Re Carl Hiaasen’s Aug. 9 column, Train-load of questions about a train: Ticket prices? They’ve been published. A full-fare business-class ticket from Miami to Orlando is about $125. You sure can’t fly business class for that price, and the total door-to-door time will be about the same.
Traveling a non-linear track? Hardly. These trains will be running on the most direct existing rail corridor that exists between these destinations. The alternate routing (which isn’t even a possibility since it’s not theirs to use) is at least 30 miles longer to get to the same place, and actually passes through more population.
He writes: “...as if a sane person would willingly drive directly from Miami to the Orlando airport.”
There must be a lot of crazies out there, since studies show that there are approximately 500 million annual person/trips between Miami and Orlando.
Hiaasen says, too, that, “First-responders have also warned that the frequent lowering of crossing gates will impede ambulances and police cars responding to emergencies.”
People who have no idea about the project did say that. However, Indian River County, which tried to make that claim, used tax dollars to commission a study of the effects to traffic. Here’s what it showed: The infrastructure improvements paid for by this project will allow both passenger and freight trains to run faster, the net change is less time for each crossing to be blocked every day, even after the new passenger trains are added.
Even their own consultant told them they were wrong.
Finally, no one will get suckered into buying All Aboard Florida bonds. I have no doubt that there are buyers just waiting to get their hands on something with a good potential to pay out a decent interest rate.
Jim Kovalsky, president, Florida East Coast Railway Society, Lantana