Brightline, Florida’s long-awaited express intercity passenger rail service has started service into MiamiCentral, the new 11-acre intermodal development in the heart of Downtown Miami. Regularly scheduled service started from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on May 19.
This transformative passenger rail system connects transportation hubs in three Southeast Florida counties and opened with a launch of eight northbound and eight southbound trips per day.
To commemorate the start of service to Miami, a contingent of local, state, and federal officials were all invited aboard on May 11 for a ribbon cutting and tour of the MiamiCentral facility and a preview ride from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.
The group included U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Bill Shuster, U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Florida Lt. Gov, Carlos López-Cantera.
South Florida elected officials included Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, numerous members of the Miami-Dade County Commission, and local municipal officials from the tri-county area.
“In 1896, Henry Flagler built a passenger rail that paved the way for the Miami we know and love today,” said Wes Edens, co-founder, principal, and co-chief executive officer of Fortress Investment Group. “We’re proud to continue that legacy with Brightline and MiamiCentral, which are transformative assets for the city and state of Florida. As the first privately-funded passenger train in over 100 years, this innovative model can be replicated to connect many corridors across our nation.”
The highly anticipated extension to Miami links the already operating service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Brightline commences with introductory fares, complimentary parking, and waiving added fees, like checked baggage, during the initial launch. Tickets in Smart Service range between $10 and $15 per segment, and tickets in Select Service range between $15 and $25 per segment.
“South Florida has a vibrant economy and unique lifestyle, yet some of the nation’s worst traffic,” said Patrick Goddard, president, and CEO of Brightline. “We are making an unprecedented investment in Florida and the benefits can be seen today through job creation and the launch of Brightline and MiamiCentral.”
“We believe that MiamiCentral will be a significant landmark in Miami for generations and Brightline will connect the state in ways that haven’t been done before,” he continued.
MiamiCentral was planned and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering and urban planning firms in the world, with Zyscovich serving as the project’s Associate Architect and Planner.
The Brightline and future Tri-Rail stations are elevated 50 feet above ground. The station is located at 600 NW First Ave. and is accessible for guests at the street entrance located at the corner of NW First Avenue and Sixth Street. The parking garage can be entered at 161 NW Sixth Street. Adding to the intermodal convenience is easy connection to the Metromover and Metrorail located at 101 NW First St. Tri-Rail will be connected to MiamiCentral beginning in 2019.
The trains are 100 percent Buy America compliant and were assembled by more than 1,000 employees at Siemens USA in Sacramento, CA. More than 40 suppliers in over 20 states supplied the components for the state-of-the-art trainsets. Construction on Phase 2, connecting to the Orlando International Airport, is scheduled to begin this year.
Brightline makes it easy for guests to seamlessly personalize and book their travel experience, check train times and ride. Bookings to Miami are open and full schedule details are available on the Brightline app and at www.gobrightline.com.