FDOT Demands Compensation From Brightline For Lost Tolls If It Wants To Expand Train Service To Tampa

Brightline must prepare a study calculating how much toll revenue would be lost to the state if they expand to Tampa and compensate the government for it, according to a March 1 letter from FDOT to the company.

The company is currently more than halfway complete building a rail line from Miami to Orlando, and hopes to further extend the line from Orlando to Tampa.

The letter was first obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. Brightline president and CEO Patrick Goddard, signed the agreement on Monday, the paper said.

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.

Brightline needs space along the Central Florida Expressway Authority’s toll-road system in order to build the expansion from Orlando to Tampa.

FDOT is demanding Brightline complete the following in order to move forward with the Orlando to Tampa route:

  • Conduct a study that details toll revenue lost to the state and CFX
  • Prepare a compensation plan for lost toll revenue
  • Secure an agreement with Sunrail to cross their tracks
  • Obtain a letter of support from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority for the project
  • Submit design plans when 30, 60 and 90 percent complete

FDOT’s deadline for Brightline to complete the agreement is mid-summer.

 

89 Comments
most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
3 months ago

Ass backwards priorities. They should be *paid* for removing cars.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Chickens coming home to roast for the endless projections of non-stop growth in automobile traffic with zero competition from rail.

Purposeful assumptions made by those in power so they could build and keep building more and bigger highways.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Agree

Anonymous
3 months ago

This is nothing but a hijacking of the efforts of private industry, vs a government money making scheme. I guess we should not expect any better. Imagine that!. The anti-train gang is at it again. Bright line should battle it out in court.

Anonymous
3 months ago

You are on the right track (so to speak) But not quite there. This is strong arm tactics but not to benefit the government directly. It is to benefit the politicians donors who’s companies would lose revenue if they aren’t contracted to build new or wider roads. It’s all a kick back scheme designed to keep politicians in power and their donors rolling in money.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Wow! Strong arming mafia tactics.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Agreed! Typical head-in-the-sand, hard-headed thinking, and southern good-ol’-boy politics. smh

Anonymous
3 months ago

No, just pet project politics.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Don’t tolls go to pay for roads and their upkeep, by the users of the road? If people choose to take the train, their train ticket price should go to the construction and maintenance of the tracks.

I’m “demanding” FDOT focus on completing the projects they already have, and making the FDOT roads in Miami more safe and integrated into the county and city roads with better-signalized intersection timing.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Many of these projects are financed by bonds … and the projections of limitless cars in the sunshine state are what allowed the money to be borrowed.

Anonymous
3 months ago

This

Anonymous
3 months ago

Maybe they shouldn’t have been built in the first place. If only the mindset was more forward thinking.

Anonymous
3 months ago

The thieves in Tallahassee want all of the money for themselves. Having an efficient train system might just reduce their income, while bolstering the idea of rail transportation, which they hate. I say, take them (Tallahassee) to court.

Robin Stan
3 months ago

This is Absurd, a major overstep by FDOT and it’s associated parties.

Anonymous
3 months ago

that’s disgusting

Anonymous
3 months ago

Ridiculous gangster type tactic. What standing does the FDOT have for demanding any money from a private company that causes a reduction in cars traveling on their road? It is nothing but a shake down for cash because they have the power to not approve rail. If I car pool, do we carpoolers owe the state money for the loss in toll revenue?

Anonymous
3 months ago

Right! And it’s not like BrightLine won’t be paying the state of Florida thousands of tax dollars every year anyway.

Anonymous
3 months ago

I agree it is ridiculous, but they want to use FDOT land. FDOT will give them land if they pay them money. They should have just done a lease instead of saying, pay us lost tolls.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Use “their” land? It’s public land. The T in DOT is *transportation*. A train is much more space efficent way to move people. Check out the latest pics from FDOT’s I-4 project in orlando.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Absolutely – FDOT has a responsibility to act in the best interest of Florida taxpayers overall, not to maximize its agency revenue.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Newsflash, that land doesn’t “belong” to FDOT.

Jeffery Epstein
3 months ago

Wow, horrible! So backwards! FDOT should be paying for rail!

Anonymous
3 months ago

So we can all agree that FDOT has ZERO incentive to remove cars off the roads because their bond interest rates depend on a steady growth in traffic over time. This is why we will never get functional transit in Florida. Our entire transportation system depends on clogged toll roads in order to pay for the billions borrowed to build said highways.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Defund FDOT

Anonymous
3 months ago

Fuck fdot

Anonymous
3 months ago

Blatant shake down that would make Anthony Soprano blush, Despicable.

Anonymous
3 months ago

the CFX has bond holders to protect.

Anonymous
3 months ago

The majority of the CFX tolls come from Metro Orlando commuters, this is nothing more than a cheap shakedown by the FDOT

Think big
3 months ago

So, with that logic: we should never seek a cure for Cancer because hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical co.s have bills to pay?

Anonymous
3 months ago

Smells like desantis 😷

Anonymous
3 months ago

its not but you leftist got to bash him ever corner, meanwhile dem governors cover up nursing home deaths and andrew gullium would of been getting his b hole blown out while governor.

Anonymous
3 months ago

That’s a really gross thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Gillum should be ashamed of himself for running Tallahassee into the ground as mayor, while the majority of State Legislature and Governor from most the rest of the State are keeping it from turning into Commiefornia.

Anonymous
3 months ago

“Commiefornia” build commuter rail systems for their citizens while Florida use strong arm toll road tactics to wrangle in every dime they can get and can’t even do a simple expansion of a Metromover system that’s been in place for decades for it’s citizens.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Like deathsantis

Anonymous
3 months ago

Sick in the head man

Anonymous
3 months ago

Except DeSantis has been a proponent of Brightline, along with his predecessor, who you all rage about canceling an inferior HSR project putting the stations and tracks far from the development it can efficiently serve.

Also, Brightline’s expected Tampa station is in a Democrat’s district.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Huh? *this* DeSantis? “Florida was “built on automobiles…I don’t think doing, like, a train is going to be the answer…I think we’re basically an automobile-centered society. Until that behavior changes, I do think we need to work on building and expanding our roads.”

Anonymous
3 months ago

First off, it is dipshitanits’ fault. He controls the FDOT. It’s not political. He’s the current governor and this is happening right now so this lays directly at his feet. 2nd, politics aside, this is corruption plain and simple. It’s not about the state making money. If it was they wouldn’t be trying to extend the Suncoast Parkway from Brooksville north to I4. It’s about making money for the road construction companies. They make money, they pay off politicians so the politicians make money, then the politicians give construction contracts to the people who gave them money. It’s all one big circle and a never ending cycle. The pathetic part is that most Republicans voters say they want smaller government and reduced governmental corruption yet they keep voting for the same corrupt bastards over and over again. Mainly because they are sheep. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a whole hell of a lot of Democrats who do the same thing. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Get your heads out of your politicians and church leaders and think for yourself! This project would benefit lots of people and hurt only a small percentage of people (mainly rich people) and that is why the FDOT is doing what it is doing.

Stephen
3 months ago

Pretty ironic given that subsidized highways like the ones FDOT manages and builds ran private passenger rail out of business. Brightline should send FDOT an invoice for generations of lost fares.

Anonymous
3 months ago

FDOT should go F___k themselves!

POLO
3 months ago

What a disgrace, FDOT should NOT get a penny from Brightline, period!

Anonymous
3 months ago

Do the airports have to provide a toll revenue study?

Anonymous
3 months ago

what is fdot providing? Unless FEC needs their Right of way i dont understand it.

Anonymous
3 months ago

I understand everybodys sentiment. But they are providing the same space that is used for cars. is my undersstanding.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Its called competition.

Anonymous
3 months ago

It looks like it should be very little per ticket. Most of the road between the two cities is I4 which is free. There’s only a short toll section on FL 528.

Anonymous
3 months ago

“FDOT’s deadline for Brightline to complete the agreement is mid-summer?”

It takes the FAA almost twice that long to approve a new building proposal that’s only 400ft tall amongst buildings that are 5, 6, and 700ft tall in downtown Miami…

Anonymous
3 months ago

what a joke! After wasting hundreds of millions on a BS signature bridge which serves zero purpose and will probably bot be done for a another 2/3 years. I cross it easy 10 times a day the only traffic comes from their construction closures messing up something that worked fine.

Anonymous
3 months ago

All taking place in a Republican state that stands for less government interference, free markets, and less regulation. This is an abuse of government power. Sounds like a little background corruption to me.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Democrat states do it all the time For example in New York, granny-killer Cuomo stopped a proper rebuilding of Penn Station by targeting the LIRR and even government-operated railroads and services like Amtrak, so he could have his pet project rebuild of LaGuardia Airport. This is despite JFK and Newark being able to absorb most the flights and high-speed rail proposed for Penn Station the rest.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Ha!.. “New York, granny-killer Cuomo…” Donald Trump said “bleach” does a very effective job at killing the Corona virus and thought people should think about injecting it in their body and doctors across this country had to to tell people not to do it because injecting bleach in your body will kill you!

By the way, what ever happened to that “much better healthcare deal” that Trump told the country we were gonna see while he was in office?

Awo
3 months ago

The State should require a right-of-way sharing for a bike/ped path running alongside the tracks from Miami to Orlando.

Anonymous
3 months ago

This is a crock from Florida.
Enjoy driving their trashy turnpike where you will find metal in the middle of the _______ road. From, 2011 to 2016 the Annual toll revenue was $600 million a year. During Rick Scott 1st year in office that number rose to $1 BILLION (FY 2017)..

FDOT should be investigated for conflict of interest. I am sick of them.

Anonymous
3 months ago

So, right now the state and the Central Florida Expressway Authority is saying drivers can’t and don’t know how to find other routes to take to avoid paying tolls?

Fred
3 months ago

Rail was not compensated in the past for lost revenue due to construction of interstate highways and airports nor the sugar industry by users of artificial sweeteners. In any case, you can drive from Miami to Tampa via Clewiston and not pay any tolls at all. So FDOT and CFX lose nothing from those passengers.

Right of way is another issue. Elevating tracks or tunneling may be more expensive but better solutions than losing space needed for future road widening projects. Do what’s best for motorists AND rail passengers.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Actually, it was. Case in point, Penn Central and the creation of Amtrak and Conrail. CSX actually bought out some of Conrail’s assets.

The Fanjul Brothers own both sides of the political aisle when it comes to the sugar industry.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Will Brightline also be able to deduct the benefit brought by the train system? Then, they have to receive not to pay!

Anonymous
3 months ago

Greed.. this is why Biscayne Green project hasn’t happened.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Just goes to show you. All they care about is the money. I mean I get it the bonuses are going to be crappy this year.

Anonymous
3 months ago

Fu8k FDOT, i hope all people get off your highways.

Anonymous
3 months ago

All about the Benjamins baby!

Anonymous
3 months ago

unbelievable, what joke.