Stopping All Aboard efforts -- Feb 20, 2015

The Martin County Commission allocated $1.4 Million from reserve.
The Indian River County Commission allocated $2.7 Million. All to fight All Aboard.
The Costs of All Aboard to our local government and economy will be enormous both with lower property values and with high costs of RR Crossing upgrades for the increased speed, frequency and train length. And that is without a valuation of the safety, economic and quality of life issues.

On Wed, Feb 18th at 8 a.m. a "Stop All Aboard" meeting was held and provided some excellent information. Bob Crandall, of Palm City and former American Airlines CEO (15 yrs, retiring in 1998) that did well by the airlines, was the moderator. Steve Ryan, attorney hired by CARES or CARES of FL provided input.

They spoke of the game plan to kill this project. And that we were at the Battle of Midway for this war.
Details will be at the CARE FL, LLC website -- They welcome contributions and information.

To date they have:

  • hired the retired Coast Guard whose report says that the bridge opening now is  3 hours 30 minutes  but will become  more than 9 hours and 30 minutes per day at St. Lucie RR Bridge (build about 1938); Loxahatchee Bridge would go from 3 hrs 20 min to 9 hrs open.   
  • paid for The Friedman Report (Professor Friedman is out of Brown University) to analysis costs;
    • to compete need to charge $34/ticket
    • to cover operation and debt payments need to charge up to $273/ticket.
  • done a great deal of research: All Aboard has 350 RR crossings at grade - in Europe & Japan, almost no grade crossings.  In 2013, there were 2,096 RR accidents in US.  Our school buses cross RR tracks 350 times/school day.

They are considering various lines of attack including:

  • Working with county to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.  
  • Preparing for DEIS legal challenges, 
  • Researching the legality of All Aboard being able to MANDATE counties and cities pay enormous funds for upgrading RR crossings.
  • Looking to our elected representatives - especially at the federal level for information and assistance - DOT may make some discretionary decisions, especially regarding the funding options.
  • Proposing more fact-finding, expert Studies.  A RR SAFETY Study, including the bridges.  A study on ridership.  

Bob Crandall announced his goal of raising $2.5 - $3 Million for the private part of the fight over next 18 months.