AASHTO Journal

Company Launches Brightline Florida Passenger Rail Service

The privately funded Brightline express passenger rail service began operations this month in Florida between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure on hand to mark the occasion.

T&I Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and ranking member Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., were among those at a Jan. 12 event in Miami, a day before Brightline launched its passenger service.

brightlinetrain.jpgShuster, in a company-issued press release, called the new train system an "innovative infrastructure project."

The new passenger service is being developed by a company called All Aboard Florida, which is a unit of Florida East Coast Industries, along a rail corridor owned by Florida East Coast Railway. It has been using tax-exempt private activity bonds to help create the system.

Shuster added: "Congress needs to be equally innovative as we work to provide a 21st century infrastructure for America. It will take federal, state, and local governments working together, along with private sector participation wherever feasible, to improve our infrastructure. I am hopeful this rail line can serve as a blueprint for other potential private sector efforts to help improve our nation's transportation networks."

The company said its introductory service includes 10 daily roundtrips during weekdays and nine on weekends to take riders between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in about 35 minutes.

It said it plans to expand service to Miami and other points "in coming months." 

The company has experienced delays in its timetable, as initially announced it would launch the first phase last July and add Miami service the next month.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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