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Rail News: High-Speed Rail
Brightline bond issue OK'd for rail infrastructure extension
The Florida Development Finance Corp. (FDFC) yesterday approved a $1.75 billion bond issue that will finance infrastructure for Brightline's passenger-rail service in five Florida counties.
The financing will pay for infrastructure in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Brevard and Orange counties, Brightline officials said in a press release.
The work is part of the private passenger-rail company's plan to extend rail service to Orlando. Earlier this year, Brightline began passenger-rail service between West Palm Beach and Miami. The company expects to extend service to Orlando in 2021.
"We appreciate the FDFC board's continued support in the private activity bond process and the members' recognition of the significant economic impacts Brightline will have on the state," said Brightline President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Goddard. "This is another important step forward for our Phase 2 extension to Orlando, and we look forward to executing this transformative vision of privately funded intercity passenger rail."
Private activity bonds are designed for private infrastructure projects that offer a public benefit. They are not backed by federal, state or local governments and pose no risk to taxpayers, Brightline officials said.
With all material permits in place, Brightline expects to start construction on Phase 2 this year. Brightline's Orlando station will be located at the Orlando International Airport's new Intermodal Terminal Facility, which will be the hub of the future South Terminal complex.
Brightline officials recently confirmed that the company participated in the state's request for proposals to extend passenger-rail service to Tampa.
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