ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — This week residents can weigh in on a proposal to connect SunRail to Orlando International Airport, the Orange County Convention Center and the Disney Springs area.

What You Need To Know

  • The proposed SunRail expansion would run next to Taft Vineland Rd

  • The Sunshine Corridor would connect SunRail’s existing tracks to Orlando International Airport, Orange County Convention Center & Disney Springs area

  • Brightline would also use tracks on its proposed route to Tampa

  • Taft area business concerned what proposed route would mean for them

FDOT has planned three days of public meetings for the Sunshine Corridor, a rail line that would be shared by SunRail and BrightLine.

“Ideally it seems like a decent idea, I just know a lot of the small businesses here on Taft might get affected by it, maybe in a negative way,” said Conner Clarke, who works at Southern Safety and Supply off Taft Vineland Road.

To get between Orlando International Airport and the Orange County Convention Center in the International Drive area, the proposed Sunshine Corridor would run parallel to Taft Vineland Road.

Clarke is concerned the railroad route may require some property to make it a reality.

“If we have to make an adjustment or if we have to move somewhere else, it might change things up for us a little bit as far as business goes,” said Clarke.

No concrete details on the proposed corridor have been decided.

FDOT’s website says the “Transit Corridor & Alternatives Review (TCAR) Study is evaluating options.”

Clarke says traffic is already heavy on this 2-lane stretch in this industrial area.

“With all these 18 wheelers and stuff like that, they roll through. Sometimes it gets pretty congested,” he said. “Makes it hard sometimes for our customers to come find us.”

Orange County had been planning to widen Taft Vineland Road to 5 lanes.

But a county spokesperson says that project is on hold because of the proposed SunRail expansion.

Here’s information on the public meetings being held next week:

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2023

            Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

            Location: Taft Community Center, 9450 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32824

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2023

            Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

            Location: Holiday Inn, 10771 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

            Virtual Option: advanced registration required

  • Thursday, December 7, 2023

            Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

            Location: Delta Hotels by Marriott, 12490 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32836