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Hallandale Beach meeting covers proposed rail and train services

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Residents were updated on an ongoing transit study during a recent public workshop in Hallandale Beach, Fla., the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. 

The workshop, at the Cultural Community Center, is part of a series of meetings offered to residents to gather input on the South Florida East Coast Corridor Transit Analysis Study. 

The study, managed by the Florida Department of Transportation, is exploring options to mitigate roadway congestion in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. 

Options under review
are rail or train services, including a regional rail system, comparable to
Tri-Rail, and light-rail transit (similar to Metrorail). Regional bus and bus
rapid-transit lines also are being looked at. 

Residents were given video and
audio presentations and a chance to offer suggestions on what they think are
the best options. 

The goal of the study "is to develop and analyze
alternatives that potentially integrate passenger and freight transport along the
[corridor], which is centered along the existing FEC Railway," according
to its website. In addition, transit service along the corridor would provide
connectivity to existing and proposed transit and connect to the three major
and four regional airports and to the seaports in the tri-county area.


Scott Seeburger, project
manager with FDOT, said they are considering several stations in the city.

"We’re looking at
approximately two to three stations in Hallandale," he said. 

The study
has identified several benefits to new transit services, including the
reduction of greenhouse gases, increased access to transportation for
low-income, minority, elderly and youth populations, employment opportunities
and increased real estate values. FDOT is seeking to pinpoint potential
connections to Tri-Rail to maximize passenger service.

Concerns expressed by
residents include how long it will take to implement any changes and the amount
of noise from trains. Seeburger said the study is looking into options that
would address the issue.

"Quiet zones are a
big issue for residents that live near a railroad street crossing," he
said. "When a freight train is coming to a crossing, they have to blow
their horn about a quarter of a mile away." 

The main hurdle facing
the plan is funding. Federal and local sources are being identified, while estimates
for the project will be released this winter. 

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