Economic Impact Analysis on a High-Speed Railway System for Central Florida

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Economic Impact Analysis on a High-Speed Railway System for Central Florida

Introduction

High-speed railway (HRL) systems have been used primarily over in such countries as Japan since 1964 and France since 1984. Recently the United States has generated interest in the high-speed railway as well. The proposed system would stretch from Miami through Orlando and end in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area. With bullet trains operating at top speeds of 220 miles an hour, the express travel time from downtown Miami to Orlando would take approximately 2.5 hours. Intercity travelers (trips between metropolitan regions) along with longer-distance commuters would enjoy the benefits of a system designed to connect with existing rail, air, and
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metro areas for low business costs, according to a KPMG 2004 study. Tampa/Hillsborough County’s median home price increased by approximately 17 percent in 2004 yet is still around $170,000 – far below that of most MSAs. Among more than 300 U.S. urban areas, the regional cost of living remains about 6 percent lower than the average. (Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, 2004)

Sky Line of Tampa Bay at Night

Orlando

The population area of Orlando experienced a 2.62 percent growth rate from 1998 to 2003. The population estimate for 2004 was 1.84 million people and, according to the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Metro Orlando is expected to rank first in the nation in terms of total employment growth and population growth through 2008. Between 2000 and 2010, population is expected to grow by 21 percent, whereas employment is expected to grow by 22.1 percent. Furthermore, Metro Orlando is projected to be among the nation’s fastest-growing regions throughout this decade.

The Orlando population is young, diverse and well-educated, with a median age of 35. The community’s labor force exceeds 1,000,000 and boasts a 48.8% employment rate. As of 2004, the Orlando MSA median household effective buying income was $39,285, as compared to the state average of $36,599 and the national average of $38,035.
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