Brightline may extend passenger train service to both Orlando and Tampa

The company submitted a bid to state officials to launch passenger train service along Interstate 4 between the two cities

Jun.June 23, 2018 01:45 PM

Brightline train crosses the Hillsboro Canal near Deerfield Beach (Credit: David Patch / Toledo Blade)

Brightline, the company that plans to extend its passenger train service in South Florida to Orlando, may expand into Tampa, too.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that state officials will consider proposals by private companies to launch a passenger train service along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando.

Brightline has submitted a bid to build a rail line in the I-4 corridor on land leased from the state and the Central Florida Expressway Authority.

”We are currently involved in the RFP [request for proposal] process, which is the first step needed to extend the [Brightline] system to the Tampa Bay region,” Patrick Goddard, president and chief operating officer of Brightline, said in a prepared statement.

The bid by Brightline led the state Department of Transportation to seek competitive bid over a 120-day period.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Orlando, Tampa and the whole state,” Gov. Scott said in a prepared statement. “Instead of placing taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, our goal is for the private sector to invest in this project.”

In 2011, Scott refused to allow the state to accept $2.4 billion in funds from the federal government to develop a passenger train service between Orlando and Tampa. [Miami Herald] – Mike Seemuth

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