A bill that would allow the state to regulate Brightline took a step forward Tuesday, after passing unanimously in the Florida Senate Committee on Transportation.
Sen. Debbie Mayfield's Senate Bill 572, also known as the High Speed Rail Safety Act, would give the Florida Department of Transportation some regulatory authority over Brightline and other passenger railroads, including the power to impose fines.
The bill requires increased transparency from railroads about their safety records and shifts costs associated with at-grade crossing maintenance from local governments to the railroads.
The rail-safety act is crucial to protecting public safety and taxpayer dollars, according to Mayfield, R-Melbourne. ... See MoreSee Less
Under House Bill 525, costs associated with the construction and maintenance of at-grade rail crossings — as well as expenditures for improvements and upgrades of at-grade rail crossings — would be shifted from local governments to passenger rail companies.
The Brightline project will significantly increase local governments' expenditures for rail-crossing upgrades and maintenance. For example, Martin County has estimated the county's projected costs for licenses, repairs/rehabilitation at rail crossings and land leases associated with Florida East Coast Railway and Brightline would rise from $200,000 in 2015 to more than $13 million in 2030 and $31 million by 2040, according to county staff.
The premise of the Grall/Magar bill is simple: If a rail company builds a passenger rail service, the rail company — not local taxpayers — should cover the additional costs associated with the project. ... See MoreSee Less
Todays' delay is crippling Jupiter. Traffic backed up over the A1A bridge into Tequesta. Center Street backed up well past the light at Pennock. Toney Penna miserable. I hope no one has a medical emergency and in need of going to the hospital including my mother!
Of interest ... the RR at the 706 has cross walks. They can be accessed by wheelchair and bicycle users in addition to pedestrians. Center Street and Toney Penna do not! There are plenty of sidewalks that end on the curbsides with crossing lights but NO ACCESS pad. Pedestrians only have a narrow strip of asphalt to walk on. The same is true for Riverside Dr. AAF should pay for safety ... not us. Would that be an item that the ADA would look at? ... See MoreSee Less