its project.

Either way, Soule says the project is ready to break ground soon and on schedule to finish in mid-to-late 2016.

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77 comments
cxr71
cxr71

How about an L train on the N and S I95, BISCAYNE blvd an E and W at SW 8st, Flagler, NW 36st, 103rd,183rd, 203rd street Aventura? Oh yeah, that would benefit the dumb and broke residents.

samueljackson864
samueljackson864 topcommenter

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frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...............the thing of it is this: an inept corrupt possibly criminal politician involved in scandal ALL OF A SUDDEN becomes an honest expert on a $1,6oo,000,000 project ?


he doesn't want oBaMaCARE (which is really romneyCARE a/k/a commonwealthcare that became law in massachussetts under gov romney)


he does WHATEVER the N R A tells him to do


he ran a private company that defrauded MEDICAID of hundreds of millions of dollars in a FRAUD


..................and now this clown is a RAILWAY specialist who can predict the future need of this project  - HUH ?

Pete Stueve
Pete Stueve

Haven't read the article yet but just an idea for relieving congestion: promote more moped/scooter/motorcycle use by relaxing Lane splitting laws and free parking areas for scooters and motorcycles.... Goes a long way to red. Traffic

Cully Waggoner
Cully Waggoner

I can drive to Orlando from Miami in less tgan 4 hours and cost much less than this slow speed rail line.

Albert Louis Albaladejo
Albert Louis Albaladejo

if you oppose this you are a fool. every time something beneficial for this city is attempted it seems everyone is up in arms against it. when will Miami or Florida finally have any infrastructure resembling a real metropolitan area? How can linking Florida's two economic hubs via a high-speed rail be detrimental?

Pablo Benjamin Caignet
Pablo Benjamin Caignet

The metro rail should be from 826 to 836 all the way to the beach with connections to the already existing metro. Weekday traffic is a nightmare in that route.

Leonidas Funkevich
Leonidas Funkevich

Ugh another negative article on Miami's growing infrastructure on the new times. Typical.

Natoshamarie Rubin
Natoshamarie Rubin

As usual nothing to serve the people that live here, when is our state government going to be concerned fir the quality of life of its constituents

Mar To
Mar To

I hate Rick Scott deeply. But trains and public transportation are always good for a city. Even the sketchy projects.

Fulanito Perez
Fulanito Perez

The problem isn't traffic from Miami to Orlando, it's in Miami. Expand the metro rail instead. We've made 826 wider, now make 836 wider. I have never decided not to go to Orlando because of traffic, but i've decided not to drive around town because of it. If we had a train to Orlando i still wouldn't use it. I'd have to rent one up there anyways.

Rogelio Madan
Rogelio Madan

He turned down federal money for a line between Orlando and Tampa. NOT Miami and Orlando.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Again, metrorail or metro-ANYTHING will ever make it 1" east of the causeways. Why?! Rich island residents don't want that shit running thru their neighborhoods, the same way palm beach residents.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Please, just PR bullshit! Wanna remove more cars from the roads, during rush hours: EXPAND METRORAIL WEST TO DORAL-FIU AND NORTH TO JOE ROBBIE STADIUM, not necesarilly Miramar. That will slice traffic on both Dolphin and I95 south by 80%... But then who'll pay for those tolls, being erected right now?! I'm not a logistic expert but "someone" had to assess the overflow traffic on Flagler, NW 7th street and even the Perimeter Road, along the airport with people avoiding tolls or fines: UNBEARABLE!!

Peter Gonzalez
Peter Gonzalez

If you want cars off the road expand a metro rail to miami beach and run the public transportation later

Jimi Santoli
Jimi Santoli

Sam, the Metrorail not people mover DOES go to airport.

Jeff Arean
Jeff Arean

You guys are clueless. This reminds me about of the fool who wrote the article about no one using the metro mover and how it's better off being a elevated garden.. Btw, the rail goes to the airport not the mover.

Sam Flynn
Sam Flynn

the people mover travels between the aiport and downtown

Sam Flynn
Sam Flynn

we dont even have a train from the airport to downtown never mind a train from the airport to the beach. How can they say a train from here to mia

Stephen Sarsfield
Stephen Sarsfield

Should elevate the train. Magnetic levitation monorail. Weatherproof, trafficproof. Why did scott turn down federal $, but supports this?

Tom Berry
Tom Berry

54 cents per mile?? So if a family of 4 wanted to take a round trip from Miami to Orlando it would cost about $1,000!! SMH.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

O'please... Downtown Miami, really?! Why not incorporate everything at the MIA hub as originally intended?!?! Fancy train to Orlando and then what, exactly... Rely on buses too, once there?

Jarrod Gillen
Jarrod Gillen

"We want to give the community more options," said Ali Soule, the project's public affairs manager. "We want to take more cars off the road and make downtown more pedestrian-friendly." So why not build infrastructure in Miami? We need public transportation here in Miami! If we wanted to go to Orlando we'd take a plane. You already admitted to wanting to take more cars off the roads in downtown. So do exactly that. Build in downtown Miami.

Orlando Martinez Jr.
Orlando Martinez Jr.

Train to know where... How about they get that money an expand the the turnpike to 3 or 4 lanes n expand tamiami trail

verdisvioletta
verdisvioletta

Wait...WHAT? Miami to Orlando in 3 hours! I get there by car in 3.5 hours NOW. What a useless plan to grab taxpayer money for useless S#*t we DON'T NEED. 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................and just like the PUBLIC BUS system .......WHO SAYS this railway is going to RUN  on schedule ?????? OR even provide the proper acceptable level of service ?????


the PUBLIC transportation systems in south florida are a JOKE because they are chronically LATE, un-coordinated, un-maintained and often filthy, and basically have no proper supervision or active managment responding to these issues


a complaint that a simple hand washing devise on the wall of a central terminal WAS EMPTY recently was resolved BY THE REMOVAL from the wall of the devise (instead of simply re-filling it with the readily available and inexpensive soap solution)  !!!!!!!!!!!


once the redneck good olde boyz cash those checks this thing is D E A D 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............SO IF this train actually works can we get a REFUND on the $780,ooo,ooo spent on that airport runway extention that we won't need anymore at the ft liquordale airport ? ! ?

Rogelio Madan
Rogelio Madan

Connecting Tampa and Orlando via high speed rail is ridiculous. Even if these are Scott's friends its a much better route, helps revitalize downtowns, and a private enterprise assumes risks and makes most of the investment. What is the problem? I wish we could get more private companies to build infrastructure.

trainsandchipsdan
trainsandchipsdan

This is not a train like Amtrak.  Amtrak serves medium (less than 500 mile) and long distance travel by rail.  The Sunset Limited no longer serves Florida because CSX never upgraded the tracks Amtrak uses between New Orleans and Tallahassee after Hurricane Katrina. This isn't supposed to affect commuting, it's primarily for tourist and business travelers.


Yes, you can take Amtrak between Miami and Orlando.  On the Silver Meteor it's a five hour trip with 9 stops.  Then again you can take the Silver Star, which after it stops in Winter Haven goes to Tampa and then back to Orlando and takes 7 and a half hours.


Yes, probably there are other transportation options needed in SE Florida.  Even still if Amtrak wanted to do something on the FEC corridor it can.  The agreement that FEC was a signatory to back in 1970 when Amtrak was created gives them rights to use the track.  But in all likelihood Amtrak won't.

Cts Limo Cts Limo
Cts Limo Cts Limo

We need legalized gambling casinos vegas style thousands if jobs

Cts Limo Cts Limo
Cts Limo Cts Limo

Great idea! if the train is European like, with full amenities and security on board

Daniel Paul
Daniel Paul

Why not improve the trains in Miami???!! Considering we have only one line that doesn't go anywhere

Lon Allen
Lon Allen

Just seems like it would make way more sense to improve the MIA/FLL public transit system. I have to believe there are far more daily local commuters than to Orlando.

Curt Notree
Curt Notree

Great idea! too bad Florida legislators are the typecast for a Jackass movie.

Ru Ru H
Ru Ru H

Yeah, it'd be great to be able to take a train from Miami to Orlando. Oh wait. You can. It's called Amtrak.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Wealthy tourists aren't going to ride a train.  The train will fail without tax subsidies.   This is all that is important- 4.5 million square feet of new development.  Look at the figures on Amtrak.  Dead money without federal help.  This rail system will require state bailouts.  The city just goofed by allowing a new truck tunnel to be built at the port.  All that traffic should have been by rail.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................actually can YOU name a multi-billion dollar project the DID WORK ?


YOU do know the miami-dade water / sewer line is fifty years beyond its useful life and the federal govt had to SUE to get it to take corrective action - right ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

....................WHEN THEY LEARN ENGLISH and VOTE !


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

........................that's a B I N G O !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

....................THAT would be too logical

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@DrumRollPlease


.....once FEC gets the UPGRADEs to its private rails using taxpayer "loans" the AAF RAIL WILL FAIL and default on those loans and VOILA .................. FEC will have the private benefit of the $1,6oo,ooo,ooo value of the improved railway for its exclusive use


the current corrupt politicians know this crash will fall under a future adminstration meanwhile the current clowns can frame this as "progress"


trainsandchipsdan
trainsandchipsdan

You're basing the failure of the loans on what?  Past performance of passenger rail?


The RRIF Loan Program is one of the most successful federal loan programs.  Not only is it successful, the federal government makes a profit.  How successful is it?  Since its inception not one loan granted by RRIF has gone into default.


You can't have it both ways saying past performance of passenger rail is why this will fail and ignore the fact that no RRIF loan has defaulted.


If AAF declares bankruptcy, since the loan is collateralized, FECI loses the track.  The way the loan is structured, in the case of a bankruptcy, the collateralized assets would no longer belong to FECI/AAF.


So if the loan was going to default or AAF declare bankruptcy FECI will not allow that to happen.  AAF and FECI will both need to provide collateral for the loan.  The loan need to be 100% collateralized.  That will include the FECI right of way.  FECI will not allow the loan to default because it can't afford to lose access to the track to move freight.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@trainsandchipsdan


what if AAF folds and cannot hold it's end of the financial obligations ? = then AAF goes under and FECI has the "value" of all the imrpovements previously financed and guaranteed by the taxpayer 


a give-away is a parcel of unsaleable land which previously served as a "buffer" to allow low-income housing - the property is long and narrow adjacent to the railway on its EAST and the residential buildings on its WEST - wholly and totally unuseable for additional residential or any commercial - and VOILA it is now being "sold" to AAF for $29,ooo,ooo ! the redneck good olde boyz network made it happen - good on them those crazy KKK kids


the other give-away is when politicians including the governor are first "against" theses things and then come around to "approve" them especially near an election they might lose - there again the good olde boyz get the new guy to "approve" it for votes - so either way the rednecks win



trainsandchipsdan
trainsandchipsdan


Your bitterness just blinds you.


The loan is not guaranteed by anyone.If AAF goes under and defaults on the loan, FECI loses the right of way.Not the improvements, the entire right of way will be needed to collateralize the loan.The only way FECI will retain possession of the “improvements” is to satisfy the loan.FECI will not allow that to happen because it needs the right of way for freight traffic.That’s how RRIF loans work.Like I said, you can’t claim past performance is an indicator of future performance.The claim that AAF will fail therefore the loan will go into default, based on past performance of passenger rail is an invalid argument.If some of the RRIF loans had defaulted your argument would have merit.But it doesn’t because the RRIF loan program is 100% successful and no one has ever defaulted.


It’s no secret - railroads use long and narrow patches of land.So what if the land was unsalable for most residential or commercial uses?When word got out that FECI was doing this, land prices along the tracks from Brevard to Dad Counties skyrocketed.It happens all the time.


It cost Disney just as much to buy the last 10% of the land for Disneyworld as the first 90% because the last 10% wasn’t sold until word of the project was revealed.Are you pissed off because they overpaid for the land?Land which was being taxed as undeveloped land and now will be taxed at a much higher rate?Or are you pissed off because someone profited from the sale?How does it qualify as a (your definition) a giveaway?It cost AAF $29 Million.They needed land along the tracks.That was the land they wanted.


The governor wasn’t against high speed rail.He was against Floridians paying for it forever.I was against that decision but I understand it.Why he came out in favor of this is that AAF is privately financed using the financing sources available to them.It really makes no difference because the state has no influence over this project.None.Railroads are federally regulated.The Governor and his people can’t say “no” to the project - they don’t have the authority to do so.The FLDOT only has regulation over safety.FLDOT can’t stop this project; only require certain safety measures be implemented.State politicians whether they approve of the project or not, don’t win or lose anything.All these state and federal politicians talk like they have some kind of influence over this project and can stop it.No one can because it’s a privately owned railroad adding to existing service.And no legislation exists that can stop that.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@trainsandchipsdan says "But it doesn’t because the RRIF loan program is 100% successful and no one has ever defaulted."


YET

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@trainsandchipsdan says "The only way FECI will retain possession of the “improvements” is to satisfy the loan.FECI will not allow that to happen because it needs the right of way for freight traffic.That’s how RRIF loans work"



i can think of a few outcomes whereas RRIF will be willing to write-off or write-down the face value of the loan - and such value would accrete to FECI


in econcomics when you have a "single customer" paying the whole "freight" that customer controls the terms = period


what "made" rockefeller was his control over the terms he DICTATED TO vanderbilt and his railroad - rockefeller did not own ONE TRAIN yet he controlled the terms (same here with FECI over RRIF)


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@trainsandchipsdan


otherwise the freight servicer controls the tune = period


they are going to wind-up with the use and value of those IMPROVEMENTS long after AAF is D E A D 


i can expand having exposure from the blackstone group how this works in real life not just theory here but you can also follow the new york central railroad bankruptcy and the winners and losers there

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@trainsandchipsdan


THE LIST GOES ON - the TRI-RAIL, AMTRAK, BCT bus system, the WATER TAXI, the WAVE ($145,ooo,ooo)  and on and on..............and now AAF


additionally i know how many of these redneck good olde boyz networks operate converting private unsaleable property into taxpayer financial black-holes


how do you think downtown ft liquordale HAS effectively NO public BUS transportation system YET has the most expensive county courthouse ever built in america ?


how do you think predatory towing and the taxi cabs and the parkings violations bureau ALL WORK TOGETHER to screw the tourists ?


WHY is an airport runway extention for $750,ooo,ooo being built ?


AAF is just another of these public projects for "progress" that is D E A D once the good olde boyz rednecks cash those taxpapyer checks = period

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