The high-speed train Brightline is a new transportation option that is set to open routes from Miami to Tampa in the next few years. The private company is currently in the process of finalizing important details of the route that will connect the airport to Disney Springs before they can begin construction, and it seems that the project may be delayed a bit longer than anticipated.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Central Florida Expressway Authority (which must provide approval of the new route) decided in a recent meeting to indefinitely delay a decision on the route that the Brightline Train can take between the Orlando Airport and Tampa.
Brightline has put forward a preferred route, which would travel from a corridor at the airport along State Road 417 to I-4 and to Disney World. But, this route travels near the Hunter’s Creek residential community and other wetlands areas.
And, it is the advocacy from the International Drive tourism strip and the Hunter’s Creek residential community that had led to the postponement of the decision.
Brightline has considered one other route that would begin at the airport and travel to State Road 528 where it would pass the International Drive corridor (and have a station at the Orange County Convention Center) and then go along I-4 to Disney and Tampa. But, this route will cost the private company at least an additional $700 million or more according to an expressway authority’s consultant (with the preferred route already projected to cost $1 billion).
Thus far, Brightline has not asked for any public funds to support the construction of the new train route and expects to finish the route from South Florida to the Orlando airport next year.
The Orlando to Disney route was previously slated to be completed by 2026. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for updates on that.
Brightline shared a press release about the recent vote that took place. In it they note that the Central Florida Expressway Authority “unanimously approved a resolution of support for Brightline’s planned expansion between Orlando International Airport and Tampa.” They also shared that the Central Florida Expressway Authority Board, the governing body for SR 417, “cleared the way for Brightline to study a high-speed rail alignment along this corridor.”
Brightline’s senior vice president for corporate development, Christine Kefauver also commented on the decision, stating that “Today’s resolution of support brings us one step closer to connecting Orlando and Tampa with Brightline’s modern, eco-friendly intercity rail service.”
Of course, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for updates, so be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for the latest!
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Do you plan on taking the train from the airport to Disney World when it opens? Let us know in the comments!