Cost to Taxpayers

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."

TRAIN WRECK TIMES - UPDATES & ANNOUNCMENTS BY SUSAN MEHIEL

Train Wreck Times - Announcements and Notes:

Please see the attached announcement about our event, Stopping the Trains – A Public Forum, to be held April 9th, Monday, 5:30 pm at the Elks Club in Vero Beach.  It’s open to the public and Commissioner Solari and others will be there to provide an update on the Train wars.  Be sure to let your friends and neighbors know that this is an excellent way to stay informed and get your questions answered.

AMERICA'S FIRST BULLET TRAIN IS A FAILURE AND IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN BUILT

AFTER THREE YEARS SINCE ITS UNVEILING, IT IS BECOMING CLEAR THAT THE TEXAS CENTRAL PARTNER'S BULLET TRAIN IS NOT WHAT IT WAS THOUGHT TO BE. This ambitious project may have appeared phenomenal on paper, but the plans are riddled with errors, stricken with financing complications, and projected sales just don't add up.

Texas Central Partner has indicated that they plan to apply for Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Financing (RRIF) loans, which is a federally funded taxpayer subsidy. This means that taxpayers would ultimately have to pay the entire value of the loans.

BRIGHTLINE DERAILMENT CAUSED 408K OF DAMAGE IN FEBRUARY SAYS REPORT

A BRIGHTLINE TEST TRAIN DERAILED IN WEST PALM BEACH, FL ON FEBRUARY 11 AND CAUSED OVER $400,000 IN DAMAGES, SAYS A REPORT FILED WITH THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION. According to the report, around $408,000 in damages were reported to the train equipment and around $206 of track damage.

Read here for more.

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA HAS REQUESTED $1.75 BILLION FEDERAL LOAN, WOULD LIKELY DEFAULT, OPPONENTS SAY

IT'S LIKELY "SPECULATIVE START-UP VENTURE" ALL ABOARD FLORIDA WOULD DEFAULT ON A FEDERAL LOAN, TREASURE COAST RAIL OPPONENTS SAID MONDAY IN IT'S LETTER TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

This letter asked the DOT to carefully consider AAF's risky finances before providing a loan. Originally, AAF sought a $1.6 billion loan to finance its Miami-to-Orlando passenger railroad.