The pressure on the Florida Department of Transportation to approve expansion of Tri-Rail service along the Florida East Coast Rail Corridor has reached its peak. After today’s unanimous vote of support from the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) Governing Board, FDOT consent is the last remaining hurdle before communities and neighborhoods along the FEC can begin planning their own commuter rail stations in earnest. It could soon be possible for residents of Jupiter or Delray Beach to walk to a train station and head directly into Downtown Wilton Manors or Midtown Miami. Alternatively, the same resident could take Tri-Rail to connect with All Aboard Florida’s trains to Fort Lauderdale or Orlando.
FDOT consent involves two key commitments: written confirmation of their contribution of $17.2 million, and permission to SFRTA to “reprogram” money set aside for the Metrorail/79th St station to new Tri-Rail stations and/or related costs.
In return for this, FDOT gets unlimited rights to run Tri-Rail up the FEC corridor with a significant reduction in maintenance costs since they will be shared with All Aboard Florida.
By SFRTA’s own estimates, this will generate $18 million in local tax revenue, 28,000 new permanent jobs and 2,300 tons of annual CO2 reduction per year, among other benefits.
More importantly, South Florida residents will finally have commuter rail service AND a real alternative to I-95.
Join Walkable West Palm Beach in supporting Tri-Rail Coastal Link by following Friends of Tri-Rail Coastal Link on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TriRailCoastalLink and using #BringTriRailDowntown in your own social media posts.