Disney’s ability to self-govern may be trimmed back even more. Mickey will have his self-inspecting privileges neutered if a new amendment passes. Governor Ron DeSantis’s wrestling match with the Walt Disney Company and Reedy Creek now involves the monorail system.
In an article from the Orlando Sentinel, we learned that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) could take over safety and inspection duties regarding Disney’s popular transit system. It turns out the rumor was true.
The amendment for Senate Bill 1250 would task FDOT with overseeing safety standards for transit systems such as the monorail that are “located within an independent special district created by local act which have boundaries within two contiguous counties.”
This last-minute change to the bill, which will go before the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee today, does not explicitly mention the monorail system. However, the wording does put the long-standing travel system at Walt Disney World clearly in its sights.
This modified bill will also give the state of Florida the ability to suspend operations:
“The department shall conduct structural safety inspections in adherence with s. 335.074 for any fixed-guideway transportation systems that are raised or have bridges, as appropriate. 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.”
Walt Disney World’s monorail system, though a beloved staple of the parks, may benefit from stricter safety protocols. Thankfully, tragic accidents are few and far between, but they do happen.
For those who don’t know, Reedy Creek does get stretched thin as far as the service it can provide compared to surrounding AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction). So while we can all have our opinions on DeSantis’s war with Disney, allowing a larger governing body to maintain safety standards isn’t necessarily bad.
That said, could this be considered government overreach? Possibly. Disney is such a unique situation in Florida. The lack of oversight for so many decades turned into a monster that would eventually get out of hand, regardless of the current political climate in the state.
[Source: Orlando Sentinel]
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