How Orlando transport is changing for the better

As business titans continue their exodus from heavily-congested Californian cities, the new locations they’re choosing have one main thing in common: good transportation links.

In order to appeal to companies, individuals, and tourists alike, the City Beautiful has been investing heavily in bigger, better transportation options to help us get around easier than before.

This need has never been so important. Why? Because the Orlando region is projected to reach a population of 5.2 million people by 2030, an increase of roughly 800,000, and will need additional transportation options and capacity. [1]

Join us as we explore how Orlando transport is changing for the better, both in the short term and beyond.


Orlando transport-I4 ultimate
Image: FDOT

I-4 Ultimate Project

Officially started in early 2015, the Florida Department of Transportation’s I-4 Ultimate reconstruction and widening project encompasses the 21-mile stretch of Interstate 4 from Kirkman Road to State Road 434. This $2.3 billion Orlando transport project is currently estimated to be fully completed in 2021.

Major improvements will include:

– The complete reconstruction of 15 major interchanges

– The replacement of 74 bridges, widening of 13 bridges, and addition of 53 new bridges

– Four new dynamically tolled express lanes to manage traffic efficiently and provide more predictable travel times for Central Florida drivers

– Raised speed limit from 50 to 55 mph in certain areas.

Work is also underway on the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate Improvement Project, which will make improvements to 40 miles of I-4: 20 miles east and 20 miles west of the I-4 Ultimate Project. [2]


Orlando transport-SunRail Lynx
Image: SunRail, Lynx

2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

MetroPlan Orlando is finalizing its 2045 transportation plan, which provides a long-term outline for transport projects covering Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. 

The plan—which looks at the years 2026 through 2045—includes new construction and upgrades connected to pedestrians and bikes, cars, trains and buses, as well as infrastructure, freight and technological enhancements.
You can view the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan in full here.

Orlando transport-Brightline Disney Springs
Image: Brightline

Brightline high-speed rail station at Disney Springs

The Miami-based intercity rail service, Brightline, recently announced it would build a new station at Disney Springs, the World Disney World-owned shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

This station would provide another welcome transportation option for tourists and workers, and is set to be added after the completion of the planned 170-mile, $2.7 billion expansion from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport in 2022. The Disney Springs station would serve as the first phase of a proposed Tampa expansion. [3]


Orlando transport-Lilium
Image: Lilium

Lake Nona’s air taxi vertiport

As one of the most interesting additions to Orlando transport, Germany-based Lilium Aviation Inc. is planning a $25 million, 56,000-square-foot air taxi landing and takeoff facility in Lake Nona.

The vertiport facility will open in 2025, and will allow travel across Florida on small passenger jets—such as the five-seater Lilium Jet (pictured above) which can seat four passengers and a pilot, and travels at a top speed of 186 miles per hour. The construction and operation of this facility will create 140 high-wage jobs. [4]

Our take on these Orlando transport developments

It’s very encouraging to see all of these continued investments! We’re excited for these transport plans to come to fruition, both to enhance transportation links across the region and to reinforce Orlando as a great place to live, work, and visit.

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Sources:

1: Orlando Economic Partnership | Alliance for Regional Transportation 2030 Report

2: Florida Department of Transportation | I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project

3: Orlando Business Journal | Florida’s Disney, Brightline share details on future high-speed rail station

4: Lilium