A passenger rail connecting South Florida and Orlando is on track to start running next year.
But not everyone is jumping for joy.
A group of real estate experts serving parts of northern Palm Beach and Martin Counties says it has serious concerns about All Aboard Florida.
The $1.5-billion railway project would add 32 passenger trains to the 14 freight trains already running on the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. Stations would be located in the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
But communities that expect to gain little economic benefit from the railway will be forced to bear the brunt of the impacts, according to William Hall, president of the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors.
“Some of those trains run 30 minutes and can tie up two or three crossings at a time. Those are things that communities like Jupiter, Stuart or Lake Worth all have to deal with on top of paying for the cost of trying to mitigate some of the noise effects that these trains are going to generate,” says Hall.
He says there are also concerns that All Aboard Florida’s frequent trains will lead to a reduction of home values. Many in the marine industry are worried the constant lowering of railroad drawbridges will disrupt boating traffic.
In a written statement, All Aboard Florida executives say they’re aware of the concerns and are working closely with communities to mitigate any impacts.