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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

All Aboard Florida - Miami to Orlando Passenger Rail Service

Final Environmental Impact Statement

All Aboard Florida – Operations LLC (AAF) proposed to construct a privately owned and operated intercity passenger railroad system to connect Orlando and Miami, with intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. AAF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI), one of Florida's oldest and largest transportation, infrastructure, and commercial real estate companies. AAF proposed to construct a new approximately 40-mile dedicated rail corridor parallel to Florida State Road 528 connecting to the existing Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, which has supported freight and/or passenger service on a continuous basis for more than 100 years. The Project also includes infrastructure improvements to the existing FEC rail corridor between Cocoa and West Palm Beach.

This new proposed construction is part of a larger AAF passenger rail project designed to provide safe, convenient travel to and from Florida’s most highly trafficked commercial, entertainment, and recreational destinations. The initial Phase I of the Project consists of a new passenger rail service with independent utility along the 66.5 miles of the FEC Corridor connecting West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and including three stations and associated infrastructure improvements. AAF then proposed to extend that service to Orlando with Phase II. The total Project will consist of a 235 mile intercity passenger rail service with an anticipated three-hour travel time between Miami and Orlando. AAF is responsible for financing the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the passenger rail system.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviewed the request for AAF to obtain a permit authorizing the filling of wetlands in association with Phase II of the AAF Passenger Rail Service Project. The original Biological Opinion, issued October 1, 2015, outlines the anticipated environmental effects of the project, particularly on endangered and threatened species. The Service issued a revised Biological Opinion on October 9, 2015 to include additional species and clarification of project details. The Service published both documents after FRA completed its review and therefore were not included in the FEIS or in the appendices shown below.

The FRA was the lead agency for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for the Project. FRA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the initial Phase I of the Project on January 30, 2013. Subsequently, on April 15, 2013, FRA published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Although the Draft EIS was initiated for Phase II of the Project, the document analyzes the cumulative effects of both phases of the Project since train operations will cover the full corridor between Miami and Orlando. The FRA issued the Draft EIS on September 19, 2014. FRA issued the Final EIS on August 4, 2015. FRA did not issue a Record Of Decision because the AAF stopped pursuing a loan with the agency, removing the federal action responsibility of FRA.


*The draft Section 106 MOA has been revised with a new Attachment