Orlando’s Right Rail coalition and Universal Orlando Resort have formed the Shingle Creek Transit Utility Community Development District to support the construction of a rail stop in the city.
The new limited-purpose public entity will own as well as engage in the planning, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of a new Orange County Convention Center SunRail station.
The new district will commence the project soon, starting with infrastructure and site planning.
Universal Orlando will allocate 13 acres of land to the district for the development of the convention centre station with inter-modal capability, as well as a substantial section of the rail corridor.
Universal will also provide up to $125m for the district through private activity bonds to be used for the rail corridor and convention centre station.
This project is said to advance a crucial priority for SunRail – the Sunshine Corridor Programme, which will help establish a commuter rail line between Orlando International Airport and the Orange County Convention Centre.
It will help expand SunRail operations and link Central Florida communities across the region.
Upon completion, the project will offer regional connectivity for residents, including 100,000 local workers in the International Drive area and visitors.
The corridor will also link residents and visitors to Brightline, the privately run intercity rail line presently serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It will also serve the Orlando International Airport, which will be opened this year.
Universal Parks & Resorts executive vice president and chief administrative officer John Sprouls said: “We are one step closer to creating a multi-directional commuter rail system that benefits our entire region.
“The new SunRail corridor and convention centre station will make it easier for residents to get to work, the airport and to the places they love. And it will enable business growth within the International Drive area and across the region.”