If the All Aboard Florida train becomes a reality, the system linking Orlando International Airport with Miami would generate $145 million in fares annually by 2018, according to records filed by the company with the state.
With one-way tickets estimated in the $100 range, that would mean the Coral Gables-based company is expecting to carry nearly 1.5 million passengers between Central and South Florida within three years of its inaugural trip in 2015.
All Aboard Florida also is seeking a 99-year lease, presumably for free or a token payment, to lay down tracks along the south edge of the BeachLine Expressway, which runs from Interstate 4 south of downtown Orlando to Cocoa on the east coast.
Those details were revealed in an 81-page proposal All Aboard Florida sent the state Department of Transportation last month. The document was released to the public after the company was given the go-ahead by the state to open talks for securing the BeachLine property.
The ridership estimate down from an earlier statement of more than three million made earlier and my own estimates of about 1.8-3.2 million full fare passengers needed for break even operations. However, my own estimates involved a substantially lower fare and no food and beverage revenues. Of course, this ridership estimate may be an erroneous one made by the Orlando Sentinel from fare ranges and revenues and actual ridership higher. While station ridership projections indicate two million riders per year from three of four stations (excluding Orlando), this figure is for 2030 rather than 2018. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the documents in question.
I believe that the estimated ridership is actually above that 1.5 million figure, since it is assuming full fares for the full length of the route. Since there are intermediate stations, which will not have a hundred dollar fare, ridership should be rather higher, probably in the low two million range. Update: Another article reports an expectation of 3.29 million riders by 2018.