The company last year also won approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to sell an additional $1.15 billion in tax-exempt bonds to help finance its second phase between West Palm Beach and Orlando. Brightline executives have said the bonds provide a lower-cost alternative to other financing options.
“Brightline, the nation’s only privately owned, operated and maintained intercity passenger rail system, is already solving mobility problems for southeast Florida and is poised to disrupt the nationwide transportation discussion and help transform the state’s infrastructure,” a Brightline spokesperson said Tuesday. “ By the federal statutory definition, Brightline qualifies and in combination with $1.5 billion of our own investment has created thousands of jobs and economic impact throughout the state of Florida.”
An amendment to Internal Revenue Code set aside $15 billion at the federal level for private activity bonds to pay for transportation projects, including high-speed trains that move up to 150 mph. Brightline’s trains will operate at a maximum speed of 125 mph.
Instead, federal transportation officials determined Brightline qualifies for the bonds because it fits the definition of a surface transportation project.
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