All Aboard Florida, the highly-anticipated passenger rail project, moves forward with two significant agreements announced this week. Today, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) Board unanimously approved an easement purchase agreement with All Aboard Florida. This agreement allows All Aboard Florida to construct its rail infrastructure immediately parallel to the State Road 528 corridor. Coupled with the lease agreement approved by the Florida Department of Transportation in June 2013, All Aboard Florida has now secured the critical right of way needed for the project.
In a separate transaction on October 2, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s (GOAA) Board approved several agreements that will allow All Aboard Florida to develop its Central Florida station at the Orlando International Airport’s future Intermodal Facility. The GOAA agreements will provide (1) a rail easement between State Road 528 and the future Intermodal Facility, (2) a premises lease for the future Intermodal Facility, and (3) a land lease to construct All Aboard Florida’s vehicle maintenance facility.
“All Aboard Florida achieved two major milestones this week by securing the right of way agreement that will utilize the expanded State Road 528 transportation corridor and finalizing the location for the Central Florida terminal station,” said P. Michael Reininger, President and Chief Development Officer of All Aboard Florida. “We will now focus on designing and engineering the project so we can begin construction by the end of this year. The progress we have made in 18 months is the result of a great partnership between All Aboard Florida and the public sector.”
“The Central Florida community has advocated for intercity passenger rail for more than two decades and this week’s agreements will allow All Aboard Florida to meet the demand of Floridians who want more transportation choices,” said Don Robinson, President and Chief Operating Officer of All Aboard Florida.
“All Aboard Florida will be a truly transformative project, bringing thousands of jobs to our region and redefining travel between Central and South Florida,” said Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Mayor. “As Mayor of Orange County, I have been focused on investing in infrastructure and promoting environmentally-friendly initiatives that enhance our quality of life. All Aboard Florida is more than just a sustainable form of transportation. It will connect Florida’s two premier medical research institutes, Scripps in Palm Beach County and Sanford-Burnham in our new Medical City campus, and provide new opportunities to attract people in the health care and research profession to Orange County.”
“We have spent the past decade focused on enhancing our transportation network,” said Buddy Dyer, City of Orlando Mayor. “The addition of All Aboard Florida is perfect timing as SunRail becomes operational next year. We are ensuring our region’s competitive advantage by developing a complete transportation solution that will grow our economy, bring new jobs to our community and make us an even more attractive destination for tourists.”
“This is a very exciting project that fits within our mission to improve mobility for Central Florida’s residents and visitors,” said Walter A. Ketcham, Jr., OOCEA Board Chair. “We are proud to be a part of this innovative project for our state.”
“It is gratifying to see this project coming together and, on behalf of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board, we are pleased to play a part of this forward progress,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, GOOA Board Chair. “Floridians and visitors want transportation options and flexibility, and All Aboard Florida offers a major step in the right direction. The partnership with the airport is important, and I pledge to continue a very productive relationship.”