Assessing Florida's HSR Plan
Proponents argue the new line will create a "central Florida megalopolis," spurring economic growth in the region, writes Russell. However, critics argue the project fails to create opportunities for transit-oriented development. All but one of the new stations will be located in suburban areas and surrounded by parking lots.
Russell says that despite this shortcoming, the project is a step in the right direction:
"HSR will undoubtedly redefine the cities of central Florida. While this may not initially be in a denser, more liveable way advocated by many urbanists, the simple fact that a new intercity train line is set to be built – possibly the first in the US since the early part of the past century – is good. And as people begin to get out of their cars and use the train, a new transit-oriented population will emerge."