New legislation that supports the creation of a high-speed rail system will help to create Orlando construction jobs
The state Senate
and House of Representatives
recently passed a comprehensive rail transit policy for the State of Florida
. Experts say the legislation sets the stage for the future of Florida's transportation industry.
The biggest impact Orlando
will see from the legislation is further construction of the SunRail
line, a 61-mile project located in Central Florida. That project will create about 10,000 jobs immediately and will result in more than 250,000 jobs and $8.8 billion in economic benefits
during the next 25 years.
"A hundred years ago, Henry Flagler’s railroad brought Florida into the modern age and laid the foundation for the Florida we live in today," Mayor Buddy Dyer
, who also serves as chairman of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission, said. "A century later, a new kind of rail transit has arrived in the State of Florida - a transit system that sets the state on course for a more prosperous future for generations to come.
"This groundbreaking accomplishment is a testament to the cooperation and partnership that began in Central Florida with historic, unanimous support for SunRail and ultimately developed between communities and elected leaders around our state who shared our vision for the transformational power of rail transit," he added.
In addition to creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, the legislation also will allow Florida to leverage billions of dollars in federal funding to build a high-speed rail. President Barack Obama
has set aside $8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
for transportation projects throughout the country.
The Florida Department of Transportation
has already applied for $2.5 billion of that funding, which would be used to build a high-speed rail line connecting Orlando and Tampa, laying the groundwork for an Orlando to Miami corridor.
"Today, the Florida Legislature put the interests of Floridians first by supporting commuter rail in Central and South Florida," Sen. George LeMieux
said. "With support for rail from the state, Florida’s chances of winning federal high-speed rail money greatly improve. A high-speed rail corridor will put Floridians to work, it will drive economic development and create new mega-corridors of activity beneficial to our state."
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