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Orlando International Airport Poised to Go Intermodal

10/04/2013

Intermodal airports are nothing new in Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris Charles de Gaulle and others aggregate rail and air travel in one place. The result is better ground-to-air connectivity for flyers. Problem is, intermodal airports in the United States are as rare as congressional cooperation. In comparison to some of their European and Asian counterparts, U.S. airports are crippled.

That could change now that the passenger rail project All Aboard Florida has secured a critical portion of right of way ‘twixt Miami and Orlando International Airport. Now that that’s out of the way, “We will now focus on designing and engineering the project so we can begin construction by the end of this year,” says P. Michael Reininger in a press release. He’s All Aboard Florida’s chief development officer.

The 230-mile/370 km downtown Miami – Orlando International run is slated to debut come 2015. The trip would take some three hours, with speeds approaching 110 miles per hour.

Why’s an airport so eager to see people take the train, rather than fly? “Floridians and visitors want transportation options and flexibility,” says Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher in a press release.

Backers are betting the 36 percent of Florida’s 19 million folks who live in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Orange counties will welcome another way to get to Orlando International, and thence form there to the increasingly global destinations served from the central Florida megaport. It doesn’t hurt that Orlando’s home to Walt Disney World either, the gargantuan amusement complex that draws visitors from the world over.

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