Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff visited the construction site of the new Florida Hospital SunRail transit station to highlight the significant economic impact that investments in public transportation can create in Central Florida and in cities and towns across the nation. Rogoff was joined by Sen. Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Corrine Brown and local officials.
The Florida Hospital rail station is one of 12 stations planned for the first phase of Central Florida’s 32-mile SunRail commuter rail line. Construction of the rail line, which parallels the highly congested I-4 corridor in Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties, has put about 800 people to work and has spurred a $250 million investment in a 176-acre Health Village at Florida Hospital that will enable thousands of medical researchers, hospital employees, patients and their families to take transit to work or when seeking medical care.
Across the entire rail line, more than two dozen retail, office, government and residential development projects within a 10-minute walk of new transit stations are planned or under way – representing about $1.6 billion in public and private investments altogether.
“President Obama is committed to making the necessary investments in our transportation infrastructure to grow our economy from the middle class outward and reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” said Rogoff. “The SunRail commuter line will do just that by connecting residents from DeBary to Sand Lake Road with the jobs and services they need, while opening doors to new opportunities across Central Florida.”
During his visit, Rogoff announced that $87.3 million has been made available for the Central Florida SunRail project. In July 2011, FTA signed a construction grant agreement committing $178.6 million in New Starts funds, which is 50% of the total project cost. The new funds bring FTA’s total investment so far to $148.5 million in FY2012 and prior-year New Starts funds.