The SunRail commuter rail line in Florida is now set to be expanded following on the receipt of a $93.4 million grant from from the Federal Transit Administration — with roughly half of the cost of a 17.2-mile Orlando to Osceola County being covered by the new grant — according to recent reports.
A recent ceremony in Kissimmee, Florida — held on September 28 — saw Therese McMillan, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator, sign the new Full Funding Grant Agreement for a $93.4 million federal grant.
The new Phase II South commuter rail line extension will mean that, once completed, service will extend from Orlando, down through Kissimmee, to Poinciana in Osceola County.
Planetizen provides more:
The project will improve transit service to regional employment, entertainment, cultural, and retail destinations, including the Orlando Central Business District, and through transit connections to the Orlando International Airport, Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and the Lake Nona mixed-use commercial community.
“Officials said the Full Funding Grant Agreement commits $93.4 million in funding from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program,” writes Michael Lopardi of WFTV. “The funding amount represents roughly half of the project’s $186.9 million estimated total cost. The remaining costs are covered by the state of Florida and Orange and Osceola counties.”
The project will include four new commuter rail stations — Meadow Woods in Orange County and Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee Amtrak, and Poinciana in Osceola County — the purchase of two locomotives and four passenger cars and the construction of a vehicle storage and maintenance facility.
Back in 2014, when the 61-mile SunRail first launched, the line was somewhat controversial owing to the relationship between CSX and John Mica, the chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at the time. The line has been fairly successful to date though, so all of that now seems to be in the past.
Image Credit: SunRail