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Front Page » Transportation » Brightline rail will start with deeply discounted fares

Brightline rail will start with deeply discounted fares

Written by on June 13, 2017
Brightline rail will start with deeply discounted fares

The new Brightline rail service linking Miami to West Palm Beach with a stop in Fort Lauderdale will start with deeply discounted fares when it takes its first runs in late summer and offers full service in the early fall, CEO Dave Howard says.
While he wouldn’t reveal the fare structure, Mr. Howard told a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce transportation meeting last week that the discounted cost is “going to be less than the cost of driving your car.”
Fares, he said, won’t be revealed until just before operations begin. He did not provide specific dates.
The full service in the fall, he said, will amount to 32 round trips daily between Miami and West Palm Beach.
The West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale stations, built expressly for the Brightline service, are getting their final touches, Mr. Howard said, while the massive station complex in downtown Miami handled by parent All Aboard Florida continues to rise.
Asked to predict the status of the railroad next June, he said that Brightline will then be on the way to carrying 3 million passengers a year.
“The railroad is the answer of the future,” traveling on a line that was built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler just before 1900. “What an awesome opportunity to reinvent that system.”
The railroad as conceived by its owner, Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, was to be a link between Miami and Orlando, linking to Orlando’s cluster of globally known theme attractions. But communities along the route have tried to sidetrack the planned operations, delaying that longer part of the run.
Mr. Howard said only that the Brightline will be “ultimately connecting to Orlando in phase 2 of our project.” He did not provide an estimate of how long that might take.
He did note, as he has in the past, that no privately funded passenger rail service has been completed in the US in the past 100 years. “This is a privately funded project that has enormous public benefits,” he said.
He said the level of service planned on the line now exists nowhere in the nation.
That might help to cut into the car-centric culture in the region.
“Yes, we need to change behavior, Mr. Howard conceded, “but the behavior that we have to change is painful. So it should be relatively easy” to motivate South Floridians to ride the rails rather than suffer in heavy traffic.
As for the impact on the community, Mr. Howard, who arrived here in March from New York, where he ran sports-oriented organizations, said that he hears a lot from employers about dependency on cars impeding business growth. “They can’t afford to lose people for hours in the day in their cars just to attend meetings,” he said.
As for getting Millennials to ride the Brightline, he said that the generation is much more favorably inclined to alternative travel modes than their elders and they already feel connected to city centers. Brightline, he said, is one of the solutions to connect the cities together.
Mr. Howard said that the owners of the Brightline feel good about their investment. The cost was low, because they already owned the right-of-way. At a cost of a little more than $1 billion for the five train sets and stations combined, he said, “this is actually an extraordinarily efficient investment.”

16 Responses to Brightline rail will start with deeply discounted fares

  1. Alain Corona

    June 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I’m really excited about this. I’ve grown up in Miami and have always dreamed of an efficient rail system to move us around. I truly believe this will make the Miami-FTL.-WPB-Orlando communities closer as it has done in the Northeast. Congratulations and thank you for your investment in our community. You can count on me as a loyal fan/rider.

  2. Craig A Kasparek

    June 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Can’t wait to try it out. Finally, someone’s got a great idea for efficiency, comfort, and attacking our ever expanding and exasperating traffic woes. This should be a great bonus for foreign tourists visiting our state. Further expansion to Orlando/Tampa/Jacksonville is
    a sorely needed must have. It’s about time we show our inventive resolve before we pave over more of our wonderful state with asphalt.

  3. M.E. SINGER

    June 14, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    An important takeaway from the rise of “Brightline” apparently goes hand-in-hand with its privately-financed construction, focus on real estate development at depots and en route, as well as its successful pushback against lobbyist inspired politicos and local cul de sac NIMBYs is the unique approach to senior management.

    Rather than regurgitating tired, old marketing and operational philosophies from the airline and passenger rail firms, note how All Aboard Florida brought in as CEO a New Yorker, Dave Howard–highly experienced in sports-oriented organizations. You can bet he lives and understands the new buzz word in transportation, hospitality, and hospitals–“consumer experience.” With financial-types running our airlines in a race to the bottom, and the purse strings of Congress inhibiting Amtrak, Mr. Howard’s background is predicated upon a competitive service environment that endeavors to fulfill and satisfy customers–food and beverage, well-trained and supervised crew members, cleanliness and comfort, schedule reliability, safety, etc.

    Appreciating the untapped market potential of millennials is also in “Brightline’s” favor, as this population is indeed not wedded to the almighty auto and far-out suburban world. No wonder the bus and airline firms pushed hard through lobbyists to derail this new concept of intra-Florida state travel, knowing the product and services they offer today cannot meet the level of expectation of millennials and foreign visitors.

    • Scott Bailey

      June 25, 2017 at 6:36 pm


  4. Dulcie Andres

    June 14, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I take the 95 bus or the tri-rail at the Ft. Lauderdale Station to the Metrorail Transfer Station. Where will this train go when it goes south.

  5. Jonathan Nelson

    June 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Bright-line was not the first in 100 years, original Auto-train and The Florida Fun Train were two examples of passenger rail with no help from the tax-payers, and I’m sure there were probably others.

  6. John

    June 14, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    This is the future of passenger rail service. And if States want to pick up the slack when/if the Amtrak model is changed that may ultimately provide BETTER local managed operations.

  7. Daniel Perez

    June 14, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Im looking forward to being a brightline rider. I make the 3hr drive from fort lauderdale to orlando and 3hrs back 3 times a month. Visiting family .the drive is frustrating. Im excited to hear we will now have a rail system that is affordable , comfortable and quick . Thank You

  8. Valerie Schields

    June 15, 2017 at 8:59 am

    What’s the difference between Tri-rail and Brightline? Tri-rail already runs between
    Miami and West Palm Beach with a stop in Ft Lauderdale.

    I’m CONFUSED. I understand Brightline will eventually be built to go to Orlando

    please clarify

    thank you

  9. H R soule

    June 15, 2017 at 11:35 am

    what a lot of hooey! unless the person going on the train has an office within 1/2 mile of the tracks, what transportation will they use to get from the station to their location? And exactly how does that requirement change the so-called “car-centric culture”? As for “privately funded”, just WHO will take over the cost of infrastructure when the railroad fails and files for bankruptcy? For such a “extraordinarily efficient investment”, why has the bond market said “NO!” to the bonds being offered? Could it be that the investors also see the idiocy of this plan?

    • Pat Douglas

      June 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      HR Soule- They can take a cab,they can walk,have someone pick them up or they can uber/lift. FECI who is the parent company of All Aboard Florida has been in business for over 110 years, I don’t think they’re going anywhere. The bond market did not say no to their financing, they withdrew their original bond proposal that would would have built out phase 1 & phase 2 of the system because of the lawsuit filed by the luddites and their political cronies and substituted a scaled back proposal that only funds phase 1. This is a great idea for unprecedented levels of rail customer service and the model for everyone else going forward. I predict it will be wildly successful and would be a fantastic investment!

  10. George Koverdan

    June 20, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Tri-rail does a decent job of moving people between MIA and WPB and all stops in between. If Brightline thinks it can charge $11 from WPB to FLL, they will go bankrupt because it is double what TRiRail charges. Also another bad news for Brightline is that there will be a new leg of TriRail going to downtown MIA. How will Brightline convince riders to pay double or even more? Brightline should think of having several stops between WPB and Cocoa Beach to make any sense. Also, will a couple pay $64 each one way from WPB to Orlando? NO!!! So, brightline, you will make money only between WPB and Cocoa Beach ONLY if you build a few stations like Stuart, PSL, Vero Beach and maybe one more before Cocoa Beach. These people there need rail service because they have none. Tri county does have and it is called TriRail for more that half the price

  11. marcelo prado

    June 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I really dream for a train station on Port St. Lucie or Fort Pierce.
    They are many individuals who work down south and commute everyday on turpike and I-95 with this train coming up in the treasure coast it would not only help those individuals but also others.

    This train would create much more jobs since it would connect south Florida jobs with other regions in need of more job opportunities.

    I support this project it brings progress to all!


  12. Derek

    June 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    George Brightline will be able to charge more than Tri-Rail because it’s a different service model. Tri-Rail services local stops and will take longer than Brightline to go from WPB to MIA. Brightline is an express train, express = more. A customer who needs to get into work quicker than Tri-Rail offers will pay the premium to speed of service.

    The Orlando to MIA route is published to take roughly 3 hours since there are only four stops. Currently amtrak takes 5 hours to do the same, and driving takes roughly 4 hours depending on traffic. Personally my wife and I will pay $100+ combined to take a train from Orlando to MIA on our next visit since it means we get there faster than driving…and less hassle. Then we can take Uber, taxi, or other mass transit to where we need to get to in MIA when we visit. Stats show millennials don’t drive as much as our older generation, are more public transit oriented, oh and we’re a larger population than the baby boomers. So it’s a good investment in the future since our generation will be the ones using it over the next 20-30 years.

  13. Malita conte

    July 31, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Being a Senior and just moved here Three ago. I have not rode the Tri-rail not sure how go to Miami? which the do have senior fares. I do not like driving on I 95. Occasionally we take it tom the casinos. Is there bus service where you arrive at the location or you have probably can take uber, we don’t want be wondering around Miami like lost puppie! maybe one we get the courage to take Tri rail! I am about the rail systems! just keep the price affordable for all!

  14. Pat

    August 16, 2017 at 12:40 am

    I cannot wait for Brightline to be up and running. Driving I 95 to FLL or Miami is a nightmare. The entire state of Florida is booming time for a new mode of transportation. You cannot please everyone but I think there will be far more happy people using the rail system.