Traveling around South Florida is about to get way easier. By the end of the year, a new privately owned train service called Brightline is set to connect the Sunshine State’s busiest areas — Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach (and eventually Orlando). Here’s everything you need to know about the long-awaited train line and five ways it’s a smarter way to travel.
The number one reason we’re excited? No sitting in traffic, which is notoriously congested in this stretch of South Florida. It’ll take just 30 minutes to get between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and 60 minutes from Miami to West Palm Beach on the 79-mph train, regardless of traffic, 365 days a year. When Orlando is added as a fourth stop, it will take three hours to reach from Miami — connecting two of the most visited cities in the U.S.
Though official prices won't be announced until closer to Brightline's launch, fares are expected to be comparable to car travel and ride shares. Without the need to pay for tolls, parking, or gas (they can total up to $40, depending on your route), we estimate the train may actually save you money, not to mention time.
In each city, the train will drop you off right by popular downtown locations. In Miami, you’ll exit next to the AmericanAirlines Arena, convenient for anyone going to a Miami Heat game, and within walking distance to the Port of Miami. From the Ft. Lauderdale station, you can easily walk to the historic district, Riverwalk, or performing arts center, and while in West Palm, you're near the waterfront, Centennial Park, and City Hall.
The five trains — BrightBlue, BrightGreen, BrightPink, BrightOrange, and BrightRed — are not only brand new (designed by Rockwell Group and built by Siemens) but also ADA compliant, with extra wide aisles. There’s a bathroom for every car (the dryer, door, and toilet are all hands-free); leather seats, room for bikes and pets, as well as free WiFi and chargers at every seat.
It’s Got Lots of Options
Weekly, monthly, and annual passes, as well as multi-trip packs will be available, and you can buy them online, through the soon-to-launch app, or at the station. There are two class options: Select (first-class) and Smart where you can choose from several seat configurations, including single, side-by-side, and quadruple. Choosing Select gives you the bonus of complimentary snacks and drinks including alcohol, plus preferred access to the garage and no additional fees.