All Aboard Florida – Operations LLC (AAF) is proposing to construct a privately owned and operated intercity passenger railroad system that will connect Orlando and Miami, with intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. AAF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI), one of Florida's oldest and largest transportation, infrastructure, and commercial real estate companies. AAF proposes to construct a new approximately 40-mile dedicated rail corridor parallel to Florida State Road 528 connecting to the existing Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, which has supported freight and/or passenger service on a continuous basis for more than 100 years. The Project also includes infrastructure improvements to the existing FEC rail corridor between Cocoa and West Palm Beach.
This new proposed construction is part of a larger AAF passenger rail project designed to provide safe, convenient travel to and from Florida’s most highly trafficked commercial, entertainment, and recreational destinations. The initial Phase I of the Project consists of a new passenger rail service with independent utility along the 66.5 miles of the FEC Corridor connecting West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and including three stations and associated infrastructure improvements. AAF is currently proposing to extend that service to Orlando with Phase II. The total Project will consist of a 235 mile intercity passenger rail service with an anticipated three-hour travel time between Miami and Orlando. AAF is responsible for financing the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the passenger rail system.
The FRA is the lead agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for the Project. FRA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the initial Phase I of the Project on January 30, 2013. Subsequently, on April 15, 2013, FRA published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Although the Draft EIS was initiated for Phase II of the Project, the document analyzes the cumulative effects of both phases of the Project since train operations will cover the full corridor between Miami and Orlando.The FRA issued the Draft EIS on September 19, 2014.
FRA is providing an extended public comment period of 75 days from the day that the FRA issued the DEIS; thus, the comment period ends on December 3, 2014. Comments on DEIS for Phase II of the All Aboard Florida project are due by December 3rd, 2014 and should be sent to FRA either by email to the attention of Mr. John Winkle at this address: AAF_comments@vhb.com, or by mail to: Mr. John Winkle, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Room W38-311,Washington, DC 20590
In addition, FRA will be hosting eight public information meetings. Dates and locations for those meetings are:
|October 27, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Miami-Dade College – Wolfson Campus | James K. Batten Room - 2106 | 300 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, FL 33132|
|October 28, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Broward County Convention Center | 1950 Eisenhower Blvd. | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316|
October 29, 2014
|3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||West Palm Beach Marriott|1001 Okeechobee Blvd| West Palm Beach, FL 33401|
|October 30, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||The Kane Center | 900 SE Salerno Road | Stuart, FL 34997|
|November 5, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Indian River State College | Richardson Hall | 6155 College Lane| Vero Beach, FL 32966|
|November 6, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Port St. Lucie Civic Center | 9221 SE Civic Center Place |Port St Lucie, FL 34952|
|November 12, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Cocoa Civic Center | 430 Delannoy Avenue | Cocoa, FL 32922|
|November 13, 2014||3:30 PM – 7:00 PM||Wyndham Orlando Resort I-Drive| 800 International Drive| Orlando, Florida, 32819|