Last year, Brightline and Disney announced that there would be a train station coming to Disney Springs. Now, due to pushback from the International Drive tourism strip and the Hunter’s Creek residential community, expressway authorities have indefinitely delayed the decision to allow the Brightline train to run directly to Walt Disney World Resort.
The communities pushing back on Brightline wish to deny access to the tolled S.R. 417 expressway. If Brightline was denied access, they would have to reconsider the route from Orlando International Airport, which would potentially be much more expensive. The route that is currently planned will cost Brightline $1 billion and the new route could potentially cost $1.7 billion if not more.
Universal Orlando, Orange County Convention Center, and International Drive all wish to see a new route for Brightline. The International Drive community wishes to see an increase in jobs, hotels, and tourists along the reroute of the train, something that may not happen if it is a direct line to Disney Springs.
At this time, the board for the expressway authorities is trying to buy time to effectively make this decision for South and Central Florida. “We have probably a few months left before Brightline gets to a critical place where there is no turning back,” said Christopher “C.J.” Maier.