Florida Senate Committee Approves State Oversight of Walt Disney World Monorails
In the latest chapter in the ongoing feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company, a Senate committee advanced a plan today that will allow for state oversite of Walt Disney World’s Monorail system.
Disney’s iconic 14.7-mile Monorail averages an estimated 150,000 passengers a day.
While perhaps not the finishing blow that Ron DeSantis has been looking for, the governor had vowed to end Disney’s power to self-inspect its monorail system — a power he says is indicative of the “special privileges” the company has in Florida.
What The New Bill Requires
Under the new bill, Disney would be required to submit an annual safety plan to the Florida Department of Transportation. Furthermore, the monorails would be subject to on-site visits every three years to ensure compliance. There would also be periodic evaluations per the FDOT’s rules for such systems.
State Senator Nick DiCeglie (R-Indian Rocks Beach) sponosred the monorail plan. He noted the FDOT already inspects similar tram systems, including the one used at Orlando International Airport.
According to the new bill, inspections will be scheduled at an agreeable time for both the state and Disney. The state will also have the power to suspend service to ensure the safety and welfare of inspectors and passengers.
“If there are any safety issues, having a complete suspension is really going to be an action of last resort,” DiCeglie said.
Recent Monorail Problems
In recent years, the Walt Disney World monorail has been the site of accidents. In 2009, a monorail pilot was fatally injured during a track switchover. Subsequently, in 2014, 120 people were evacuated by Reedy Creek emergency workers when the monorail stalled after a lightning strike.
2015 saw a pair of issues, first in October when tourists were left stranded for two hours by a mechanical failure. In November of that year, a monorail car crashed into the car that was towing it.
As always, continue to check back with MickeyBlog. We will continue to update you on all the happenings surrounding Walt Disney World.
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