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Higher speed passenger train service begins in South Florida

12 January 2018

People trying to reserve a seat on Florida's new high-speed passenger train system had their hopes derailed Thursday.

Florida's first privately-owned and -operated passenger train company in generations announced its debut will occur Saturday, running between its first two stations, in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, on a line that's envisioned to soon connect to Miami and one day connect to Orlando.

Brightline has yet to announce regular ticket prices, but it previously said that a one-way, Miami-to-Orlando "Smart" ticket could cost about $140.

All military, veterans and seniors will get a 10 percent discount and tickets for children under 12 years of age are 50 percent off.

Brightline, the service that will eventually link Miami to Orlando, has been long awaited by the local development and tourism industries.

In West Palm Beach, All Aboard is also building a 275-unit apartment complex next to the station.

Brightline operates on Florida East Coast Railway infrastructure, upgraded to permit 79 miles per hour operation on the 67-mile section between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Initial service will include 10 daily round trips on weekdays and nine on weekends between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET, but schedules will vary day-to-day, Brightline officials said.

Brightline had earlier planned to begin service in July 2017, but then delayed that to the week of January 8.

Brightline also shuffled its management team, promoting Patrick Goddard to president, replacing Chief Executive Dave Howard, a former sports executive who was hired in March 2017.

Over the past month, the company has been operating simulated service to prepare for operational readiness.

Head to Brightline's website to snag tickets, and to see the schedule. Construction on Phase 2, connecting to the Orlando International Airport, will begin in 2018, the company stated.

Higher speed passenger train service begins in South Florida