All Aboard Florida’s Brightline has won approval to sell $600 million in tax-exempt bonds to help pay for the first leg of its passenger train project connecting West Palm Beach and Miami.
The Florida Development Finance Corp., a special financing unit authorized by the state Legislature to issue tax-exempt bonds to private entities, signed off on the sale on Friday.
The bonds can only be used to pay for Brightline’s first phase, which will operate between its stations in West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. The company has said it plans to launch service on the route by the end of the year.
Eventually, Brightline plans to extend its service north to Orlando. That extension has faced opposition from residents on the Treasure Coast.
Brightline has unsuccessfully tried to sell $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds to fund its second leg between West Palm Beach and Orlando.
In an April letter to federal officials, Brightline CEO Dave Howard said the company planned to renew its push for a federal loan to help pay for the project.