STUART, Fla.—Four out of every five registered voters in the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach County oppose the All Aboard Florida (AAF) rail project, a new poll shows. AAF wants to build new rail lines between Orlando and Miami, which would
sharply increase freight and passenger rail traffic throughout the region, and also create safety and quality of life issues for local residents.
The poll also found that 65 percent of those surveyed are “less likely” to vote for their local elected official in the next election if he or she supports AAF. The poll was commissioned by Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE FL), and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
“Treasure Coast residents are nearly united in their opposition to All Aboard Florida,” said Brad Coker, Managing Director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. Top concerns cited, he said, include: public safety, negative impact on area businesses, and barriers to
hospitals. “Residents in the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach County have serious doubts about the public safety and economic impact in their neighborhoods,” Coker added.
Among the poll’s major findings:
• 80 percent are opposed to AAF while only 15 percent support it;
• Most significantly,
• 68 percent of local voters are “strongly opposed” to AAF;
• 77 percent believe AAF will make traffic conditions worse while only 4 percent believe they will improve;
• A majority (53 percent) believe local businesses will be hurt by AAF; 59 percent believe AAF will slow down response times for police, fire and medical emergency units in the communities along the tracks; and
• Strong bipartisan opposition with 72 percent of Democrats, 86 percent of independents, and 84 percent of Republicans reporting they oppose it.
Poll results are the latest in a series of warnings about the public’s concerns about AAF and the many negative impacts that it will have on the Treasure Coast and South Florida regions, should it be allowed to go forward by local officials who support the project.
“These results send a strong and resounding message to policy makers at every level of government that the residents in our communities oppose this misguided project that has been anything but transparent,“ said Bill Ward, Chairman of CARE FL. “Our
residents demand the facts about a project that will erode our local economies, as well as our quality of life.”
In February, a report issued by former White House economist John Friedman, on behalf of CARE FL, hyperlink to the report found the project will likely generate losses of $100 million annually. In addition, the report sharply questioned many of AAF’s
financial assertions, including its contention that AAF would be a cost-efficient alternative to other modes of travel, including existing passenger trains. The Friedman Report also rebuked, in large measure, AAF’s contention that it could service its own
“Today’s poll results speak loud and clear: All Aboard Florida is not embraced by residents in the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach County,” said Brent Hanlon, Treasurer of CARE FL. “Our residents understand what’s at stake if this ill-conceived
project manages to go forward: more traffic, more threats to area businesses, and less access to our area hospitals. With this poll we are telling our elected leader and those who are pushing this project: Slow down and listen to our community.”
The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research over a period of three days, from April 6 through April 8, 2015. The poll surveyed 625 respondents from the Treasure Coast area which includes St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River Counties as well as North Palm Beach County. The poll has a margin of error +/- of 4 percentage points.
What Treasure Coast Lawmakers Are Saying About All Aboard Florida
“The All Aboard Florida project is long on promises and short on factual information. This project threatens to disrupt the public safety of our community and as someone who recently experienced a significant medical challenge; I understand firsthand the importance of needing immediate access to a hospital. AAF’s plan to add more freight and passenger rail only puts
unnecessary barriers between our residents and our medical facilities, potentially putting lives at risk.” – Rep. MaryLynn Magar (R- Tequesta)
“The residents of the Treasure Coast are standing up for what they believe is a direct threat to our safety and our rights as taxpayers. We should not have to absorb the cost of a project that
provides our community with so little in return. I join our residents in urging the project’s planners to slow down and listen to us.” – Representative Debbie Mayfield (R-Vero Beach)
“I share our community’s deep concerns over All Aboard Florida’s plans to increase the number of trains in our community while shifting the added costs to taxpayers. Our citizens are right to
be concerned about this project’s threat to public safety, our access to medical facilities, and our way of life.” – Representative Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart)
For more information about Citizens Against Rail Expansion (CARE), please visit them at www.saveourfl.com online.
CARE FL is a coalition created by a group of concerned community leaders, organizations and neighbors in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Our group continues to grow. We share a
common goal: Protecting the safety, welfare and way of life for the families, businesses and retirees who live in and around our communities. To learn more about CARE FL’s concerns visit
www.saveourfl.com and follow us on Twitter @CARE_FL.