Officials: 3 Florida panthers struck and killed by vehicles
BIG CYPRESS, Fla. — (AP) — Three endangered Florida panthers were killed by separate vehicle strikes earlier this week, officials said. That makes 18 panther deaths attributed to fatal collisions out of 24 total deaths this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Also Tuesday, the remains of a 10-year-old female were found just north of Southwest Florida International Airport in Lee County. WATCH: ‘It’s dangerous’: Photo shows local students forced to sit on floor in jam-packed school busFlorida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.wftv.com
First look at high-speed Brightline trains that will connect OIA, South Florida
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time, we’re getting a close look at the high-speed trains that will connect Orlando International Airport to South Florida. Fresh off the assembly line, the trains will soon be moving from Sacramento, California to Florida for Brightline’s high-speed rail. >>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<Rail service between Miami and West Palm Beach was the first part of the project. Work is more than 60% done on Phase Two that will connect to the new train station at Orlando International Airport. READ: Neighbors share concerns over future Brightline trains going along 417Brightline also has its eyes on the next leg, to Walt Disney World and then to Tampa.wftv.com
Proposed high speed rail from OIA to South Florida receives pushback over route
ORLANDO, Fla. — A high speed rail will soon connect South Florida to the Orlando International Airport. However, Brightline Trains are facing pushback on its proposal to expand to Tampa using the right of way along State Road 417 with a stop at Disney in between. “It seems almost unconscionable to consider such a route when there’s an alternate, primarily industrial corridor down the 528,” said Hunter’s Creek resident Ruthanne Connor-King. Brightline has said that it will listen to other proposals, but believes that route will cost an additional $1 billion. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your smart TV.wftv.com
Neighbors share concerns over future Brightline trains going along 417
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A decision that will impact transportation for decades in the state is now on the table here in Central Florida. Residents from the Hunter’s Creek community expressed concerns about noise, dust and an impact on property values, because the preferred route by Brightline goes along the 417 near thousands of homes in that community. Brightline said it’s willing to look at other options, but believes the 528 route would add an extra $1.1 billion to the cost of the project. That’s money Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the county isn’t prepared to handle. READ: Disney, Brightline mull where to put train stop at Disney Springs, sources sayThat means other public or private money would have to come into play.wftv.com
Brightline’s position improves with new gaming compact, new Orlando stop
ORLANDO, Fla. — Brightline, the commuter train they currently serves South Florida but will soon make a stop in Orlando, is poised to be one of the major beneficiaries of the new Seminole tribe gaming compact. While there will be no expansion of gambling in Central Florida, the Seminole tribe will be allowed to expand in South Florida. In addition parimutuels in South Florida will be allowed to move locations. Brightline Holdings LLC is owned by Fortress Investment which also has investments in other gaming enterprises including Penn National Gaming. Together, these routes will remove more than a half million tons of CO2 emissions annually by eliminating 7.6 million vehicle trips.”wftv.com
Construction of high-speed rail connecting South Florida to Orlando halfway complete
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Brightline says it’s more than halfway done with construction to bring the high-speed rail service to Orlando. The vehicle maintenance facility, near Orlando International Airport, will serve 16 trains a day and bring in dozens of new jobs. READ: Brightline urged to include I-Drive, Convention Center stops along high-speed railway to TampaOn Wednesday, Brightline officials said there’s major progress on the high-speed rail system set to connect South Florida to the Orlando International Airport, which is set to start sometime next year. After that, the rail system is planned to connect to Tampa, but questions remain about the route. READ: Disney, Brightline mull where to put train stop at Disney Springs, sources sayFor the next leg, which would connect Orlando to Tampa with a stop in Disney, there are two options: one along State Road 417 and the other along State Road 528, which could cost $1 billion more.wftv.com
Traffic alert: SR-528 detours due to Brightline construction project
to SR-524, travel east on SR-524/Clearlake Road & follow south to SR-520 to US-1 & travel north to US-1 to access eastbound SR-528. Westbound SR-528 traffic will be directed to exit at US-1 (Exit 46), travel south on US-1 to SR-520 to Clearlake Road, travel north on Clearlake Road to Industry Road and travel north on Industry Road to access westbound SR-528. traffic wishing to travel east on SR-528 will be directe4d to travel south on Industry Rd. to SR-524, travel east on SR-524 to Clearlake Road, travel south on Clearlake Road to SR-520, travel east on SR-520 to US-1 & travel north on US-1 to access eastbound SR-528. East SR-528 exit ramp to north US-1 (Exit 46)Full ramp closure, 10 p.m., Sunday, March 14 to 5 a.m., Tuesday, March 30.
Brightline Trains targeting 2022 for station at Orlando International Airport
ORLANDO, Fla. – The president of Brightline Trains met with transportation leaders in Orlando on Wednesday to discuss the company’s expansion project through Central Florida. Patrick Goddard was the guest speaker at the Alliance for Regional Transportation Education Series, which was held at the site of Brightline’s future station at Orlando International Airport. “This is a very diverse market and it is a perfect market for intercity passenger rail,” Goddard said. Goddard said station is an important stop in what will eventually connect Orlando to the west coast of Florida. A time frame for the Tampa extension hasn’t been announced, but the extension to Orlando International Airport is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2022.
Brightline, Walt Disney World agree to build train station at Disney Springs
Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement Monday to build a train station at Disney Springs. The station would allow “convenient travel” between Walt Disney World and several Brightline planned stations at Orlando International Airport, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, a news release said. Brightline officials said that the expansion from West Palm Beach to OIA is on track and should be completed in 2022. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World Resort is a tremendous example of this.”Travelers can expect the proposed Disney Springs station to have a ground level lobby, passenger facilities and an upper level train platform. “We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
Rail Line Will Finally Extend to Disney Springs
The private passenger-rail service Brightline announced an agreement Monday with Walt Disney World to build a station at Disney Springs as part of expansion plans from South Florida to Central Florida. The station, which would link the Disney shopping, dining and entertainment complex with Orlando International Airport, potentially by 2022, is conditioned on Brightline obtaining needed government approvals. “We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests,” Walt Disney World Resort President Jeff Vahle said in a prepared statement. Brightline is working on a $2.7 billion expansion of its service from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport that is expected to be completed in 2022. –News Service of Floridaflaglerlive.com
Brightline and Walt Disney World announce partnership to build station at Disney Springs
click image Photo courtesy Brightline/FacebookBrightline and Walt Disney World announced a new agreement on Monday to construct a Brightline station at Disney Springs.The planned station at Walt Disney Resorts will connect Disney with existing and in-the-works Brightline hubs at Orlando International Airport, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Aventura, Boca Raton and Port Miami.Design plans for the Disney Springs station include a ground-floor lobby, passenger facilities and an upstairs train platform, to say nothing of the prime location to all of Disney World's theme parks and hotels. Although, it should be noted, the exact location of the station has not been revealed.“Brightline will offer a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline, in a press statement. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World Resort is a tremendous example of this.”There is no set date for construction to commence – or be completed by – as this partnership is contingent on Brightline getting all of the needed government approvals.The Brightline expansion from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport should be complete by 2022. And a Brightline route from Orlando to Tampa will tentatively break ground in 2022.orlandoweekly.com
Leslye Gale's O-Town Lowdown on Magic 107.7 for Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
click to enlarge Photo via Magic 107.7Isn't it so 2020 that we have some of the best weather we've ever had on a Halloween yet Covid is keeping many of us at home? Fortunately, some things are even bigger than a pandemic and one them will be visible this weekend. – LINK Almost as popular as a perfect Harvest Moon, Orlando's Burger Week is back and here's where you can get a great burger for just 5 bucks! – LINK This should come as great news to all of the people forced to drive I-4 from Tampa to Orlando. The private rail system Brightline says they'll be up and running by 2025.orlandoweekly.com
Brevard County, Cocoa hoping for local Virgin Trains stop
COCOA, Fla. - At the Beachline Expressway and US-1, Brevard County transportation leaders envision 30 Virgin Trains running every day east-to-west to Orlando and north-to-south to Miami. Formerly known as Brightline, Virgin Trains' original plan was to speed through the Space Coast without a stop. County leaders said they're now showing the company that it's worth building a passenger train station at the site leaders call the "Cocoa Curve." Another proposed location the county suggested to Virgin Trains was at US-1 and Rosa L. Jones Drive in Cocoa's Diamond Square neighborhood. Leaders said the land around US-1 and State Road 528 is already owned by Virgin Trains.