Cost to Taxpayers

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SHOULD REJECT $3.7 BILLION LOAN TO JAPANESE-OWNED COMPANY FOR FLORIDA HIGHER-SPEED RAIL PROJECT OPERATING ON MEXICAN COMPANY-OWNED LINE

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MAY APPROVE A $3.7 BILLION RAILROAD REHABILITATION & IMPROVEMENT FINANCING (RRIF) LOAN TO VIRGIN TRAINS, owned by SoftBank Group based in Tokyo, to build a high-speed passenger train project on a freight rail line owned by Grupo Mexico.

SoftBank Group and Grupo Mexico could easily afford to issue their own bonds to cover these costs.

TRAIN WRECK TIMES | HOLIDAY EDITION

The Train Wreck Times by Susan Mehiel - Holiday Edition

WE HAVE MUCH TO CELEBRATE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Despite all of the so-called positive media they’ve drummed up and the votes by Martin County and CARE FL, AAF/Virgin is no closer to starting construction on the second phase of the project than they were when the year started…think about that for a minute.

TRAIN WRECK TIMES - CELEBRATE GREAT NEWS

WE ARE CELEBRATING GREAT NEWS. Our Call to Action sent out Nov. 18 to attend a special meeting of the IRC commissioners on Nov. 20th turned out to be critical. At 7:45 p.m. the night before the meeting, we received notice that the meeting would focus on a deal negotiated between Martin and Indian River Counties and CARE with the representatives of AAF/Virgin. The attorneys for the respective counties circulated the deal to their commissioners.

STUART APPEARS READY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH BRIGHTLINE STATION PROPOSAL

THE CITY OF STUART IS READY TO MAKE A FINAL DECISION FOR A BRIGHTLINE STATION WITHIN DAYS, reports TCPalm. The City Commision is set to send demographic information to Brightline, the first step toward possibly establishing a station.

The proposed information suggests three locations. Commissioners are also set to review survey results that had asked residents whether they wanted a Brightline station in their area.

LETTER SENT TO USDOT SEC CHAO FROM CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS WITH DESANTIS, GAETZ, MAST, AND POSEY

CONGRESSMEN MARK MEADOWS WITH RON DESANTIS, MATT GAETZ, BRIAN MAST, AND BILL POSEY SENT A LETTER TO U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY ELAINE CHAO. This letter follows the recent Operations Subcommittee hearing three weeks ago, which raised great concerns about the DOT's "interpretation" of Private Activity Bond allocation and the PABs that were allocated to All Aboard Florida's Brightline passenger rail.

BRIGHTLINE'S PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS IN PERIL, BUT PHASE 2 CONSTRUCTION NEARING

BRIGHTLINE HAS UNTIL MAY 31 TO SELL THE $1.15 BILLION OF PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS FOR PHASE 2 OF ITS PASSENGER RAILROAD BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A SALE IN SIGHT. This deadline was set by the U.S. Department of Transporation when it approved the bonds December 22.

BRIGHTLINE WILL PAY FOR SOME CROSSING MAINTENANCE - BUT NOT ON THE TREASURE COAST

BRIGHTLINE WILL PAY FOR SOME CROSSING MAINTENANCE BUT NOT ON THE TREASURE COAST. In an attempt to strong-arm local governments, Brightline stated it will pay for pricey crossing maintenance for some communities that have not opposed its project - this could cost Martin and Indian River counties up to $20 million by 2030, according to court documents.

DOES BRIGHTLINE QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL BONDS? TAXPAYERS DESERVE AN ANSWER!

U.S. SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, AS WELL AS MANY TREASURE COAST RESIDENTS AND OFFICIALS, WANT TO KNOW IF BRIGHTLINE QUALIFIES FOR FEDERAL TAX-EXEMPT BONDS. Rubio sent a letter this week to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao seeking clarification, saying "it is critical that the utmost transparency is provided to taxpayers" and that Brightline "has raised questions regarding whether federal financing was appropriately used."

WHAT WILL ELECTED OFFICIALS, CANDIDATES DO TO STOP BRIGHTLINE | TC PALM GUEST COLUMN WITH SUSAN MEHIEL

TUNE INTO TC PALM'S GUEST COLUMN WITH SUSAN MEHIEL. Five people have been killed by Brightline trains, and it is clear that we need stronger safety measures to protect the Treasure Coast residents of Florida.

"When administrative officials in Tallahassee and Washington care more about policy preferences and corporations than the lives of citizens, it's time to deploy our only weapon: elected officials who are on our side," she says. "In this election year, we call on the residents of the region to make AAF/Brightline a campaign issue."