Deadline for Brightline Plan Comes With Strings Attached

Officials from Brightline recently signed an agreement that dictates terms for the study of an extension of the private rail system between Orlando and Tampa.

March 10, 2021, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

West Palm Beach, Florida

Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock

"Florida transportation authorities on Monday gave Brightline what appears to be a final deadline of mid-summer to iron out agreements with local and state governments for the extension of passenger rail service from Orlando’s airport to Tampa," reports Kevin Spear.

"Brightline’s proposal for rail service between Orlando and Tampa is to follow the company’s completion of an extension to Orlando’s airport, now under construction and more than half finished, from existing service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach," adds Spear for an explanation of the scope of the project.

Brightline has been negotiating leases along the route since empowered to the job by the Florida Department of Transportation in 2019, according to Spear, and the state is now pressing the company to wrap it up.

The agreement came with a bunch of other requirements in addition to the expiration date, including the delivery of a study that would quantify the loss of toll revenues for the state and the Central Florida Expressway Authority. (The Brightline extension will require the Central Florida Expressway Authority to vacate space currently devoted to the toll-road system.)

"Both the state and the Central Florida Expressway Authority would need to be compensated for the loss of revenue that may occur from cars being removed from the road if the train service is built," according to another article by Next Miami.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Orlando Sentinel

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