I was interviewed by Barbara Liston of Reuters for: New commuter rail link ready to roll in central Florida
… All Aboard Florida says 50 million people a year travel between Orlando, the most visited U.S. city, and Miami, Florida’s largest urban area, creating a feasible market for what would be the first privately funded, owned and operated inter-city passenger rail service in the country in a half a century.
If the project succeeds, “then you’ve expanded the effective commuter shed that someone could live in Miami and work in Orlando or vice versa,” said David Levinson, urban systems researcher and civil engineering professor at the University of Minnesota.
“It happens in Europe all the time and it happens in the Northeast Corridor all the time.”
SunRail is the tenth new commuter rail system completed in the United States since 2000, and follows the 2011 opening of the 21-mile “A Train” in Denton, Texas, according to the APTA.
Other new systems since the turn of the century were built in Austin, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Albuquerque, Seattle, Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon.
Despite President Barack Obama’s attempt to jump-start high-speed rail construction across the country with $8 billion in his 2009 economic stimulus package, no European or Japanese-style train has been constructed, Levinson said. …