Brightline bond request approved, Orlando expansion on horizon

RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER | SOUTHEAST | BRIGHTLINE | REGULATION
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WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. – The Florida Development Finance Corp. has approved Brightline's request to act as a conduit for the issuance of $1.75 billion in Private Activity Bonds. These bonds will finance the rail infrastructure in five counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Brevard and Orange counties.

“We appreciate the FDFC board's continued support in the Private Activity Bond process and the members' recognition of the significant economic impacts Brightline will have on the state,” said Patrick Goddard, Brightline's president and coo. “This is another important step forward for our Phase 2 extension to Orlando, and we look forward to executing this transformative vision of privately funded intercity passenger rail.”

Private Activity Bonds are designed for private infrastructure projects, such as Brightline, that offer a public benefit. They are not backed by the federal, state or local governments and pose no risk to taxpayers. The bonds may only be purchased by qualified, private investors who must perform their own due diligence.

With all material permits in place, Brightline expects to start construction on Phase 2 this year. Brightline's station in Orlando will be located at the Orlando International Airport's new Intermodal Terminal Facility that will be the hub of the future South Terminal complex. The Orlando expansion is slated to open in 2021. Recently, Brightline confirmed it is engaged in an RFP process with the Florida Department of Transportation to extend the system to the Tampa Bay region.

The Florida Development Finance Corp. is a state authorized issuer of industrial revenue bonds. FDFC issues bonds in counties throughout Florida through interlocal agreements. The primary mechanism for accessing the capital markets is tax-exempt and taxable bonds.

–From a Brightline press release

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