Brightline’s reopening schedule between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is set to start the first half of November.
During a virtual media update, Brightline President Patrick Goddard announced Aug. 10 that the high-speed rail company's reopening schedule between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is set to start the first half of November.
In addition, he outlined Brightline's service enhancements and investments, including new construction, investments in corridor infrastructure and safety, COVID protocols, community engagement, and, as the company looks to resume, the implementation of a recruitment plan that will add 200 jobs in South Florida.
Brightline is a provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail.
Currently, the rail service's expansion stations in Aventura and Boca Raton are progressing toward their completion, Goddard said. The Aventura station is under construction, while the Boca Raton station is expected to break ground in the coming months.
To the north, construction is moving forward from Orlando east to Florida's Space Coast, where the rail line's design takes it south to a connection point at the West Palm Beach station. Brightline and Goddard noted that the Orlando work has surpassed its halfway point and should be complete by the end of 2022.
Moreover, discussions remain under way with local stakeholders regarding a Brightline expansion to Disney World and Tampa.
Brightline's specific date of service resumption in South Florida will be announced in the weeks ahead. Before selecting a final date, the company and the Florida East Coast Railway are working in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to commission the positive train control system and achieve system certification. Once the certification is granted by the FRA, Brightline will initiate revenue service.
"We are thrilled to be gearing up to welcome guests back aboard Brightline," said Goddard at the virtual media event. "Over the last few months, we've made upgrades to our guest experience and made significant strides in construction. Our goal remains the same, to take cars off the road while offering the most convenient way to travel in South Florida and a guest-first experience."
He also outlined the introduction of Brightline's new mobility as a service platform that will address guests' first and last mile connections. Delivered in partnership with Iomob, via a phone app and website, the new service is designed to provide door-to-door travel through improved access to stations, offering a selection of private luxury cars, shared shuttle services, golf carts and micro-mobility options.
In the leadup to relaunch, Brightline is working with multiple community partners to recruit for nearly 200 jobs, offering starting wages at $18 per hour. This is paired with a rewards package that provides its teammates with access to resources that support their professional and personal growth. Over the coming months, Brightline will be hosting career fairs throughout South Florida. Open positions can be found at www.gobrightline.com.
"Brightline is building a modern, career friendly work environment and we are dedicated to developing a team that is diverse, inclusive and representative of the communities we serve," Goddard explained. "Our service-oriented culture is designed to give guests the most pleasurable experience in travel, and we are excited to deliver on that promise again."
The company also is continuing its engagement with local community partners along the rail corridor and educating the communities on rail safety, mental health and sustainability. Over the next year, Brightline will invest more than $6.5 million in safety enhancements.
Among its new safety measures, the rail service will require all teammates to be fully vaccinated prior to the reintroduction of service. Brightline has identified and will implement a series of COVID protocols, including an almost touchless transportation system. Safety measures include increased cleaning, pre-packaged foods, touchless bathrooms, cashless payment and electronic tickets.
Per the existing federal mandate, teammates and guests will be required to wear masks in stations and on board all trains. Brightline features reserved seating, and the private four-person table configurations within each coach have plexiglass dividers, providing increased privacy and distancing.
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