As many of you know, there is talk about a new train service connecting South Florida cities from Miami going north with Orlando, with a potential expansion to Tampa and Jacksonville. This would be a long overdue use of tracks that are largely already in place (though it seems that some upgrades are necessary to accommodate higher speeds), with a short and not inexpensive portion having to be built between Cocoa and Orlando. We won’t recall the disastrous decision by the Florida governor, apparently following questionable advice by an anti-rail think tank, but we are glad that a privately owned company jumps in to fill that void.
We at the SFBC asked ourselves to what extent this new service will accommodate bicycle transport. While maybe not designed as a commuter train service between, say, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, there are plenty of reasons to think that people will use the trains for that very purpose. We are of course still hoping that there will be commuter rail service between Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Moreover, what if you want to take a train to Orlando and want to take your bike along?
Here is the answer from the FEC, which is behind this project:
“We appreciate your interest in the project. We recognize the need to include these types of amenities and when we begin meeting with rolling stock providers, we will get a better idea of what is possible. You are one of several folks that emailed a similar question so we recognize it as a need for the overall system.”
We encourage you to send a message to info@AllAboardFlorida.com as this project is still in the planning stages. Let them know that you would like to see rail cars that accommodate bicycles. It really should be a no-brainer, but you never know.