Passenger rail grows in Florida, as the state grapples with congested roads

By Julie Sneider, Senior Associate Editor, Progressive Railroading Magazine; June 2019

In January, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) marked 30 years of providing Tri-Rail commuter-rail service along a 72-mile corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport. The service was launched initially by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a five-year temporary traffic mitigation measure during an Interstate 95 widening project.

But the train service caught on with commuters over those five years — so much so that Tri-Rail has become an integral part of south Florida’s transportation network, operating 50 trains on weekdays and 30 trains on weekends and holidays, according to SFRTA. Since its debut on Jan. 9, 1989, Tri-Rail has transported 92 million people in its service area through Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

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