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2000 Florida rail system plan
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2000 Florida rail system plan
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    NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Planning and Policy
  • Abstract:
    The purpose of the Florida Rail System Plan is two-fold. First, it represents the rail component of the Florida Transportation Plan (Agency Functional Plan) which, through an annual series of policies, programs and projects, implements the Transportation element of the State Comprehensive Plan. Florida Statutes require the plan to be updated every two years. Simultaneously, it serves as Florida's "State Rail Plan", a document required by the Federal Railroad Administration should federal funds be used in support of eligible rail projects. From the federal perspective, the "Plan" must provide updated information on the State's rail system and identify the lines within the system that are eligible for financial assistance under the provisions of the Local Rail Service Reauthorizing Act of 1989. Planning for and monitoring the State's rail system is somewhat different than the other modes of transportation as the vast majority of the system is owned and operated by the private sector. Only 81 miles of Florida's 2,887-mile rail system are in public ownership. Thirteen linehaul and four terminal railroads own/operate the remaining 97 percent of the system. Therefore, the State has limited input affecting many railroad decisions, but rather works with the State's rail carriers to resolve common problems/issues of mutual concern. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), however, does have statutorily mandated roles relating to the "proper maintenance, safety, revitalization, and expansion of the rail system to assure its continued and increased availability to respond to statewide mobility needs." Thus, the Department can influence decisions affecting private rail system operations as they may relate to the public interest. Through the FDOT's Rail Office, the State pursues those mandates where authorized by statute.
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