UPDATE 4/26/23: The Orlando Sentinel reports that “a Senate committee advanced a plan Tuesday that would allow for state inspections of [Walt Disney World’s] 14.7-mile monorail. Under the bill, Disney would be required to submit an annual safety plan to the Florida Department of Transportation with on-site visits every three years to ensure compliance in addition to other periodic evaluations, according to FDOT’s rules for such systems.”
The latest move from the Florida Government in its feud with The Walt Disney Company could see state inspections temporarily stop the Walt Disney World monorail system from operating. A new amendment to SB1250 sponsored by Republican Senator Nick DiCeglie would empower the state to set standards for “fixed-guideway transportation systems” operating in special districts.
(1)(a) The department shall adopt by rule minimum safety 377 standards for governmentally owned fixed-guideway transportation 378 systems,S 1250 c2 Amendment
andprivately owned or operated fixed-guideway 379 transportation systems operating in this state which are 380 financed wholly or partly by state funds, and any governmentally 381 or privately owned fixed-guideway transportation systems 382 operating in this state which are located within an independent 383 special district created by local act which have boundaries 384 within two contiguous counties. Standards must be site-specific 385 for fixed-guideway transportation systems and shall be developed 386 jointly by the department and representatives of the affected 387 systems, giving full consideration to nationwide industry safety 388 norms relating to the development and operation of fixed 389 guideway transportation systems. The department shall conduct 390 structural safety inspections in adherence with s. 335.074 for 391 any fixed-guideway transportation systems that are raised or 392 have bridges, as appropriate. Inspectors must follow 393 departmental safety protocols during safety inspections, 394 including requiring the suspension of system service to ensure 395 safety and welfare of inspectors and the traveling public during 396 such inspections.
The stipulation of a “special district created by local act which have boundaries within two contiguous counties” will directly affect Walt Disney World, which occupies part of both Orange and Osceola counties. The language in the amendment clearly targets The Walt Disney Company in a move that would allow the government the power to set safety standards of their choosing and allow periodical inspections that could temporarily halt the operation of the Monorail. “Inspectors must follow departmental safety protocols during safety inspections, including requiring the suspension of system service to ensure safety and welfare of inspectors and the traveling public during such inspections.”
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
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