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South Florida poised to benefit from Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan

South Florida’s goal to transform into a car-optional region could receive a sizable boost should the Trump administration’s proposal to invest $1 trillion into America’s infrastructure turn to reality, says a local infrastructure expert.

A direct beneficiary of the capital injection would be Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, whose passenger rail project Brightline could be enhanced by improved public resources, says attorney Mitch Bierman, a partner with Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman.

Brightline will run between Miami and West Palm Beach, with stops in Fort Lauderdale, when completed later this year. The Orlando leg is expected to debut in 2019.

“When you consider the overall impact of a program like Brightline, it’s greatly enhanced if each of the locations it serves has broadened public transportation infrastructure so full advantage can be taken of Brightline while connecting with other great public transportation options,” Bierman said.

B rightline’s Miami Central Station offers a blueprint for how improved transit infrastructure would enable optimal use of the intercity rail system, Bierman says. Located in downtown Miami, It connects all major mass transit systems: Metromover, Metro Rail and Tri-Rail.

“Say you get to Miami Central Station from Broward and you have to get to Homestead. You can quickly jump on the Metrorail without it maybe stopping at Dadeland,” Bierman said. “We’re very hopeful that as a community, especially the business community, that we could see a nice chunk of that infrastructure spending come to South Florida.”

Given its experience developing for-profit transit systems, Florida East Coast Industries could be a prime candidate for public-private partnerships, Bierman said.

“The knowledge these private companies can bring to public transit is very valuable. These guys are doing these projects all over the world,” he said. “A lot of public transportation heads have experience, but not the same breadth.”

The serendipitous nature of the timing isn’t lost on Michael Reninger, the former president of Brightline, who earlier this month ascended to the role of executive director of Florida East Coast Industries.

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