Brightline Affiliate Pays $245M For Access Rights To Build Miami-Dade, Broward Commuter Rail System

Brightline is moving forward with plans to build a commuter rail system from downtown Miami through Aventura and Broward.

In a report to investors released on Friday, the company said it sold the commuter rail access rights in Miami-Dade and Broward for $245 million.

The buyer was an affiliate of Brightline. The commuter rail rights run for 93 years, the company said.

On February 10, the affiliate closed on the remarketing of $285 million of bonds, which have a 2056 maturity date.

The proceeds are expected to be used for continued construction and other project costs. They are expected to be securitized in the future, with annual access payments from Miami-Dade and Broward pending definitive agreements.

There company says there will be up to five new stations built between Miami Central and Aventura, for a total of seven possible stops.

The project will require new track and rail infrastructure, along with new commuter-only stations that won’t be served by Brightline’s intercity service. The commuter rail service may also have separate branding.

Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a deal on February 1 with infrastructure design firm HNTB. The County and HNTB are currently finalizing the scope for the 30% level of infrastructure drawings and the county is on track to issue a Notice to Proceed in March.

Also on February 1, the county received documents from the Federal Transit Administration indicating the project is expected to qualify for the fastest route of three possible review types under the National Environmental Policy Act, in what is called a Categorical Exclusion.

In Broward, FDOT and the county have been soliciting feedback and holding public workshops on station locations and New River Crossing options, and are expected to release a Locally Preferred Alternative within months.

Brightline carried 64,243 passengers on its intercity rail service in January. Total revenue was $1.5 million, or 93% of what it was in January 2019.

 

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Anonymous
2 months ago

Thank you Brightline for giving us what our local government has failed to do for so long! Let’s make Miami more pedestrian and public transport-friendly and less dependent on cars!

Anonymous
2 months ago

To be fair FEC has historically been pretty opposed to building a commuter rail line on the FEC. The Counties are also going to be paying for this line. Don’t forget they also built a shoddy station and ask if it was done on purpose.

Cully W
2 months ago

If you are talking about the Miami Intermodal Station at MIA, that was meant to serve Tri-Rail and Amtrak, that was not done by FEC. They built the station in a way that the platforms were too short for Amtrak trains, even though there was enough land for the length had they built it differently. Amtrak still does not use this station.

Living off A1A
2 months ago

IMPORTANT NOTE: Amtrak admitted guilt in not providing the proper platform information for the construction of the MIC. The proper length would have meant the relocation of NW 25th St. which was opposed from square-one by the County. You can’t blame everything on our dysfunctional local government.

Anonymous
2 months ago

EXACTLY 👍.

Anonymous
2 months ago

they’re coming to MIC too…… guess the private sector wins

Anonymous
2 months ago

People over cars.

Anonymous
2 months ago

And after saying that, he jumps into his vehicle to drive to the nearest store to get himself a four pack…

lol…

Anonymous
2 months ago

Bro come on, what do you expect? People who live in car dependent areas to walk twenty miles to get four cans of beer?

Anonymous
2 months ago

Nah.. I expect him/her to ride their horse named Mable to the store to get four cans of beer.

lol…

Anonymous
2 months ago

four pack of White Claw.

Anonymous
2 months ago

6 Pack duh

Don't ride, it it kills a lot of pedestrians, cost
2 months ago

Bush

Anonymous
2 months ago

People with cars are people too. (People with cars are usually less smug, less self-important, and a hell of a lot more fun to be around!)

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

The “local government has failed” because y’all keep electing folks who are anti-transit (Sosa, Bovo, Pepe, Gimenez, etc.) or corrupt. I remember when Obama tried to give the state money for high-speed, intercity rail, which then Governor Scott rejected. After that, Scott invested in All Aboard Florida and decided to greenlight government bonds for….Brightline (high-speed, intercity rail). Hard to call the government a failure when you get what you vote for.

Living off A1A
2 months ago

With all due respect–the High-Speed deal was horrid. It was billions for a rail along the I-4 Corridor from MCO to TPA (Orlando to Tampa airports) That’s IT! Nothing for South Florida. When Skeleton Scott killed it, I was pissed… then I looked into it. The proposal led us to believe that Miami/Broward/Palm Beach to Orlando to Tampa would all be getting the Japanese-style rail… WRONG! It was 10y for the I-4 connex… and then another 10y to 20y for the SoFL connex. BAD DEAL! Now Brightline is vying for that I-4 corridor to TPA for its Phase-3. At almost zero cost to taxpayers… albeit will be expensive to ride it! Meanwhile building it out in 85% less time!

Don't ride, it it kills a lot of pedestrians, cost
2 months ago

Yu

Anonymous
2 months ago

I guess it’s better than nothing but it just sucks we’re going to have another separate transit system. Too bad it isn’t an extension of Metrorail.

Anonymous
2 months ago

This is commuter rail with less stops. It’s necessary to connect the greater south Florida region. A metrorail line should still go up this way with more frequent stops every mile or so within Dade county

Anonymous
2 months ago

They should rezone and redevelop the entire NW 7th Ave Corridor with a new Metrorail line running through from downtown and turning left on 79th St to connect with the 27th northbound existing line.

Anonymous
2 months ago

NW 7th Avenue is still in walking distance to the FEC tracks, at least where you can pass under I-95. I’d rather see an extension along NW 37th Avenue, from Miami Airport to Douglas Road Stations, with stops at NW 7th and Flagler Streets, Coral Way, etc. It’s already zoned appropriately with many mid-rises that built recently, so it will only spur further redevelopment.

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

METRORAIL IS COMMUTER RAIL JFC

Anonymous
2 months ago

This isn’t NewYork. You can always go back.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Public transit isn’t a New York thing. It’s a functional city thing.

Cully W
2 months ago

This is about diesel electric trains, like Brightline and Tri-Rail, not electric subway trains like MetroRail. The County screwed over the voters wishes and squandered the Half Penny Sales Tax for more MetroRail on other things. We’re not getting any more MetroRail.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It’s about time.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I guess the trirail into downtown is never happening…

Anonymous
2 months ago

Supposed to be operational by the end of 2022, according to SFRTA.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I’ll believe it when I see it, they’ve been claiming that tri-rail would enter downtown ever since 2017 and even had signage which said so at the brightline station there by the elevators, ridiculous. This along with baylink are two things which are probably never going to happen

Cully W
2 months ago

It’s still happening, but Tri-Rail needs to modify the steps on their passenger cars to fit Miami Central. The left hand was not talking to the right hand when they built Miami Central.

Living off A1A
2 months ago

Exactly! The Tri-Rail “carriages” fit into the Miami Central station >>> just the little ADA step-extensions don’t! (If they cut them off, then it would be like most trains around the globe where you have to “mind the gap” and not fall down… like only us Americans can do!)

Anonymous
2 months ago

Since its shorter, I hope it will be cheaper than Brightline.

Melo is sigma and chad
2 months ago

This site makes far more sense than the one next to the design distract.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Both work

Alexei Megolovich
2 months ago

Nah bro go back to the beach or pool area at bal moral

Anonymous
2 months ago

When you think of the best major cities they mostly have one network that services everyone, Miami is really failing to accomplish this. This just breaks up the transit system even more on top of the news of Elon’s proposal. I have no idea what’s the point of introducing *another* independent mode of transit. I’m really concerned about the future for the region with so many people moving here and the risk of not having an operable, coherent, and accessible way for people to just get from point A to point B. This should be a part of something we already have like TriRail or MetroRail…

Anonymous
2 months ago

What about west palm

Anonymous
2 months ago

It’s Going to Jupiter.

Anonymous
2 months ago

They should send it up to Melbourne and the space coast too, lots of tourism there. Also, many people who work in downtown west palm have now been priced out of it and are making commutes from 1-2 hours north so company-sponsored subsidized commuter rail on brightline would be great for them

Anonymous
2 months ago

Yeah, right
Keep it going to Jacksonville

Anonymous
2 months ago

going *through Jupiter – is it stopping there though?? if you have an article or factual reference stating a station will be built there; would you share it please?

Living off A1A
2 months ago

The original Costal-Link proposal (from the mid-2000’s) had the terminus in Jupiter. That’s long been abandoned. (as indicated here:comment image)

Anonymous
2 months ago

Stopping at Jupiter , Miami to Jupiter .

Cully W
2 months ago

So was this Brightline cutting Tri-Rail out of the Coastal Link commuter train they were vying for? Tri-Rail is planned to stop at Miami Central as well and it was planed to run the Coastal Link train on FEC tracks in addition to the current Tri-Rail stops that are on CSX tracks. Who is the affiliate of Brightline that bought the rights?

Anonymous
2 months ago

I wonder if it isn’t the other way around. This same Brightline affiliate could make a play for the Tri-Rail operating contract the next time it comes up for bid.

Living off A1A
2 months ago

That’s the OLD discussion; before the FECR was bought-by/merged-with Fortress. The main problem was that FDOT refused to invest in any transit option that they didn’t own the tracks. The FECR laughed in their face. CSX “sold” the tracks to FDOT with a 99-year operational lease-back. (That means that nothing really changed for CSX>>>but they made $$$ off of the FDOT insistence!) Now we have Tri-Rail way out west… and Orlando has SunRail on the same tracks… neither really going where they need to go! Coastal-Link was a pipedream by Tri-Rail in hopes that as All Aboard Florida was being proposed, SFRTA could jump on the bandwagon for a nearly-free ride. Yes, we need it… but it wasn’t based in reality. Now that Brightline/AAF/FECR/Fortress are in control–it’s their opportunity to use the land THEY OWN (since 1884) to do so as they please!

Anonymous
2 months ago

The Tri-rail should be handling this line. But Im sure the powers that be don’t want Tri-rail users on their side of the city and are opting for a more high costing rider admission system, to make sure it stays that way.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Well that certainly seems like a reach.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It’s Tri-Rail, not the Homeless Express a.k.a. Metromover.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Jeez that was quite the burn

Anonymous
2 months ago

He falls asleep quite frequently riding Tri-Rail and the Metro-mover, so….

A Nonymous
2 months ago

Would make too much sense to have TriRail and FEC commuter operated jointly.

Anonymous
2 months ago

They need to do a study to discover and outline some plans that make less sense and thus could actually be pushed through south florida govt. This current plan is too rational and even a no brainer so it’ll never fly

Anonymous
2 months ago

They need to do a new study every time some genius gets hit by a train in a completely avoidable manner as it is already.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Look, I have to get to where I’m going in a hurry…

– Train Warning Dodger

Anonymous
2 months ago

Part of it is that the FEC owns their track, while Tri-Rail does not own the tracks they run on. FEC has a good freight business on their line, & fitting Brightline in with it. While always wanting new opportunities, FEC, likely doesn’t want “lots” of more local traffic, that could interfere with their profitable freight business.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Would we ever get any commuter rail system along Biscayne Bulevard built?…long overdue…

Anonymous
2 months ago

Biscayne needs a tram/trolly system, not a rail

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

No because it’s an FDOT road and FDOT is in the business of building roads instead of transit, unfortunately.

Anonymous
2 months ago

That’s it? What a failure of local government. For $300 million, over 93 years, we could have run it as it should be — a public utility!

Anonymous
2 months ago

It’s Florida. Here, government = bad. We have to take what we can get.

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

No, it’s a result of getting what you voted for. The same people have been in control for decades. Continuing to re-elect them and then getting mad that nothing changes is insanity.

Anonymous
2 months ago

FP&L is a public utility run as a private company and as much as I despise them, I would take it over rolling blackouts for climate change and equity.

DWNTWNR
2 months ago

FPL is a state-sanctioned monopoly. You really okay with them forcing your rates up for no improvement in service? Let’s not forget Texas, where they don’t care about climate change and equity and still left millions freezing in winter.

Alexei Mogilevich
2 months ago

Need one for sunny isles my crew must make our business faster and safer in transportation of our valuable cargos…

Anonymous
2 months ago

So sounds like they’re trying to cut out Tri-Rail from the corridor before they even get operating there, and would leave just a link for Tri-Rail to MiamiCentral and then you’d switch over to “Brighterline” for this corridor?
The article mentioned it, but to coexist with Brightline and freight trains, they’re going to need to add a 3rd set of tracks in many areas – assuming it’ll fit.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Hopefully this can also mean more commuter rail access for those of us who live more west of i95.

Alexei Megolovich
2 months ago

Get one going right through sunny isles me and my fellow vory v zakone need to keep our drug train moving through downtown

Anonymous
2 months ago

Love it!
Time is an invitation to growth.
Its called progress.

Roberto
2 months ago

What about the south Miami: Homestead, Florida City and Cayo Largo…? It more easy access in terrain and time construction…!!!