WASHINGTON. D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today questioned Florida East Coast Industries’ executive director Mike Reininger about the financing for All Aboard Florida. Florida East Coast Industries is the parent company of Brightline, and until March, Reininger served as CEO of All Aboard Florida, which will operate Brightline.
“Despite their dishonest claims to the contrary, All Aboard Florida has repeatedly pursued public, taxpayer-funded financing,” Rep. Mast said. “Floridians deserve the truth about who is paying for All Aboard Florida, as well as why they are failing to address critical safety and economic concerns.”
Despite Director Reininger’s claim that All Aboard Florida is “not publicly funded at all,” Rep. Mast highlighted at least three instances in which All Aboard Florida has sought public financial support:
- All Aboard Florida applied for nearly $1.6 billion in publicly-subsidized federal loans in 2013.
- Then, in 2014, All Aboard Florida applied for $1.75 billion in tax-exempt federal bonds. A U.S. District Court judge found that the cost to taxpayers would be up to $600 million.
- In 2014, the State of Florida allocated $213.5 million in its budget for the construction of a facility at Orlando International Airport. All Aboard Florida would be the sole tenant of this facility.
Watch video of the exchange during Thursday’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials hearing: