Both Florida residents and visitors utilize the heavily congested highways to travel between Central and South Florida. To ease the congestion and take cars off the road, a private company called Florida East Coast Industries is developing a rail network between Miami and Orlando, which may eventually be expanded with service to Tampa and Jacksonville. All Aboard Florida will use existing rail line along the East coast with an additional spur line of about 40 miles to get into Orlando for a total of 235 miles of track. “An estimated 12 million travelers will benefit from the Miami station,” says Michael Reininger, President and Chief Development Officer, All Aboard Florida. “All Aboard Florida provides a fast and convenient transit alternative for this growing demand and need, while integrating transportation infrastructure with mixed use development to serve as a catalyst for transformation and economic vitality in a city that is quickly becoming a model for urban living today.”
SOM is working with local Miami firm, Zyscovich Architects to design the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations. So far only plans for the Miami multimodal hub have been released, but they show an elevated station located in the heart of the city’s downtown. The already dense site called for careful attention to existing buildings, retail and commercial and the new station will work to compliment these factors and provide a constant stream of people arriving and leaving through the new gateway. The V-shaped skeletal structure and ample use of glass will allow daylight to filter into the station and give it a lightweight, shimmering quality. Work is expected to begin 2014 on the rail network with passenger service expected to start up in 2016.
Images ©SOM and All Aboard Florida