Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Why TIA isn't on proposed high speed rail route

TIA not on high speed rail route

Is there a source to assess the chronology of events establishing the endpoints of the High Speed Rail? What authority established it, who participated in the decision and is it truly set in concrete? How did Tampa International Airport get left out of the initial route? TIA is one of the leading airports of its size in the world and has truly wonderful road access from the counties to the north, south and west, and yet the initial route is from Orlando's airport to a downtown Tampa location where there is no existing transportation infrastructure.

In 1976, the Florida Legislature authorized a study of a high speed rail service between St. Petersburg and Daytona Beach, and in 1982 then-Gov. Bob Graham created the Florida High Speed Rail Committee.

This being a political issue, it's hard to say anything is "set in concrete." But it's fair to say most of the major decisions have been made and aren't likely to change.

Among them is the decision not to locate a stop at Tampa International Airport, instead ending the rail at a 20-acre site in downtown Tampa bordered by these streets: Scott on the north, Morgan on the east, Fortune on the south and Ashley on the west. The key is the lack of an "available potential corridor to connect to the Tampa airport," according to the High Speed Rail website.

In the frequently asked questions portion of organization's website (, there is this further explanation:

"The Tampa-Orlando Corridor runs between downtown Tampa and Orlando International Airport within rights of way and corridors that were approved for high speed rail as part of environmental studies and preliminary engineering done between 2001 and 2003. A final environmental impact statement was approved in 2005. In addition, I-4 was reconstructed during the 1990s with a high speed rail corridor in the median.

"In contrast, there have never been any studies or proposals to take HSR to Tampa International Airport. As a consequence, there are no environmental approvals or available right of way for HSR today between downtown Tampa and TIA.

"In addition, the very nature of high speed trains requires considerably larger turning radii and significantly larger station areas than other alternative modes such as light rail or bus rapid transit. Further, it is the consensus of a variety of transportation agencies, including the Tampa Aviation Authority, the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and the City of Tampa, that light rail or bus rapid transit options would provide better means for connection to TIA."

For more facts, visit

A timeline can be found at www.floridahigh

Q&A: Why TIA isn't on proposed high speed rail route 12/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 7:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  2. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  3. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  4. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  5. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]