Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has begun the process to allow for private investment in the line. FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) received an unsolicited proposal to lease property owned by the state and CFX to build a high-speed train along Interstate 4.
Based on the unsolicited proposal, FDOT is initiating a procurement process so any interested private entities may apply.
The request is for those interested in leasing FDOT and CFX owned rights-of-way to establish a privately funded passenger rail service between Orlando and Tampa.
Scott said that it was an exciting opportunity for Orlando, Tampa and the entire state. “Instead of placing taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, our goal is for the private sector to invest in this project. Through private investment, we ensure that this major project has zero financial risk to Florida taxpayers.”
FDOT secretary Mike Dew said: “The department is committed to creating a robust transportation system that meets Florida’s current and future needs. Privately-funded passenger rail will provide residents and visitors a transportation choice for one of the busiest corridors in the state.”
Interested parties will have 120 days to submit proposals after the request for proposals is released.