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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Florida coalition urges USDOT to back funding for HSR studies

Newly formed coalition group ConnectUs Inc. recently sent letters to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to support Florida’s application for $30 million in federal funding to conduct preliminary engineering work and perform environmental studies for the Orlando-to-Miami high-speed rail (HSR) corridor.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has split a proposed Tampa-Orlando-Miami HSR line into two separate projects to comply with federal funding application criteria. FDOT plans to submit an application for $2.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for the Orlando-to-Tampa corridor.

The Orlando-Miami study would analyze two proposed HSR corridors: one from Orlando International Airport along the Beach Line to Interstate 95, and one from the airport along the Florida Turnpike to Ft. Pierce and south Florida. Both alignments would end in Miami and serve West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and the Miami Intermodal Center.

Earlier this month, state and local business, labor and environmental leaders formed ConnectUs to promote the development of HSR lines in Florida.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/27/2009