A company wants to build a $344 million magnetic levitation train that will connect the Orlando International Airport (OIA) with the Sand Lake Road SunRail stop, the Florida Mall, and Convention Center. American Maglev CEO Tony Morris gave the second of three presentations he will make to Metroplan Orlando.
"The train would be unlike any other train ride you've ever taken," said Morris. "This is the ultimate e-ticket ride."
The train could reach speeds of 50 miles an hour in some spots along the route, and Morris says it will be almost completely silent, using magnetic levitation "maglev" technology.
"I think this will become a show place for people that are coming here, you know 30 million people, soon to be 80 million people coming here to enjoy all of the wonderful things Central Florida has to offer."
With leaders in Central Florida desperate for transportation funding, they are likely to receive this plan warmly. Morris plans to ask for no government funding at all. He would like to use right of way already owned by the county, airport, or Expressway Authority. The plan is to lease that land each year, so money could even come back to help subsidize other transportation needs like SunRail.
"Here in Central Florida, along with a lot of other things, it's a different situation, it's a much better situation. Growth is twice what the national average is here, and we think this is a particularly wonderful place to be able to launch this technology."
Metroplan's board will hear this presentation on Wednesday and could give the next go ahead. More studies will be required, and there are potential snags. OIA has already expressed concerns over revenue. They make millions each year on rental cars, and a train to the Convention Center could cut those revenues.
Morris says a train ride would cost $13 one way, or $30 would get a monthly unlimited pass. He hopes to begin construction by the Summer of 2013.