3 HOUR RIDE TO THE AIRPORT - REALLY?

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 10:30am

3 HOUR RIDE TO THE AIRPORT - REALLY?

Letter by Bill Boothe of West Palm Beach to Palm Beach Post
August 11, 2014

Reading Sunday’s All Aboard article makes me wonder why anyone would believe that this absurd concept could ever be viable (“Local station may be busiest”).

The scenario being pitched is roughly this: Tourists flying into Miami will take a three-hour train ride to Orlando because it is so much more convenient — and fun — than renting a car and driving. Let’s break this down. These tourists (say a family of four) will get off their flight, gather up their luggage and haul it over to the bus station, wait for up to 20 minutes for a bus, then take a 15-minute bus ride to the All Aboard station in downtown Miami (or pay $22 plus tip for a taxi — the likely choice). They will then drag their luggage (again) from the bus/taxi stop into the train station, where they will wait up to an hour for the next train. They will pay $120 for a three-hour train ride to the Orlando airport — what? The Orlando airport?

Sorry folks, but no tourist coming into Miami is interested in going to the Orlando airport. Disney and/or Universal are more like it. So, these tourists will need to haul their luggage (a third time — now the kids are really getting cranky) to pick up a rental car and drive to the parks or use the Disney shuttle service — another 30-60 minutes depending on traffic. Net result — a six- to seven-hour nightmare that irritates everyone in the party. And just think how much fun the return trip to Miami will be with two worn-out kinds in tow.

Or, these tourists could conveniently pick up a rental car at MIA and make a simple, direct drive right to the park of their choice — in less than 4 hours — and return in the same fashion.

If All Aboard was taking passengers directly to the theme parks, it might have a chance for success. But to the Orlando airport? It’s just another boondoggle looking for public financing.