Florida’s Brightline rail service launches from Miami with historic ceremony at MiamiCentral

Members of Congress, statewide leaders, local elected officials, and the Brightline team celebrate MiamiCentral preview.

Brightline, Florida’s long-awaited express intercity passenger rail service is starting service into MiamiCentral, the new 11-acre intermodal development in the heart of downtown Miami, with regularly scheduled trips launching Saturday, May 19.

This transformative passenger rail system will connect West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, and open with a launch of eight northbound and eight southbound trips per day.

To commemorate the start of service in Miami, on May 11 a contingent of local, state, and federal officials were all invited aboard for a ribbon cutting and tour of the MiamiCentral and a preview ride along the rails to Ft. Lauderdale.

The group included and members U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including Chairman Bill Shuster, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, joined by Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Lt. Governor Carlos López-Cantera.

South Florida elected officials included Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, numerous members of the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners, 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.”

Members of the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

The highly-anticipated extension to Miami will link the already operating service between Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Brightline is launching 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.

During the first weekend of service, Brightline guests are invited to MiamiCentral for a Welcome to the 305 Celebration. On Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, guests can enjoy $3 fares in Smart Service and $5 fares in Select Service.

“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 been 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.

County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

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’ above downtown Miami. The station is located at 600 NW 1st Avenue and is accessible for guests at the street entrance located at the corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 6th Street. The parking garage can be entered at 161 NW 6th Street. Adding to the intermodal convenience is easy connection to the Metromover and Metrorail located at 101 NW 1st Street. 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, Calif. 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, will begin in 2018.

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 www.gobrightline.com. Guests can purchase tickets in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations. MiamiCentral will open to the public on Saturday, May 19.

About Brightline:
Brightline is the new benchmark for travel by train in America with express inter-city passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with future service to Orlando. Providing a travel option that lives at the intersection of transportation and hospitality, the service will ease the stress of traffic, provide a simple and intuitive experience from door to destination, and foster new opportunities to explore more of Southeast Florida. Brightline is the only privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail system in the United States.


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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at info@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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