Letter from of from Alice Johnson Vero Beach

Publish Date: 
Monday, May 26, 2014 - 1:45pm

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA
Alice Johnson, Vero Beach - May 26 2014

More reasons why it will fail

Based on the research I’ve done, there are only two profitable highspeed trains in the world, the TGV between Paris and Lyon, and the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka. A comparison between All Aboard Florida and these routes shows why AAF will fail financially.

Existing Ridership: The TGV and Shinkansen were built to relieve crowding on existing heavily traveled train corridors. We’ve already witnessed the failure of both Amtrak and CSX passenger trains between the AAF cities, leaving no existing ridership, and demonstrating lack of demand.

Travel Expense: Gas prices in Europe and Asia are two to three times higher than in the United States, and toll roads are prevalent. The low cost of automobile travel in the United States makes train fares seem too expensive, limiting demand from tourists.

Speed: The profitable French and Japanese routes take slightly over two hours, even though the distances are longer than the AAF route. By definition, high-speed trains travel more than 150 mph. At a top speed of 125 mph and three hours travel time, AAF is not a high-speed train, losing much of its appeal to potential passengers.

Exclusive use of tracks: High-speed trains should never share tracks with freight trains. The two services are incompatible, causing unacceptable delays for both types of service. Lack of reliability will kill ridership demand, as proven by the failure of CSX’s Florida Fun Run between Orlando and Miami.

I believe AAF fails every test for profitability. Its failure should be expected to cause taxpayers to eat $1.5 billion in loans and in addition to wasting several hundred million dollars on publicly financed transit hubs and safety upgrades. Let’s not waste taxpayer money on it.