Friday, May 22, 2009

Mass Transit Rail System in Central Fla Shuts Down

Tri-Rail officials rolled out a budget Friday that calls for reducing service from 50 to 30 trains a day, ending weekend and holiday runs and shutting down the system altogether by early 2011.

Members of the board that oversees Tri-Rail voted 5-2 to approve the service cuts and closing the system -- but the action was not final because they instructed staff to tweak the budget and return with a new proposal next month that somehow could ensure service without cuts.

The drastic budget option was unveiled at the regular monthly meeting of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Officials also disclosed that the Federal Transit Administration is threatening to demand the return of $256 million Tri-Rail used for adding a second track -- if service is cut below 48 trains a day.