Funding for All Aboard Florida’s planned route through Treasure Coast in question
Posted on November 30, 2016
On November 28, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a final ruling on the lawfulness of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) $1.75 billion Private Activity Bond (PAB) allocation to All Aboard Florida (AAF, a.k.a Brightline), DOT announced that it has withdrawn the $1.75 billion bond allocation to AAF first made in 2014.
While further proceedings are going to occur in this case, this represents a significant victory for Martin County, which along with Indian River County, brought a lawsuit challenging the lawfulness of DOT’s bonds.
The $1.75 billion in taxpayer subsidized bonds were intended to fund both phases of the AAF Project: Phase I, running from Miami to West Palm Beach, and Phase II, running from West Palm Beach to Orlando, through Martin County.
AAF has applied for, and DOT has approved, a “new” $600 million PAB allocation that will purportedly finance only Phase I of the Project.
Because AAF’s original $1.75 billion PAB allocation has been withdrawn, DOT and AAF now seek to dismiss the case since DOT withdrew the PAB allocation providing funding for Phase II.
DOT’s withdrawal of the $1.75 billion PAB allocation appears to leave AAF with no current clear path to fund Phase II, the portion of the Project that would negatively impact the safety and way of life of Martin County residents and citizens throughout the Treasure Coast.
The County is assessing its next steps in court as well as AAF’s potential new applications for Phase II of the Project with additional taxpayer subsidized funds.
For more resources and information on the many local and regional issues of concern relating to the proposed AAF passenger rail project, including presentations, studies, letters of concern to state and federal agencies and more, visit www.martin.fl.us. In addition, please visit the County’s social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, for updates.