All Aboard Florida

BRIGHTLINE, DOT ARGUE AGAINST SUPREME COURT REVIEW OF BOND FINANCING

USDOT AND BRIGHTLINE ARGUE THAT U.S. SUPREME COURT SHOULD DENY INDIAN RIVER COUNTY'S REQUEST FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI. The county has asked the court to review a federal appeals court's December 2019 determination that the USDOT determined that the high-speed rail passenger rail project qualified for $2.7 billion in PAB financing.

County Attorney Dylan Reingold said a reply to the USDOT and AAF Holding's briefs will be filed the week of September 7. Justices are expected to convene during their September 29 conference to consider the writ request.

BATTLE OVER FLORIDA'S PRIVATE TRAIN REACHES U.S. SUPREME COURT

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY'S CASE AGAINST THE FDOT, FRA AND ALL ABOARD FLORIDA IS PASSED TO U.S. SUPREME COURT. The case revolves around the legitimacy of $2.1 billion in private activity bonds that were allocated to AAF's high-speed passenger rail service, Brightline.

Read more here.

BRIGHTLINE ENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH VIRGIN TRAINS IN SOUTH FLORIDA

BRIGHTLINE AND VIRGIN TRAINS END PARTNERSHIP, Brightline states in its monthly revenue and ridership report. The high-speed passenger service will go back to using the name Brightline.

Read more here.

Original article was written and image taken by Katherine Kallergis of The Real Deal.

BRIGHTLINE MIGHT BYPASS FIVE NEW RAIL PLATFORMS

NEW COMMUTER TRAIN IN NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE WOULD HAVE UP TO FIVE NEW PLATFORMS ALONG THE FECI'S LINE, BUT BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA WILL NOT NECESSARILY STOP AT ANY OF THEM. The proposed commuter platforms, determined by the county, would stop in Wynwood, the Design District, Upper East Side, North Miami and the FIU Biscayne Bay campus as well as connect to Brightline.

Read more here.

REPS. POSEY & MAST INTRODUCE HIGH-SPEED RAIL SAFETY LEGISLATION

CONGRESSMEN POSEY AND MAST INTRODUCED THE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ACT, which will protect the safety of pedestrians, motorists and residents along the Brightline/Virgin Trains USA high-speed rail corridor. This legislation will direct the FRA and the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a study on motorist and pedestrian safety along the corridor and share safety recommendations with Florida's Department of Transportation.

BRIGHTLINE WANTS $350M TO BUILD FIVE RAIL STATIONS IN FLORIDA

BRIGHTLINE BEGAN TALKS WITH MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO BUILD FIVE TRAINS PLATFORMS BETWEEN MIAMI AND AVENTURA ALONGSIDE THEIR HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER RAIL TO ORLANDO. This proposed arrangement would give Miami-Dade a new rail service—a service described like Tri-Rail—with stops at Wynwood, the Design District, El Portal, North Miami and the Biscayne Bay campus of Florida International University.

Read more here.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY SEES VIRGIN TRAINS FINANCING AS THREAT TO 'SEPARATION OF POWERS'

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY SENDS THEIR LAWSUIT AGAINST BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA TO THE SUPREME COURT, asking to clear up an issue that threatens the court's "constitutional responsibility 'to say what the law is.'"

Previously, cases that Indian River County had been filed against the high-speed passenger rail were shot down by the lower courts. This year, Indian River County raised $200,000 to make this one last appeal.

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA: BUY ME A RAILROAD

IF YOU CAN'T CONVINCE THE PUBLIC YOU'VE GOT A GOOD IDEA, convince the politicians and let them ram it down the citizens' throats. All it takes is money.

What's $3 Million Among Friends?
According to the TC Palm/Stuart News, as little as $3 million may be all that's necessary. That's how much AAF has spent on lobbyists in Tallahassee since 2011. But, they still need some 17 permits before they can move forward. So, the budget may have to go up.

RICHARD BRANSON FIGHTS TO SAVE TRAVEL, TOURISM EMPIRE

RICHARD BRANSON, ONE OF BRITAIN'S BEST-KNOWN BILLIONAIRES BY PUTTING HIS VIRGIN TRAIN BRAND ON AN ARRAY OF BUSINESSES, is now at the epicenter of the meltdown in those industries due to the economic repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Branson said he planned to borrow money against his private island to save jobs at his portfolio companies. "Over the five decades I have been in business, this is the most challenging time we have ever faced," he wrote in a letter to his employees.

STATE SUSPENDS BRIGHTLINE'S NEGOTIATIONS FOR ORLANDO TO TAMPA RIGHT-OF-WAY

THE RIGHT-OF-WAY LEASE THAT BRIGHTLINE/VIRGIN TRAINS USA NEEDS TO CONNECT ORLANDO WITH TAMPA IS ON HOLD. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has extended the negotiation deadline for this lease due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDOT and Brightline have extended the negotiation deadlines regarding this lease five times before.

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