Brightline Expansion to Disney is under heavy fire from many sides. With Universal and I-Drive businesses wanting a stop and now a lawyer for Hunter’s Creek in south Orange County. The new issue is the railroad tracks along State Road 417.
“Our residents and business owners are expressing concerns about the noise, safety, dirt, and property values,” the lawyer said in an email to the Central Florida Expressway Authority, which owns and operates the tolled S.R. 417. “The proposed route through the SR-417 would impose all of the burdens of a high-speed train on the Hunter’s Creek community with none of the benefit.”
Brightline is already under negotiations with Central Florida Expressway Authority who owns SR-417 about paying for losses of toll revenue from drivers switching to rail transportation.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
The privately-owned company also is pursuing planning and permits for an additional expansion from Orlando’s airport to Tampa, most of which would follow public right-of-way along Interstate 4.
That would make Orlando the central hub in Brightline’s Miami-to-Tampa service, the only privately owned, higher-speed passenger rail in the nation.
Brightline is also facing challenges of everyone wanting something from them, besides being a major hub for the company, the Orlando area wants 3 stops now, a local passenger rail service to the airport and to the International Drive and Orange County Convention Center area, and Disney Springs. Plus they want to change how Brightline spends its money by bypassing the 417 route and going more expensive with a 528 to I-Drive, which is double the cost.
Just for context, Brightline is not asking for local or state funding, they are funding the project fully. With expected opening summer of 2022.
This has turned into a hot button issue locally, with Disney fans and vacationers just wanting a quick easy way to get to the resort area, now that Magical Express will no longer be operating next year.
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