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Brightline is the only firm to have submitted a proposal to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for operating an Orlando-to-Tampa passenger-rail service, the Tampa Bay Times reported yesterday.Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) would consider proposals from private operators to build and operate a high-speed rail line along state property between Orlando and Tampa. FDOT began the process after receiving an unsolicited proposal from Brightline, the private passenger-rail company that currently operates trains between Miami and West Palm Beach, with plans to extend service to Orlando by 2021.Brightline officials said the company wants to create an Orlando-to-Tampa route along Interstate 4, leasing land owned by the state and CFX. The firm has proposed building and operating the service without taxpayer funding.In response to the Brightline's unsolicited proposal, FDOT officials initiated the open procurement process so that any entities could apply. Brightline was the only company to respond, however, the newspaper reported."We are excited about our proposal to connect Orlando and the Tampa Bay region and will await next steps from FDOT and the selection committee," Brightline’s senior vice president for corporate affairs Ben Porritt said in a statement emailed yesterday to the Times.
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