Vote of the week: Will you use Orlando's high-speed train to get from the airport to the theme parks?
By Robert NilesI'd like to get a feel for how popular President Obama's proposed high-speed rail line in Central Florida might be with Orlando visitors.
Published: January 29, 2010 at 3:38 PM
The proposed route would run from the Orlando International Airport over to the Orange County Convention Center, then down I-4 to Tampa. The route would take the train past all the Central Florida theme park resorts, though you'd need to take shuttles from the various stops to the parks and their nearby hotels. (The longest haul would be from the Lakeland stop to Legoland Florida - which would likely be 30 minutes or more. Then again, I've been stuck in International Drive traffic before that's made the trip from the Convention Center to Universal nearly that long....)
How do you get to your destination from the airport when you visit Orlando? And would you be likely to switch to the high-speed train once it's available? Proponents estimate that the trip from the airport to Tampa would take 45-50 minutes, if that gives you a feel for the travel time involved. Let's leave cost out of the equation for the moment; assume that the fare would be reasonable for the service provided.
If you now use hotel or park shuttles, such as Disney's Magical Express, and would likely continue using that in the future, select that option. If you're a rental car customer and plan to stay that way, pick that. But if you're willing to switch from those options, let us know. (I've added a fifth option for folks who live in Orlando, or have family or friends who pick them up at the airport. Update: forgot about those who drive down. Those can pick the fifth option, or sit this one out. Readers who don't visit Orlando can sit this vote out.)
The rail line's going in because (a) Obama needs to get unemployment down and construction projects such as this employ a lot of people, (b) the I-4 corridor has been a key swing vote region in the past two Presidential elections and is getting hammered by unemployment in this recession, and (c) the area's flooded with tourists in rental cars and if you're trying to get people to switch from cars to rail, it's a lot easier to get someone to give up a rental car for a week on vacation than to get them to stop driving their personal cars to and from work everyday.
The numbers for the first and second options in the vote should give us a sense, at least among Theme Park Insider readers, how many are willing to make that switch. The third and fourth numbers will show us how much people might switch from existing road-based mass transit to rail.
Let's hear in the comments what you would like to see from this project, and how parks should work with it, if at all.
Once again, thanks for reading Theme Park Insider, and have a great weekend!
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