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2000 Florida rail system plan
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2000 Florida rail system plan
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  • NTL Classification:
    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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