In 2014, Florida will surpass New York to become the third most populated state in the nation.
As Florida prepares for how an additional six million new people will impact transportation in the next 20 years, we must plan better than we did for the last six million.
Currently, Florida is the third largest consumer of energy in the nation, and the demand for more energy will grow just as our population increases in the coming years. While, nationwide, transportation accounts for 60 percent of energy consumption, passenger rail consumes less than one percent.
For the Florida East Coast Corridor, passenger rail has long been a part of South Florida’s transportation planning process. That’s because it is safe, energy efficient, cost effective, convenient and it offers great potential for meeting the long-term challenges in transportation.
If Florida were a country, we would be the 19th largest economy in the world. But for our economy to return to the number one private sector job creator position in the United States and compete globally, Florida needs additional investments in our infrastructure.
All Aboard Florida has taken important steps toward moving Florida’s intermodal transportation network forward by creating up to 1,000 permanent jobs funded exclusively with private capital and at no cost to taxpayers. This is important to meeting South Florida’s current and future transportation demands.
At the Florida Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to see All Aboard Florida’s intercity passenger rail system moving forward as a wise investment in our state’s infrastructure and a boost to our economy.
David Hart, executive vice president, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee