Florida High Speed Rail
Projection Up 30 Percent
Despite Air Fare Drop of 60 Percent:

Minimum Cost to Floridians: $8 Billion

Chart | Table | Analysis | The Public Purpose

Comparison of Projected
High Speed Rail (HSR) Fare Yield to
Airline Fare Yields: Florida

Date & Source High Speed Rail
Airline Air Compared to Rail Air Compared to Projection
FDOT/FOX Projection: (1995) $0.425 $0.709 +66.8% ---
JMI Report Projection: (1996) $0.425 $0.367 +13.6% -48.2%
USDOT Actual: 1996: 3rd Quarter $0.425 $0.259 -39.1% -63.5%
USDOT Actual: 1996: 4th Quarter $0.425 $0.234 -44.9% -67.0%
USDOT Actual: 1997: 1st Quarter $0.425 $0.285 -32.9% -59.8%
USDOT Actual: 1997: 2nd Quarter $0.425 $0.309 -27.3% -56.4%
All amounts in 1995$
Yield is fare per air passenger mile.

Florida Air Fares: 2nd Quarter 1997 and
Proposed High Speed Rail Fares

Market High Speed Rail Airline Fares Air Compared to Rail
Orlando-Miami $77 $104 35.1%
Tampa-Miami $97 $75 -22.7%
Orlando-Fort Lauderdale $74 $51 -31.1%
Tampa-Fort Lauderdale $88 $51 -42.0%


          St. Louis (4 February 1998): A report to be released tomorrow indicates that the Florida High Speed Rail passenger projection has increased approximately 30 percent. The new annual ridership projection is 8.256 million, up from the previous 6.2 million. The new projection is also 30 percent more than the annual ridership on the high speed Eurostar, which operates between London and Paris --- a market three times as large as the Florida market.

Wendell Cox, principal of Wendell Cox Consultancy and author of the James Madison Institute policy report on the Florida High Speed Rail project called the new projections:
Simply unbelievable and insignificant. People are not going to pay fares that are 35 percent higher than air fares. Moreover, for the high speed rail line to have a perceivable impact on traffic congestion would have required a 300 percent projection increase, not an insignificant 30 percent increase.
He added that high speed rails diminished competitiveness in the Florida market could lead to an early bond default: Our report originally estimated that the Florida taxpayer subsidy would be, at best, $13.8 billion --- to meet the new airfares, the subsidy would rise to nearly $17 billion.

          In April 1997 the James Madison Institute published the Wendell Cox Consultancy report on the proposed Florida high speed rail project (Miami-Orlando-Tampa), which concluded that the project would provide only negligible benefits, but its cost to Florida would be enormous.

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