All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando is in jeopardy following a federal judge’s order questioning the company’s ability to borrow $1.75 billion in taxpayer-subsidized federal bonds to pay for the project.
At the same time, in a lawsuit filed by two Florida counties looking to block the project, the judge found that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ignored federal law when it issued bonding authority for Phase II of the private rail project from Cocoa to Orlando.
Another hearing in the case is set for Sept. 13, the same day DOT and All Aboard Florida (AAF) must file their formal answers to the complaint.
Phase l of the ambitious project, creating a passenger route and terminals at three stops along the Florida East Coast railroad line between Miami and Cocoa, is well underway. It is Phase II that is now precarious.