Brightline Sets a New Standard for Train Travel in Florida
Looking for a fast, easy and friendly way for your group to travel? Hop aboard Brightline and transform a taxing travel commute into a stress-free journey to your Florida destination.
Stop-and-go traffic, cramped buses and cars, long airport security lines. The route to that travel endpoint isn’t always pleasant. And often, it’s the shorter trips that cause the most anxiety for tour groups. South Florida has some of the most renowned attractions in the country, but it can be a hassle venturing out to see them, especially for those traveling regionally. Now a new rail service has come on the scene to provide a more affable travel experience.
Launched in January 2018, Brightline is the only privately funded, operated and maintained rail service in the United States. It offers hospitality-focused, inter-city express passenger rail service in South Florida to better connect people to the places they want to visit. The goal of Brightline is to provide a premium train travel experience without increasing traffic congestion, making it safer and faster to experience all the wonderful sites the region has to offer. For guests looking for an elite travel alternative, Brightline even offers a Select service that grants exclusive station parking, an enhanced lounge area with complimentary refreshments and business amenities, and onboard services like scented cold hand towels and magazines. Gastronomic focused travelers can climb aboard for the Tasting Train, a series of premier culinary experiences such as onboard wine tasting and food pairings.
Brightline’s first route, between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, launched with 10 daily roundtrips on weekdays and nine on the weekends. The trip takes about 35 minutes between the two cities. In May, it extended service to Miami and opened an 11-acre transportation hub called MiamiCentral. Brightline plans to expand even further, with a route connecting to Orlando International Airport that will open in a few years, and eventually a track that runs to Tampa.
Brightline is taking train travel in Florida to the next level, and giving groups a comfortable, convenient way to see the state. To find out more about the new rail service, we asked them a few questions about the product, why they developed it and what groups can expect onboard.
Why was the Brightline service needed as a transportation option in the South Florida region?
- Brightline is a more convenient, reliable and faster alternative than traveling by car in one of the nation’s most congested regions.
- The South Florida market area is densely populated and presents a powerfully diverse mix of business and leisure travelers that mirror the complexion of the overall Florida economy, blending both international and domestic customers.
- Having access to reliable transportation connects communities, increases business opportunities and improves the quality of life.
- There are really two major highways that connect the three major central business districts, I-95 and the Turnpike.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, in Miami-Dade County, more people died in crashes on I-95 in 2015 than any other county along the interstate.
- Miami-Dade is the seventh most populated county and fifth most congested in the nation, according to the U.S. Census and INRIX.
- The tourism economy continues to grow. Almost 16 million visitors traveled to Miami in 2017, and a record-breaking 5.3 million people sailed through PortMiami.
- It is also the primary gateway for business and tourism between the U.S. and Latin America, which makes it among the most important international marketplaces in the U.S.
- Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are the most populated cities in their respective counties.
When was the idea conceived and how long did it take to build?
Brightline was announced in March 2012. Construction started in 2015. Introductory service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale launched in mid-January and service to Miami opened in mid-May.
What type of experience can travelers expect on 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.
What advice can you give to groups wishing to book with Brightline?
Gather your friends, colleagues and family and let Brightline provide you with an unforgettable experience. Let us help you plan your next corporate event, celebration or social outing by train. Each of our brand new stations can host a party for you upon arrival, or we can direct you to one of the many exciting venues near each station.
Do you offer any special discounts or other incentives for groups?
We offer discounts up to 20 percent off train fares for groups of 10 or more, plus a list of perks to choose from. In addition, groups of 10 to 240 can enjoy happy hours, breakfast spreads, catered lunches, food, wine tastings and other customized options all while aboard a unique venue.
What is your policy on changes or cancellations?
Group reservations canceled or changed within 96 hours prior to departure will not receive a refund or credit. See our Terms of Service for details.
Do you have expansion plans beyond routes offered today?
Brightline anticipates starting construction on the expansion to Orlando this year, with operations commencing in 2020. We are currently in an RFP process with the Florida Department of Transportation to extend the service to Tampa.