All Aboard Florida

TRI-RAIL AND BRIGHTLINE RISK MISSING DEADLINE FOR TRAIN SAFETY SYSTEM

BRIGHTLINE AND TRI-RAIL ARE AT RISK OF MISSING A MANDATED DEADLINE OF INSTALLING A CRITICAL SAFETY SYSTEM ON THEIR TRAINS AGAIN. Both companies are supposed to have the technology "positive train control" - which overrides humans to correct their errors before trains can derail, collide with other trains or work crews, or steer onto the wrong tracks - by Dec. 31, 2018.

Originally, Congress gave the railroads until 2015 to install this valuable technology, but the railroads protested and the deadline was moved to the end of 2018.

BRIGHTLINE BENEFITS FROM MALODOROUS STATE GOVERNMENT | OUR VIEW

IF YOU THINK BRIGHTLINE'S LATEST DEAL SMELLS BAD, YOU'RE CORRECT, The Treasure Coast Newspapers Editorial Board states regarding the high-speed passenger rail's latest deal in which they received approval from the Orange County Commission - which converts more than 100 acres to wetlands along the Beachline Expressway for their Miami to Orlando extension - thanks to John Miklos.

BRIGHTLINE FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS REVEAL FIRST QUARTER RIDERSHIP, REVENUE

IN THE FIRST 2 1/2 MONTHS OF OPERATION, BRIGHTLINE COLLECTED $663,700 IN TICKET REVENUE, according to financial documents that were released Friday. Brightline declares the ridership "exceeded expectations" despite the controversies over safety and eight fatalities that have occurred. In this document, Brightline has also addressed their plans to extend their tracks from Orlando to Tampa extension.

SHOULD THIS BRIGHTLINE 'CONFLICT OF INTEREST' BE ALLOWED TO STAND?

IT'S PRETTY CONVENIENT THAT THE BOARD CHAIRMAN OF AN AGENCY CHARGED WITH APPROVING YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT PLAN HAPPENS TO ALSO BE YOUR BOUGHT-AND-PAID-FOR CONSULTANT, states Nancy Smith of the Sunshine State News. Smith is referring to John Miklos who represented All Aboard Florida, president of the private environmental firm, Bio-Tech Consulting, and is the appointed head of the St. John's River Water Management District - the state regulatory board that reviewed and approved the Brightline project to convert 100-plus wetlands acres for new rail lines.

EIGHTH BRIGHTLINE FATALITY IS A 29-YEAR-OLD MAN, ACCORDING TO BOYNTON POLICE

A 29-YEAR-OLD MAN WAS STRUCK AND KILLED BY A BRIGHTLINE TRAIN WEDNESDAY NIGHT, BOYNTON BEACH SAID. Spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said Thursday that the incident is a suspected suicide. This is the eight Brightline fatality since the high-speed passenger railroad began test runs in July and the sixth since its introductory service this year.

Read more here.

BEWARE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF SELLING VERO BEACH'S DOWNTOWN POST OFFICE | OPINION

TUNE INTO LAURENCE REISMAN WHO CREATES A HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATION ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES THAT MAY ARISE REGARDING THE SALE OF VERO BEACH'S DOWNTOWN U.S. POST SERVICE BUILDING. Reisman proposes that a location such as this may be purchased to be sold exponentially at a higher price by using it as a bidding war device between Brightline and the Treasure Coast residents who oppose the high-speed passenger rail.

TOO MANY QUESTIONS FOR NORTHERN BRIGHTLINE EXPANSION

THERE IS A LOT MORE TO THE BRIGHTLINE HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROPOSAL THAN WHAT HAS BEEN REPORTED, writes Robert Cannon of the Palm Beach Post. Tune into Cannon's article as he addresses concerns about the addition of a second set of tracks at 100+ intersections and large bridges.

Read more here.

TRAIN WRECK TIMES - NEWS FLASH!

TRAIN WRECK TIMES by Susan Mehiel

NEWS FLASH!

Well, this just couldn’t wait.  We had a major victory in our efforts to Stop The Trains! this week with the release of the attached letter to Transportation Secretary Choa.  We could not have asked for a better outcome from our work in Washington and the subcommittee hearing last month.  In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the letter sent to the Secretary from Congressman Meadows and signed by Congressmen Mast, Posey, DeSantis and Gaetz.

CONGRESSMEN CALL ON FEDS TO SUSPEND BRIGHTLINE BONDS

FIVE CONGRESSMEN CALLED ON FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS TO SUSPEND THE $1.15 BILLION IN PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS FOR ALL ABOARD FLORIDA'S BRIGHTLINE PASSENGER RAIL, saying there are still a number of "yet-to-be answered questions" concerning Brightline's use of the bonds. These five include four Florida lawmakers and Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Government Operations.

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS ON AAF FEDERAL FUNDING: 'WE CANNOT SUPPORT ... BLANK-CHECK AUTHORITY'

CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS MARK MEADOWS ASKED U.S. TRANSPORTATION SEC. ELAINE CHAO TO SUSPEND THE ALLOCATION OF ALL ABOARD FLORIDA'S PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS. This request was made in a letter that Meadows sent on May 16. This was following his subcommittee's April 19 hearing where he went in "with an open mind, but came away from it deeply troubled about (USDOT's) position."