Clearing Up Misconceptions about All Aboard Florida

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P. Michael Reininger

ALMOST ONE YEAR AGO TO THE DAY, on July 17, 2014, Mr. Michael Reininger, then President and Chief Development Officer of All Aboard Florida, wrote a full page article in InsideVero entitled “Clearing Up Misconceptions About All Aboard Florida.”

His main statement printed largely in italics in the middle of the article was: “Special interests groups have poured their time and resources into perpetuating inaccurate and fearful notions rather than engaging with our company to learn the truth or participate in productive dialog.”

Here are some excerpts from his article:

“Definitive statements that no passenger train services operate profitably are simply not true.  Europe has many profitable passenger rail services, like Eurostar and other services operated by private companies on routes that share many characteristics with our plan.  In the United States, the Amtrac Acela service in the north-east corridor connects New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., and is profitable when segregated from the rest of the public subsidized system.” (Awkward sentence but word for word.)

“The notion that our business is some Trojan Horse designed really to result in additional freight capacity in the corridor is illogical and just plain silly.  Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) and Florida East Coast Industries are independent companies. They do not share legal structure, organization, management or any participation from operating results for their separate businesses.”

“The already completed Environmental Assessment for our first phase examined at grade crossings that exist in the most heavily developed portion of our system, where the traffic volumes and density of crossings are the highest. The results of this analysis concluded no significant impact to traffic, service or public safety as as result of the addition of 32 passenger trains.”

“To better understand, during the operating hours of our system and because of the speed and size of the trains, anyone transversing he corridor, has about a 97 percent chance of never even encountering a passenger train. If they do, the duration is less than 60 seconds, which accounts for warning time, gate closure, train passage and subsequent gate reopening.”

“Indian River County benefits greatly from the development of All Aboard Florida.  This project will generate more than $192 million in economic impact for the county and create almost 400 jobs during construction.”

“As you view the continued rhetoric we expect from our critics, do so in the context of these realities and hold all voices in the debate to the same standard of accountability we readily expect.”

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