Fast Track: Brightline's Game-Changing Connection between Orlando and South Florida
Picture this: zipping from West Palm Beach's vibrant coast to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks in record time, leaving traffic headaches far behind. While this idea may have seemed like a dream just a few years ago, it’s now within reach thanks to the monumental completion of Brightline's Orlando station located at Orlando International Airport.
Brightline estimates 35 million people travel between Central Florida and Miami each year.
With its sleek and cutting-edge high-speed rail, the company is poised to revolutionize Florida's transportation landscape, seamlessly connecting the heart of the Sunshine State to its bustling southern hubs.
According to Brightline's media relations director, Vanessa Afonso, today's travelers crave more than just an affordable ticket; they desire an enjoyable experience. “We offer a guest-first experience, and we believe it will push others in our industry to do the same,” she says. “Each train and station is meticulously designed and built through the lens of today’s modern traveler.”
Tickets for rides beginning in September are available for purchase with locals and visitors alike eager to hop on board and explore. Brightline plans to operate 16 round trips between Orlando and Miami, with one-way fares starting at $79 per trip. Brightline service between Central and South Florida will depart southbound from Orlando Station and northbound from MiamiCentral on an hourly schedule. The station will still offer its usual commuter routes for South Floridians with stations in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, and Miami.
The best part? Brightline is designed to connect and partner with local and public transportation networks to improve connectivity, so traveling to nearby cities is always a breeze.
Ready to learn more about Brightline’s game-changing new station and what this means for South Florida? We spoke with Afonso to learn all about what to expect.
LM: Can you tell us about the infrastructure improvements and investments made to accommodate the expansion into Orlando?
VA: Construction teams worked over seven million hours battling the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain shortages to finish the 170-mile corridor extension. Brightline’s Orlando extension project includes a state-of-the-art vehicle maintenance facility, a buildout of the Orlando station at Orlando International Airport, 56 bridges, three underpasses, and upgrades to 156 railroad crossings. Completion of engineering achievements includes over two million spikes and bolts, 2.3 million tons of granite and limestone were transported by 20,000 railcars, 225 million pounds of 100 percent recycled American steel, 6 million cubic yards of rail embankment fill, and 450,000 concrete ties.
What can passengers expect in terms of travel experience and amenities when using Brightline trains to travel to and from Orlando?
Guests can anticipate an experience at the intersection of transportation and hospitality.
Food and beverage service onboard (complimentary in PREMIUM), Starlink Wifi, leather stitched seats, and plenty of charging ports. All trains feature enhanced accessibility and are fully ADA-accessible.
What efforts has Brightline made to ensure environmental sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint with this expansion?
Brightline is the most environmentally friendly biodiesel-electric train in service. Its locomotives meet the highest emission standards set by the federal government. Riding the train reduces CO2 emissions by 75 percent per passenger mile (or kilometer) compared to traveling by a personal vehicle. This service will remove 3 million cars per year from area roadways!
How do you foresee the expansion into Orlando contributing to economic growth and development in the region?
The investment made by Brightline has spurred significant commercial and residential growth as proof that transit-oriented development works and more is needed. Transit stations bring opportunities for cities looking for ways to bring more affordable housing and other projects that generate jobs and options for commuters. Brightline’s stations have led to thousands of new units — including affordable housing — and have regenerated areas of Miami and South Florida that hadn’t been redeveloped in decades.Posted by Live Modern on