ORLANDO, FL. - The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) is announcing an historic agreement with All Aboard Florida to bring intercity passenger rail between Orlando and Miami to Orlando International Airport (MCO). At a public meeting Wednesday, the GOAA Board voted to move forward with a long-planned project to make MCO a true multi-modal facility and the first airport in Florida with a direct rail connection.
The agreement includes:
1. Rail line easement for the rail corridor through the airport
2. Use of premises at the planned South Airport APM Intermodal Station
3. Lease of rail maintenance yard located south of the City Conserv 1 facility
Terms for agreement items 1, 2 and 3 are 99 years, 50 years and 50 years respectively.
“This project defines us as the center of regional transportation and will transform the way visitors and residents travel between two of Florida’s most populated and visited regions,” said GOAA Board Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher. “No Authority funds will be used for construction of the station for All Aboard Florida. Construction funding sources will be finalized over the next couple of months.”
“All Aboard Florida’s terminal station at the future Intermodal Facility will allow travelers to seamlessly connect to their end destination, whether it’s by air, bus, commuter rail or car,” said P. Michael Reininger, President and Chief Operating Officer of All Aboard Florida. “This agreement solidifies a strong partnership with GOAA and allows All Aboard Florida to deliver the nation’s first privately owned, operated and maintained intercity passenger rail system by the end of 2015.”
Integration of rail has been part of Orlando International Airport’s intermodal vision for more than 30 years. This new service will utilize 200 miles of existing Florida East Coast Railway Corridor between Miami and Cocoa. Construction of 35 miles of new infrastructure will parallel State Road 528 between Cocoa and Orlando International Airport.
“This is a major component of the airport’s vision to provide interconnectivity to multiple modes of transportation,” said GOAA Executive Director Phil Brown. “This rail service will offer a viable alternative to busy highways, along with direct access to one of the state’s premier global gateways.”
In addition to the Central Florida station located at MCO, the service will also include stops in the downtown areas of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. All Aboard Florida will construct, operate and maintain the rail corridor through the airport, including making improvements for grade crossings for public and secure roads at the airport.
Both airport are keenly aware of competition for regional job creation that air service to major destinations, especially international cities, can attract and support.
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