MARTIN COUNTY ARGUES LAST-MINUTE AAF COURT FILING UNJUST IN OWN PAPERS FILED THURSDAY

Publish Date: 
Friday, May 29, 2015 - 8:00am

Lisa Broadt - TCPalm

All Aboard Florida’s last-minute attempt to enter a much-anticipated ridership survey into court documents should be rejected, according to papers filed by Martin County late Thursday.

“AAF has offered no explanation why it could not introduce the ‘May 7, 2015’ All Aboard Florida Ridership and Revenue Study prior to today, one day before the hearing,” Martin County’s attorneys wrote in response.

The short notice prevents Martin County from filing a “meaningful response” before it enters the courtroom Friday to ask U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper to block nearly $2 billion in funding for the controversial passenger rail project, according to the attorneys.

All Aboard Florida released ridership information and ticket prices for its $3 billion Miami-to-Orlando rail project for the first time Thursday.

Friday’s court hearing — where Indian River and Martin counties will face off with All Aboard Florida and its co-defendant, the U.S. Department of Transportation — begins at 10 a.m.

At issue will be All Aboard Florida’s financing, and whether the Florida Development Finance Corp. can move forward with issuance of tax-exempt private activity bonds for the project.