The Florida Department of Transportation was awarded $1.25 billion for HSR lines between Tampa, Orlando and Miami.
As someone who was born and raised in Sarasota, about one hour south of Tampa, this statement from the White House is no news to me: “the region is almost entirely reliant on automobiles for transportation between these metro areas, which together have a population of over 10 million people and account for two of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas.” This new HSR investment may be the start of a major transportation transformation in those areas. This is a dream a lot of Florida residents (and probably tourists) have had for years, but not knowing if it would ever come true.
This investment will also bring thousands of jobs to Florida, something sorely needed in one of the states hit hardest by the economic recession. “It is estimated that these investments in high-speed rail will create thousands of jobs throughout Florida, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.”
Speeds on these rail lines will be up to 168 mph (Tampa-Orlando) and 186 mph (Orlando-Miami), making rail travel times significantly less than automobile travel times (60 minutes compared to 90 minutes and 2 hours compared to approximately 4 hours, respectively).
The Tampa to Orlando phase is scheduled for completion in 2014, and the Orlando to Miami phase for 2017.
Image Credit: The White House
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