All Aboard Florida riders could drink beer under new bill

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Legislation that would allow beer to be sold and consumed on All Aboard Florida train cars and at its stations cleared a Senate panel on Wednesday.

The Regulated Industries Committee OK’d the bill (SB 698) without objection.

The train provisions were added as an amendment by committee Chairman Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican. He mentioned All Aboard Florida by name as he explained the new “railroad transit station” language.

The proposed private passenger-rail system, which would connect Orlando to West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, is set to start running next year.

It’s been the subject of bitter opposition, as Fortune magazine recently put it, “by a coalition of quiet communities along the route who question its safety, its impact on quality of life, and the ethics and motivation behind its financing.”

Also, “All Aboard Florida has some advantages in getting up to speed — it’s a sister company of Florida East Coast Railway, a freight rail shipper that will share its rails and right of way with AAF,” the magazine said.

The legislation also helps the state’s theme parks, volume users of beer kegs.

Instead of charging certain customers a deposit on each individual keg bought, distributors could set up an “inventory and reconciliation process” in which buyers would pay up once or twice a year based on what they used.

Theme parks use thousands of kegs a year, and having to keep track of each deposit has proved an administrative nightmare.

The bill next heads to the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. A House companion hasn’t yet gotten a hearing.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


4 comments

  • Jonathan Nelson

    January 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

    The last time the Florida East Coast Railway sold beer they had a liquor license and it was 1963. Why should it be a problem now? In 1963 they were still operating a total of 12 bar lounge cars not including extra movements between Jacksonville and Miami. Cheers!!!

  • Kathleen Armstrong

    January 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    AAF? The Treasure Coast towns and cities will be destroyed by the high speed train traveling trough their historic down towns.The barrier islands will be cut off from first responders due to traffic backups while the trains sail through 32 times a day. Stopped traffic on route 1 and 1A.will create hazards of it’s own. FL politicians have no time to stop the train route but they have time to be concerned about the passengers having BOOZE. Nice move!

    • Andrew Linhares

      January 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Really Kathleen? They’re high speed passenger trains that go by quickly.

    • Andrew Linhares

      January 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Sounds like someone is getting paid for this comment. 🙂

Comments are closed.


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