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CNU 20 - Florida Mobility Policies: Regional Rail to Enhance Mobility

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Published on May 29, 2012

For the last 44 years, the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway corridor has been limited to carrying freight only. Completed by Henry Flagler in 1912, this historic rail corridor originally provided passenger service to every major east coast downtown from Jacksonville to Key West.

This session will examine the recent alignment of land use and transportation policy and practice by many local, regional, and state agencies that have spurred a passenger rail revival in Florida, especially along Florida's southeast coast. Examples of the current rail proposals, including the return of passengers to the historic FEC railway, will be presented along with the latest TOD planning and urban design work that has been completed to support the new passenger rail service. The economic return on investment of rail and associated TOD will be illustrated during this session using examples of successful projects from around the country, shedding some light on the question: "Can dollars rain from trains?"

This session will examine the exciting studies underway to restore stations and rehabilitate community structure to work for pedestrian and rail travel. Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and the West Palm Beach MPO are collaborating to staff these studies and coordinate with current Tri-Rail service in the corridor. The mobility implications are enhanced by the Florida DoT's support of a three-county rail concept (South Florida East Coast Corridor Study), with regional mobility implications on a grand scale.

Michael Busha, Executive Director, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
Kim Delaney, Strategic Development Coordinator, Treasure Coast Regional Council
Dana Little, Urban Design Director, TCRPC

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