Brightline/Virgin Trains (FEC) Update

Discussion in 'High Speed and Other Non-Amtrak Intercity Rail' started by Anderson, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. Jun 19, 2018 #2076

    Brian_tampa

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    If Brightline does get to Tampa, and they have hourly service from 7am to 11pm, that would be the main reason I would use BL over Amtrak anyday. I could do a comfortable & relaxing round trip in a single day to S Florida which would otherwise make for a very long day if driving there instead! Also, I tend to think that BL will be more reliable - LD trains are more often late than on time. Not that it is Amtrak's fault, just the cards they have been dealt especially with Florida to NE service on CSX.
     
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  2. Jun 19, 2018 #2077

    jis

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    https://www.wingsjournal.com/wes-edens-brightline-south-florida-commuters

     
  3. Jun 19, 2018 #2078

    jis

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  4. Jun 19, 2018 #2079

    chrsjrcj

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    It looks like fares have gone up. WPB to Miami is $30 Select/$20 Smart.
     
  5. Jun 20, 2018 #2080

    Caesar La Rock

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  6. Jun 20, 2018 #2081

    Anderson

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    Good to see that sorted out. I'm trying to remember where the bond issue is in terms of getting, well, issued...but I'm thinking that's all we have left (unless there's some random chunk of lawsuit left from one of the counties).
     
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  7. Jun 20, 2018 #2082

    jis

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    Patrick Goddard had mentioned at the FECRS Meeting that the Bond issue, if it happens, will be in August time frame. I also got the impression that the RRIF Loan was still around as a Plan B should it become necessary.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2018 #2083

    Anderson

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    Thanks for the update on that...trying to follow the bond issue/RRIF loan through its travails has been a bit dizzying.

    Of course, depending on the exact timing in August, that might come on the heels of establishing the initially-proposed hourly schedule.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2018 #2084

    Brian_tampa

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    It appears that AAF has hired the chairman of the board of the St Johns River Water Management District to work on its recent environmental permit application that was recently approved by the Orange County Commissioners. This guy, Mr Miklos, has a history of being involved in potential conflicts of interests. This will only raise more questions from the opponents as well as some supporters about why AAF chose his consulting firm over the hundreds of other competent firms that could do similar work here in Florida. In my mind, this was a self inflicted wound not unlike Mr Goddard's testimony to congress back in April.

    https://www.wftv.com/news/politics/brightline-moves-forward-with-help-from-state-water-agency-head/773130481

    Already this decision is being exploited by those who oppose AAF:

    http://http://sunshinestatenews.com/story/should-brightline-conflict-interest-be-allowed-stand

    I would not be surprised to see calls for an investigation into any permits for AAF approved by the SJRWMD and quite possibly a further delay of phase 2.
     
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  10. Jun 21, 2018 #2085

    Ryan

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    From your first link.

    No surprise that the NIMBYs will seize at anything to try and disrupt things.
     
  11. Jun 21, 2018 #2086

    chrsjrcj

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    Par for the course for Florida. Welcome to the plutocracy.
     
  12. Jun 21, 2018 #2087

    jis

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    Yeah - I was about to say Flori-DUH! [​IMG]
     
  13. Jun 21, 2018 #2088

    Anderson

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    At the end of the day, I would happily see a dollar or two from each ticket go to a Florida Government Officials' Benevolent Fund if it makes the train happen.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2018 #2089

    Brian_tampa

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    Brightline submitted a proposal to lease CFX and FDOT land to build to Tampa! Press release from Gov Scott's office today:

    Gov. Scott: FDOT Begins Process for Privately Funded High-Speed Rail from Orlando to Tampa

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has begun the process to allow for private investment in a high-speed rail connection from Orlando to Tampa. FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) received an unsolicited proposal to lease property owned by the state and CFX to build a high-speed train along Interstate 4. Based on the unsolicited proposal, FDOT, on behalf of the State and CFX, is initiating an open, transparent procurement process so any interested private entities may apply. The request is for those interested in leasing FDOT and CFX owned rights-of-way to establish privately funded passenger rail service between Orlando and Tampa.

    Governor Scott said, “This is an exciting opportunity for Orlando, Tampa and our entire state. When I became Governor, the Obama administration was trying to use federal taxpayer dollars to pay for a rail connection that had an extremely high risk of overspending taxpayer dollars with no guarantee of economic growth. This is exactly what we’re seeing in California, a state which took this bad deal from Obama, and in Connecticut where taxpayers had to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for their rail line. Instead of placing taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, our goal is for the private sector to invest in this project. Through private investment, we ensure that this major project has zero financial risk to Florida taxpayers.”

    FDOT Secretary Mike Dew said, “The department is committed to creating a robust transportation system that meets Florida’s current and future needs. Privately-funded passenger rail will provide residents and visitors a transportation choice for one of the busiest corridors in the state.”

    Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “Orlando is a destination of choice for those visiting our world-class attractions, attending business conventions or enjoying a weekend getaway. As Mayor, I have worked to ensure that we offer residents and visitors, safe, efficient and affordable transportation options. Having more passenger rail options will create more jobs and make it easier to experience our great city.”

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, “Whether it’s visiting our pristine beaches or catching a game, adding safe and affordable private passenger rail service will provide a needed alternative for those wanting to spend time in Tampa. Establishing private passenger rail service enables more public transportation options while creating jobs and reducing congestion on our roadways.”

    Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said, "Throughout my two terms as mayor, the improvement and expansion of our regional transportation systems has been a top priority. As a premier global destination for guests, families and business leaders from around the world, we’re committed to the creation of transportation infrastructure – including private passenger rail - that will serve our residents and guests seamlessly.”

    In 2011, Governor Scott rejected more than $2 billion in federal funds for a taxpayer funded 84-mile government train from Tampa to Orlando because the project would have exposed Florida taxpayers to millions of dollars of costs for decades. In other states that accepted funding, there were cost overruns and ongoing operation and maintenance costs. The State of California accepted federal funding for a project that current estimates indicate will experience significant cost overruns, with costs rising from approximately $33 billion to potentially $98.1 billion and with the hope of limited service beginning in 2027. In Connecticut, state taxpayers had to pay more than $560 million for their new government train.

    Private intercity passenger rail service has been constructed and is currently being operated in Florida at no cost to taxpayers. This Request for Proposals (RFP) will provide an opportunity for the private sector to expand privately funded passenger rail service in the state at a zero risk to Florida taxpayers. Interested parties will have 120 days to submit proposals after the RFP is released.
     
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  15. Jun 22, 2018 #2090

    jis

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    Any idea where they intend to place the station in Tampa?
     
  16. Jun 22, 2018 #2091

    Brian_tampa

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    My best guess is the same location as the planned HSR station. Just south of I275 north of downtown east of the river. This all makes sense... I always said Tampa would be next. But this is a bit earlier than I even thought.
     
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  17. Jun 22, 2018 #2092

    jis

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  18. Jun 23, 2018 #2093

    me_little_me

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    At our model RR club here in WNC, I met a man from the WPB area (we get LOTS of Floridians invading during the summer). I commented on how lucky they were to have the new Brighline. The first words out of his mouth were "Five people have been killed". I mentioned that lots have been killed by Tri-Rail and you could not stop people who want to commit suicide nor the idiots who run around gates. We said no more about the subject. I have yet to meet anyone from that area who says they like it or even that they have taken it. Uphill battle, I guess.
     
  19. Jun 23, 2018 #2094

    Brian_tampa

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    Not sure what to say other than that your "friend" is not the brightest bulb in the bunch. Oh well.

    Almost every brightline strike has been a suicide or a person ****ed up on drugs. Sorry to put it that way but it's the truth.
     
  20. Jun 23, 2018 #2095

    Ziv

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    I have no idea, but it wouldn't be out of character for Fortress to announce this a week or two after they acquired a nice sized piece of land just off of I-4 on the east side of Tampa.

    ;-)

    Brian probably has a better real world idea of where the best spots are for it to go, but the map does make certain suggestions.

     
  21. Jun 23, 2018 #2096

    Brian_tampa

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  22. Jun 23, 2018 #2097

    Brian_tampa

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    My best guess is downtown because FECI/AAF is based on real estate development and attracting ridership. There are two major projects going on in downtown Tampa near the water at this time. One of them, Waterstreet, is a $3B development. https://waterstreettampa.com/ About the only place left for them is north downtown near I275 adjacent to the Marion bus transit center which is the location of the station for the cancelled HSR project. A lot of the land around there is owned by the state and city or county. Many low rise older buildings or empty lots around there too. Even north of I275 is attractive. They would have to build a bridge over I275 to build on the north side.
     
  23. Jun 23, 2018 #2098

    chrsjrcj

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    There is a lot of space around the Marion Transit Center that can be redeveloped (dare I say gentrified). Hopefully this gets Tampa to extend the streetcar further north and modernize it.
     
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  24. Jun 23, 2018 #2099

    jadebenn

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    This is an extremely old post, but I feel it's relevant now. Brightline is already making a bid (literally!) for Orlando - Tampa service, despite not even having built all the way to Orlando yet. I'm actually kind of baffled by this. What happened to "we'll wait and see?"
    I know they've stated that ridership on the initial phase has tripled their expectations, but I never got the feeling those expectations were very high to begin with. Are their numbers really so impressive that they're willing to fast-track to Tampa? Or is there some other motivation for accelerating their plans?
     
  25. Jun 23, 2018 #2100

    MikefromCrete

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    I think Brightline is just stating its intention to take part in any Orlando-Tampa route. Gov. Rick Scott all of a sudden decided to fast forward this Tampa plan, which he originally blocked. I believe he's running for U.S. senator, so this is probably part of his campaign. Any actual work is probably years away, so Brightline can complete its Miami-Orlando route and evaluate it before taking the next step. If they find the original route is lacking in profits, they can always say, thanks, but no thanks to the Tampa line.

    I'd be surprised if any other company would be interested in the project, unless SNCF or Japanese interests decide to try to enter the U.S. market. I suppose that could happen, but Brightline would probably have the inside track (so to speak).
     

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