Members of the news media were given a tour of the Brightline train station in West Palm Beach Tuesday. Brightline, billed as the only privately funded express inter-city passenger rail service in the United States, is expected to commence rail service later this summer.
“Brightline will provide a much needed, hospitality driven alternative to South Florida’s congested roadways,” said Chief Executive Officer Dave Howard.
Howard came on as Brightline CEO in March. He previously worked as an executive vice president of business operations for the New York Mets.
“The impact we will have in transportation in South Florida will be significant,” Howard said. “We’re going take cars off the road.”
Joining Howard at the West Palm Beach station were Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wilson and Dennis Grady, CEO for the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.
Burdick said train travel means increased productivity and less stress.
“There will be more productive time,” Burdick said. “You can work, answer emails, relax and let someone else do the driving.”
Howard said Brightline passengers can expect a one hour journey from West Palm Beach to Miami. They’ll cover the 46-mile trek to Fort Lauderdale sooner and in comfortable fashion, the CEO promised.
“We’re redefining the standard and raising the bar,” Howard said. “On top of that we’re going to make sure our service is hospitality-based, culture of care, guest experience. That will be our mantra and it will be unlike anything -- from a passenger railroad standpoint -- anyone has seen in this country.”
The West Palm Beach station is located at 501 Evernia Street, just steps away from downtown dining, government buildings and shopping. Inside the station, lounges and a food and beverage area are under construction.