Brightline Phase III: Tampa to Orlando
Brightline Trains, LLC (Brightline) proposes to construct a high-speed passenger rail system between Tampa and Orlando, Florida. Presently, passenger mobility in the Tampa-Orlando corridor is provided primarily by highways, particularly I-4. Projected transportation demand and travel growth, as prompted by social demand and economic development and compared to existing and future roadway capacity, show a serious deficit in available capacity. In addition, increasing population, employment, and tourism rates continue to elevate travel demand in the study corridor.
Although capacity improvements to the interstate system along the corridor have either recently been completed or are planned for the near future, they are not adequate to accommodate future travel demand. This need is further emphasized by high traffic volumes, congestion, and accident rates in the study corridor. Social, and economic demands will also continue to call for provision of alternative transportation choices for those individuals who cannot or choose not to drive, as well as those travelers looking for alternatives to congested highways. The Brightline Phase III Project will:
- Enhance intercity passenger mobility between Tampa and Orlando by expanding passenger transportation capacity and providing an alternative to highway and air travel.
- Reduce congestion on I-4 by reducing the number of vehicular travelers.
- Support sustained economic growth of the region and the quality of life of the region’s residents and visitors.
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) previously analyzed a similar route as part of the Florida High Speed Rail (FHSR) Project for which FRA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in May 2010. Brightline proposes modifications to the alignment previously selected by FRA. To analyze the environmental impacts of these modifications as well as reevaluate the impacts for the portions of the alignment that are unchanged since the 2010 FHSR ROD, FRA is currently in the process of preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.
Kevin Wright, Environmental Protection Specialist
Environment and Project Engineering Division
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building, Mail Stop 20
Washington, DC 20590