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All Aboard Florida will create jobs in South Florida

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All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, plans to launch a passenger train service in 2016. There would be 32 passenger trains running daily on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks between Miami and Cocoa and then west on new tracks to Orlando.

According to the consulting group, the Washington Economic Group, Inc., hired by All Aboard Florida to perform an economic impact study of the project, the proposed passenger train service linking Orlando to Miami will generate more than 10,000 jobs during its two-year construction period.

The project would also add 6.4 billion dollars to Florida’s economy and $653 million dollars in tax revenue over the next eight years.

Dr. Tony Villamil, the consultant who prepared the report, has said, “The benefits accrued to the State and to the counties serviced along the corridor go beyond the qualifications of economic impact by encouraging further business development and providing support to key Florida industries such as travel and hospitality, while also improving the mobility of the labor force.”

The total estimated impact in Broward County is $333 million dollars, and includes the creation of approximately 500 rail line construction jobs between 2014 and 2016. Development around a planned downtown Fort Lauderdale station would generate more than 300 jobs between 2014 and 2020. By 2021 there would be 113 permanent jobs tied to the operation of the rail lines.

In Palm Beach County, it is expected 952 rail line jobs will be created with the West Palm Beach station creating more than 170 jobs and 689 permanent jobs tied to the operation of the rail lines.

Beyond the economic impact, officials of All Aboard Florida believe the passenger train system will meet the needs of residents given the fact an estimated 50 million people each year already travel between Miami and Orlando for work and pleasure.

The train will make the trip between Miami and Orlando in 3 hours. It will make the trip between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in 2 hours and 20 minutes, and will make the trip between West Palm Beach and Orlando in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The first plans revealed for a station are those of the proposed station in downtown Miami. The station would be developed on 3 million square feet of space spread over 9 acres just east of Miami-Dade City Hall and 2 acres in historic Overtown. The station will include offices, retail shops, parking and housing.

Miami Mayor, Tomas Regalado said, “All Aboard Florida will be one of the most transformative projects for the City of Miami.”

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