Publish Date: 
Friday, September 19, 2014 - 2:45pm

Protest All Aboard Florida by sending your comments to FRA at the address below or via EMAIL: AAF_comments@vhb.com. All comments must be received by December 3, 2014.

FRA Address for Public Comments:

Mr. John Winkle
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Room W38-311
Washington, DC 20590

Voice your concerns in person: Dates and locations for those meetings are:

MIAMI October 27, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Miami-Dade College - Wolfson Campus | James K. Batten Room - 2106 | 300 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, FL 33132

BROWARD October 28, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Broward County Convention Center | 1950 Eisenhower Blvd. | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

WEST PALM BEACH October 29, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

West Palm Beach Marriott| 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard|  West Palm Beach, FL 33401

STUART October 30, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

The Kane Center | 900 SE Salerno Road | Stuart, FL 34997

VERO BEACH November 5, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Indian River State College | Richardson Hall | 6155 College Lane| Vero Beach, FL 32966

PORT ST. LUCIE November 6, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Port St. Lucie Civic Center | 9221 SE Civic Center Place, Port St Lucie, FL 34952

COCOA November 12, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Cocoa Civic Center | 430 Delannoy Avenue | Cocoa, FL 32922

ORLANDO November 13, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Wyndham Orlando Resort I-Drive| 8001 International Drive | Orlando, Florida, 32819

Read the draft here: http://fra.dot.gov/Elib/Details/L15976

There will be a 75-day public comment period. The Federal Railroad Administration has released a draft environmental impact statement concerning the Orlando to West Palm Beach stretch of All Aboard Florida.

It says the overall environmental impact of the project will be minimal but identifies a dozen adverse impacts.

In addition, FRA will be hosting eight public information meetings. Dates and locations for those meetings are listed below.

The purpose of the Draft EIS (DEIS) is to disclose all environmental effects associated with the project alternatives, whether they are adverse or beneficial and allow the public to review and comment on the document. FRA has prepared and published this DEIS in coordination with the FAA, USACE and USCG and informed the public through a notice in the Federal Register, newspaper ads and press releases. Public information meetings on the DEIS will be held during the 75‐day public comment period.

Read the draft here: http://fra.dot.gov/Elib/Details/L15976

Final EIS (FEIS) – following the public comment period on the DEIS, FRA will prepare and publish a FEIS that responds to public and agency comments.

Record of Decision (ROD) – FRA will issue a single document that consists of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision pursuant to Pub. L. 112‐141, 126 Stat. 405, Section 1319(b) unless FRA determines that statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude issuance of such a combined document. FRA may approve the RRIF loan request after the ROD has been finalized.


Suggested letter:

We request curtailment of AAF since every bit of evidence points to failure, profound safety and environmental issues and lack of any discernible benefit to local communities.

The Draft EIS regarding All Aboard Florida is clearly posturing on the part of The Federal Railroad Administration to sign off on an ill-advised high-speed passenger rail project. AAF needs to be stopped - history dictates that it is unlikely ever to be financially independent of major taxpayer obligation, and it is clear the benefits are not worthy of the burden on taxpayers.

Our country is in debt up to it’s eyeballs, and should not fund or approve a train project that is unsafely retrofitted to old rail beds, does not stop to serve passengers in the communities it is passing through, is funded with almost 2 BILLION dollars of taxpayers money, and carries the magical claim that its service will remove 3,000,000 cars from the road.

Florida does not have conditions that would support its success. According to The Federal Train Policy report, “The Development of High Speed Rail in the United States: Issues and Recent Events,”* published in December 30, 2013 about factors supporting HSR, “Compared to the United States, countries with HSR have higher population densities, smaller land areas, lower per capita levels of car ownership, higher gasoline prices, lower levels of car use (measured both by number of trips per day and average distance per trip), and higher levels of public transportation availability and use” are more successful with HSR projects.

The population of AAF’s cities is too small to provide the level of ridership necessary for HSR profitability. Tokyo and Osaka have over 17 billion residents, By comparison, Orlando's population is 255 thousand and Miami's is 418 thousand.

The same Federal Policy report “quotes a 1997 study in which the FRA estimated, "in most cases rail improvements would divert only 3%-6% of intercity automobile trips, and even less in corridors with average trip lengths under 150 miles.” So there won’t be significantly less cars on the road. Certainly not 3,000,000.

The train does not even serve most of the communities it passes through, but it will devastate them. A coastal topography unique to the United States will be destroyed by corporate greed.

We request that the federal Government Accountability Office review the project’s costs and risks of default, as well as the interest rate that would be assessed to their $1.875 billion loan. Why should a “privately funded” project be the on the shoulders of the taxpayers.

We request responsible leadership and decision making regarding tax-dependent projects, and we, the tax-payers, look forward to your accountability and response to our concerns.