NARP Opposes Another NIMBY Attack on All Aboard Florida
March 9, 2017
For Immediate Release (#17-06)
Contact: Robert Brady – (202) 680-4951
Two Anti-Brightline Bills, With Gulf Coast Restoration as Collateral Damage
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Railroad Passengers submitted a letter to the heads of Florida’s State Legislature opposing two proposed bills that would hamstring rail projects in the state. The bills target All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger rail project, which will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando with fast frequent service.
While the bills are being sold as a safety measure, their intent is clear: to attack a private-sector company on behalf of rail opponents who have been unsuccessful in federal and state courts. To use the legislative process to attack one company through punitive and overreaching regulation—while exempting other transportation companies—is unfair to Florida taxpayers who will pay for the additional costs of these new regulations and the years of litigation this bill will surely create.
The bills would also seriously harm the efforts to restore rail service to Florida’s Gulf Coast communities, which have been disconnected since Hurricane Katrina damaged track and stations in 2005.
“There are tremendous benefits this private-sector passenger rail project would bring—not just for the four connected communities—Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando—but the entire state,” wrote NARP in the letter. “The project will create 10,000 direct construction jobs, and hundreds more permanent operating and maintenance jobs. That will generate over $650 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue. It will also take three million automobiles off the crowded Interstate 95 corridor. By 2030, Florida will have added six million residents, and the state needs to start expanding infrastructure capacity now.
“NARP also opposes government intervention into how this private railroad can develop its property, which is currently an active railroad. These bills also blur the lines of federal and state authority with an ambiguous bill that penalizes both freight and passenger rail for doing business in Florida.”
You can read the full letter here.
About the National Association of Railroad Passengers
NARP is the only national organization speaking for the nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more than 28,000 individual members nationwide.
"We would not be in the position we’re in if it weren’t for the advocacy of so many of you, over a long period of time, who have believed in passenger rail, and believe that passenger rail should really be a part of America’s intermodal transportation system."
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2011 Spring Council Meeting