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Front Page » Profile » Mike Reininger: At the controls of new Brightline railway operations

Mike Reininger: At the controls of new Brightline railway operations

Written by on January 19, 2016
Mike Reininger: At the controls of new Brightline railway operations

When Brightline launches in mid-2017, President Mike Reininger is confident the rail service from Miami to West Palm Beach will be successful and enthusiastically welcomed by travelers. For one thing, he and staff studied passenger rail systems of all types around the world and learned trains work as the preferred method for people to go back and forth between places with large population centers that have highly mobile activity between them.

Each year, Mr. Reininger said, about 500 million trips are taken between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, where Brightline will eventually extend its service. About 95% of the trips are in private cars.  

If there’s one thing Americans hate more than they love their car, he believes, it’s being stuck in unmanageable traffic. And that’s what happens, particularly in Southeast Florida among the most congested road systems anywhere. 

Eventually, Mr. Reininger said, people love their cars less and less because the vehicles are no longer a comfortable and reliable means of transportation. That’s when one starts looking at alternative modes, he said.

A privately-funded venture, Brightline expects to make a profit through ticket sales, ancillary revenue and partnerships. The trains have been ordered and are under construction at the Siemens facility in Sacramento, CA.

Service is to begin with five four-car trains that can each carry 240 passengers. Then Brightline expects to add to the passenger rail through June 2018 for a total of 10 seven-car trains that can each carry 356 passengers. 

Technically, Mr. Reininger is president of All Aboard Florida and of Brightline. The corporate entity is All Aboard Florida; the consumer brand of the express rail system is Brightline. All Aboard Florida in turn is one of four businesses owned by Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, which was purchased in 2007 by equity funds managed by Fortress Investment Group.

All Aboard Florida is really two businesses, Mr. Reininger said. One is Brightline, the transportation and train business, but the company is also heavily engaged in transit-oriented urban real estate development.

In the past, Mr. Reininger has been executive vice president and chief development officer of AECOM Technology Corp., senior vice president of creative services and corporate marketing for the St. Joe Co. and managing partner of Union Station Neighborhood Co.

Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Mr. Reininger in his Coral Gables office.

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5 Responses to Mike Reininger: At the controls of new Brightline railway operations

  1. Pep

    January 20, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    The price for driving to Orlando is a gas tank. Traffic depends on what time and you leave. In Europe you can get a train ticket for 15 euros and travel 200 miles. Why would pay triple to take my family to Orlando in the same amount time? yet my taxes has to fund your company!

    • gregory

      January 26, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      European also has twice the population density as the United States and an lower vehicle ownership rate.

  2. DC Copeland

    January 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    There should be a stop across from Aventura Mall. That will relieve one of the worst traffic congested areas in SE Florida. The station should have a pedestrian bridge spanning Biscayne Blvd AND the mall parking lot to the mall itself. Add a moving sidewalk and you got something that will make people use Brightline, making it a hit. Aventura Mall should partner in this, i.e., paying for and building the pedestrian bridge.

  3. Adam Old

    January 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Gas will not be this cheap forever.

  4. Jordan Ali

    March 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    excellent investment! Also I recommend them building a Aventura station & 79st station to make it easier to commute by Biscayne Blvd. because the traffic in south Florida especially in U.S 1 where it is HORRIBLE. Thank goodness for this idea!!