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League Co-President Sue Gilman Speaks at CFX Mtg on Brightline

June 10, 2021

Buddy Dyer, Chairman Central Florida Expressway Authority
4974 Orlando Tower Road Orlando, FL 32807

Dear Chairman Dyer,

The League of Women Voters of Orange County and the League of Women Voters of Florida support governmental action that results in sustainability. We work to meet the needs of the present without endangering the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We support public transportation projects which yield multimodal investments in local and state infrastructure.

In 2018 the League of Orange County issued our Report Card: Metro Orlando’s Transportation Network reporting on progress over the last thirty plus years. This is in line with a long history of the League taking positions supporting mass transit as well as highspeed rail – LYNX, SunRail, and now Brightline. Our 2018 Report Card noted “The biggest failure has been the absence of progress toward a regional transportation vision and dedicated source of funding.” This is still true today.

Metroplan Orlando surveyed the public during its 2045 planning process. One of the top five needs noted by the public is the ability to get from point A to point B in a timely and convenient manner. Another need is safety with fewer traffic injuries and deaths. The Central Florida road network is one of the deadliest for pedestrians and cyclist as noted in the recent Dangerous by Design report.

Brightline, a private entity, cannot satisfy all our immediate needs, but it can provide a shared SunRail link to the airport and help displace a $250 million price tag if we were to seek funding on our own. SunRail ridership and revenue greatly improve with integration with Brightline. Subsequently Brightline takes some of the strain off of our counties and local municipalities funding of operations and maintenance once SunRail is turned over to local governments.

The League says that’s a win -- not to mention the lightning fast reality of the airport link becoming operational in the next 3-5 years!  Another delivery method – whether light rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), or a SunRail extension may be needed to get from Orlando International Airport Meadow Woods Station to the Convention Center. Smart cities of the future will need multi-modal transit that gets people where they want or need to go in a timely and efficient manner. We cannot continue to build endless roads. We need to build our transit infrastructure to serve our community.

Sincerely, Barbara Lanning Co-President