Gov. Rick Scott announced on Monday that he intends to budget $215 million for a multi-modal complex at Orlando International Airport that would serve as a transportation hub for public and privately-financed trains.
The governor was joined at a news conference at the airport by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
Scott has set aside a little over half of that amount in his budget for this year, which still must be approved by the Florida Legislature. The remainder would come next year, if he is re-elected.
"It's going to be 1,900 construction jobs, and when it's complete, it will be 330 permanent jobs," said Gov. Scott.
If built, the depot would serve the All Aboard Florida high speed train that is slated to run from OIA to Miami. It would also allow for a possible future extension of SunRail, if funding becomes available.
"The question on SunRail remains up in the air, until we get federal funding," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. "So hopefully, we'll find it in this year's presidential budget."
In addition, the transportation depot would also accommodate a privately-funded magnetic levitation train. Central Florida's transportation agency Metroplan recently gave preliminary approval for construction of the maglev train that would connect the Orange County Convention Center, the Florida Mall, and a SunRail station at Sand Lake Road with the airport. It will cost approximately $344 million and will be paid for entirely with private money.
The airport will spend roughly $467 million to construct a parking garage and people mover that will link the multi-modal complex to the existing terminals at OIA.
"The south terminal expansion will position Orlando International Airport to be among the first international airports in the United States to have air travel, ground transportation and rail, all in one location," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
If all goes as planned, construction could start as early as 2015 with operations beginning in 2016.