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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Ocala residents share thoughts on bringing commercial flights, high-speed trains to city

Several residents from Ocala recently wrote in to share their thoughts on the city’s transportation needs.

“Everyone wants to expand Ocala International Airport and their only reference is the airport in Orlando. Gainesville has an airport that accommodates commercial flights. Why don’t people use that? Everyone that has ever flown to visit us tells me that they have to make a connecting flight and it’s too expensive to fly into Gainesville. But they fly into Orlando or Tampa and rent a car. So, are people actually wanting to make our airport like Orlando’s or like Gainesville’s? Personally, I don’t fly. I have to drive all the way to Sanford if I want to take my car up north, or all the way to DeLand if I want to go visit my kids, because we have a perfectly good train station that has become a museum. I would love to board a train at an existing train station close by. I wonder if anyone is pushing to get the high-speed trains to stop here at our station in their future expansion plans. Taking a train to Orlando International Airport would probably be cheaper. I would love an Ocala stop added in their future plans to D.C.,” says Ocala resident Lea Gray.

“If you want to live by an airport, why did you move to Ocala? People moving here don’t want to live our lifestyle. They move here because it’s Florida and it’s so much cheaper than where they are coming from. They move here and then want to change our way of life. Ocala was such a laid back town with lots of horses and cows, but also just enough city such as restaurants, theater etc. I personally don’t want the sound of jets flying over my house constantly, and if I needed to be close to an airport, I wouldn’t live in Ocala,” says Karene Thornton, Ocala resident.

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