Hate to turn off the shower's hot water, BUT:
https://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/busines ... 4OqSoAGATM
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..Total ridership for the first half of the year was 180,870, just 16 percent of the 1.1 million passengers Brightline told investors in December that it expected for the full year of 2018.
“They are lower than anticipated," said Stacey Mawson, director at Fitch Ratings, the only agency to issue a grade for Brightline’s $600 million bond issue. "But on the bright side, the trends do seem strong.”
In one caveat, Brightline’s projection of 1.1 million passengers was based on the service launching in late 2017. Brightline started carrying passenger in January, and Brightline didn’t ramp up its full schedule until early August, when its daily service went from 11 round trips to 16 round trips between West Palm Beach and Miami.
Fare revenue increased to $1.54 million in the second quarter, up from $663,667 in the first quarter. Brightline’s revenue for the first half totaled $2.2 million, just 9 percent of the $23.9 million in revenue it predicted for 2018.
The private rail service reported a net loss of $28.3 million for the second quarter, compared to a loss of $28.2 million in the first quarter.
Brightline reports its financial results because it sold bonds worth $600 million to investors in late 2017 to finance its service between West Palm Beach and Miami. Fitch rates the bonds BB-, a junk-bond grade that reflects “an elevated vulnerability to default risk.”….“There’s no compelling reason to believe it’s actually going to work,” said Matt Fabian, a partner at Municipal Market Analytics, a bond research firm in Concord, Mass.
Brightline seeks to raise an additional $1.15 billion to pay for its expansion to Orlando and possibly Tampa.
Once again, I'll be first to acknowledge that I have been sorely mistaken about the objectives of the initiative. It appears that they actually had the intent to operate passenger trains.
I'm not sure if they have yet floated the $1.5B issue to "build it out", but with the first $600M issue being deemed below investment grade, the larger is surely same. Both are or will be privately placed - and, absent a covenant within the Indenture, shielded from those prying eyes of Gannett and Gate House Media (new Post owners) reporters.
But I have learned that regardless of who is Florida's next Governor, Brightline (lest we forget, AAF has joined RAILPAX wherever...) will have friends in Tallahassee. For all anyone knows, "what if it flops" plans are being formulated how to best hide the public funding.