Brightline Increases Prices Over Seat Shortage, Some Customers ‘Outraged’

Some longtime Brightline customers are “outraged” over a recently announced price increase, according to NBC6.

The company is raising prices on packages that it sells to commuters.

One person said they had purchased a home near a Brightline station to be able to use the train service.

Brightline recently told investors that it is dealing with a shortage of capacity on some of its trains.

Demand currently exceeds supply on certain routes, the company had said.

Ten additional passenger cars have been ordered from Siemens, with deliveries in 2024, beginning in summer.

68 Comments
most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
anonymous
17 days ago

Trirail will get you from downtown Miami all the way to downtown West Palm for a monthly unlimited ride of less than $150 per month. While it may take a little bit longer people who use brightline do have an option. I recently read that Trirail is currently in the works to get an express train from West Palm to Miami with limited stops. But the only way more funding goes towards that is if people actually ride the train.

Anonymous
17 days ago

we would ride it if it went direct

Kurt
17 days ago

Interesting. Where did you read about a Tri-Rail express service ?

Anonymous
17 days ago

It was my idea on here. Hopefully someone in charge picks it up,

Phil
16 days ago

Your numbers are incorrect, they no longer offer monthly passes. Rates have TRIPLED! Go online to see the current rates.

ALE
15 days ago

Have a a express option at rush hours with less stops.

Mike
15 days ago

The tri rail board is voting at the end of May to approve an “express” train which will go from palm beach to Miami central station with limited stops.

I took the tri rail from boca to Miami and it adds another 40+ minutes to my daily commute. I would call The tri rail board to voice your support for the new express route.

Anonymous
15 days ago

Anonymous posters have good ideas like this one at times. Thankful when our leaders listen to the public 😊

Rem
17 days ago

The article didn’t even mention the values of the price increases unless you click the link……40 trips is currently $399. That same 40 trips under this new pricing plan is now $1,400.

Their goal has always been the Orlando route, the commuter/tri-county stuff was just a stop gap until they got the Orlando line done, and this shows it.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Yes, which would be fine – but think about all the people who have planned their residence & employment around having a service which many can no longer afford.

Just goes to show why, unfortunately, public transit cannot realistically be in the hands of private companies.

Zz01
17 days ago

$400 to $1400?!?? Folks are buying at that price point ?

Anon
17 days ago

It was already overpriced as it is?

Marco
17 days ago

We need real fast trains in FL

Anonymous
17 days ago

Say that to those on here who want a thirty-mile-per hour, low-capacity per car shortbus extended for miles with fares kept for free.

Jordan
17 days ago

Need?
What happens if WE dont get one?
Since there hasn’t been one in 3,000+ years, what do you base your “analysis” on?

Easy Fix
17 days ago

Tri Rail needs to add an express train that focuses downtown Miami, FTL, and WPB.

anonymous
17 days ago

looks like Trirail is currently working on that now and pending approval from South Florida Transportation Authority

Anonymous
17 days ago

This is what happens when private business runs what should be a public service. Brightline was never intended as public transit. We need tri rail coastal link running up these tracks with stops in all the municipalities from Miami to west palm. In addition to the tri rail commuter rail line in Dade we need a metro line up these tracks or along US1 with stops every mile or so from downtown to aventura. So brightline to connect the state, tri rail to connect the entire metro(tri-county), and metro rail to connect metro Dade. It’s really not that difficult. These people just need to stop stealing our money.

Chyneesha
17 days ago

Public operators would have the same problem because nobody can make train cars out of thin air

Anonymous
17 days ago

Yes. But a public operator (theoretically) wouldn’t artificially cap capacity on less profitable segments to keep seats open for higher-paying customers.

Right now, you will often see seats “sold out” on a train from Miami to Ft Lauderdale, but they’re available on the same train from Miami to Orlando.

I’m not criticizing Brightline for wanting to make a profit, that’s their job as a for-profit enterprise, but it just shows why for-profit enterprises shouldn’t be handling public transportation.

Sterling Cooper
17 days ago

No.
This is what happens when a private business runs a private business.

The only people “stealing” are the We Needs who would have the government force people who never have/never will take a government train pay for something that they do not use.

If you cannot afford the Brightline, no one if forcing you to pay for it.

Anonymous
16 days ago

I certainly get your point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that for public transport.

Even if you never set foot on a train, you benefit from the reduction in road traffic, the economic effects, real estate price increases, etc. Rail transport is no different, in this sense, than highways, airports, or seaports.

I’ve only taken I-75 to Naples 2-3 times in my years living in Miami. However, I am happy to pay for its upkeep, because it is critical infrastructure, just like passenger rail. Just look at countries like Japan or even the UK.

I am someone who generally believes in small government, but this is a place where government really needs to be getting involved, for better or for worse.

Capitalismo
17 days ago

Thank God for for private business and Capitalism. The slow government has been working on the Coastal link Tri-Rail for about 20 years and have not delivered ANYTHING yet. Maybe another 4 years only because Brightline has done all the heavy lifting with new rails and stations. If it were not for the private Brightline we would have NOTHING for another 10 years if we were lucky. GOVERNMENT is not the answer, they are the problem!

Anonymous
16 days ago

Yes, (vaguely) competent private business is still better than incompetent government. However, the best choice to run public transportation would be a competent government, which we see all over the world (as far as public transportation goes) in places like Japan, Singapore, and Germany.

anonymous
16 days ago

Ironically, Most of Japan’s public transport has been privatized and are the most efficient in the world.

Anonymous
16 days ago

Brightline is doing a wonderful job by delivering a great product. Government has been working on this for 20 years and has not delivered. Only because Brightline made the investment of billions with 95% private money will the Coastal link have a chance of operating. Brightline deserves kudos for everything they have done at a fast pace.

Anonymous
16 days ago

I’m happy that it’s happened, but a for-profit company doesn’t really deserve “kudos” for building it. They aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Kudos for innovation and ingenuity? Absolutely.

Larry O’brian
17 days ago

The problem is West Palm Beach to Miami is taking up seats for people who want to go to Orlando. They are trying to prioritize people who wanna take the longest trips. They need to figure out a solution.

Plan Better
17 days ago

Don’t people ride from West Palm Beach to Orlando, or Boca Raton to Orlando.

Urbanist
17 days ago

Have they tried adding cars to existing trains? More seats available fixes the problem.

Every railway in the world figured this out.

Anonymous
17 days ago

They have considered. But it’s not like you can buy train cars in Home Depot. It takes time to order/get any new train equipment.

Chyneesha
17 days ago

You finna build the new trains? They ordered them 2 years ago. If you read the article, you would know they are coming later this year

Jordan
17 days ago

Yeah…I read an article somewhere on this page where they said that they are adding capacity.

Anonymous
15 days ago

20 passenger cars are ordered, 10 are supposed to be delivered by the end of this year. I was very surprised when BL ordered the additional 5 trainsets for the opening of the Orlando segment, they weren’t 5 car sets. Seems like they made a big mistake there. I’m also surprised they don’t have any spare cars. What happens if a dump truck gets stuck on a crossing and the collision makes them loose not only the engine but 1 or 2 passenger cars as well (for repairs)? They do have a spare engine. Prior to Orlando they were offering an extra train during rush hour that ran on a half hour. I really figured they’d continue that after Orlando but only go between WPB and Miami M-F. That’s what they need to do. I wonder if they could lease/borrow some venture passenger cars from VIA rail or Amtrak Midwest until the BL cars are ready?

Anonymous
15 days ago

Speaking of passenger cars. Have you seen pictures of those “Party cars/bar cars” that the Brightline West trains are getting? WOW! I wonder if we’ll see the same someday when they go to 10 car trains running to Tampa? Thinking about it, you could have an 11 car train with that because a Party car next to a locomotive won’t need station platform access.

Anonymous too
15 days ago

I think we’ll have a very long wait for Tampa (and Universal, Convention Center Disney and Lakeland). Buddy Dyer the mayor of Orlando said if the Transportation Sales Tax passes in November they’re looking at 2035 to get the Sunshine Corridor done – 11 years!?!?! What are the odds a 1% sales tax is going to pass with inflation like it is? I give it 10,000:1 odds against. Looking like 2050 if ever. Seems like any further BL expansion in FL is dead unless they decide to go to Jacksonville.

Cover the Podiums
17 days ago

$1400 per month? sorry but this is a money grab by brightline…that money should go back to the local/state since we partially funded this

Jordan
17 days ago

No WE didnt.

aaa
12 days ago

yes. See the bonds

Anonymous
17 days ago

I’m a conservative but this is exactly why we can’t outsource our public services to private companies. Imagine all the people who moved to houses/apartments near a Brightline station thinking it would be an easy, affordable commute – only to now find out that they are priced out (if not simply unable to purchase sold-out seats altogether).

We need to fund public transit like we fund highways – in fact, we need to fund BOTH a lot more!

Bill
17 days ago

I for one will virtually never travel to Orlando as I have no kids for the theme park deal and Orlando has no meaning or need for me. I would take a commuter rail set up daily from downtown Lauderdale to downtown Miami 5 days a week for work. The current Tri Rail station is far enough west for me not to be a regular user.

Anonymous One
15 days ago

Typical corporate bait and switch. But Americans love being worked over by corporations and should eat it because apparently only govt shennanigans they have the energy to holler at. If it is done by corporations Americans become their floor mats. Well deserved. Love it.

Urbanist
17 days ago

“shortage of capacity” but they dont add cars to existing trains that are running.

Who is running this company?

Anonymous
17 days ago

The stations can only handle so many cars/carriages though. you can have people disembarking outside of the station capabilities for safety

Anonymous
17 days ago

The platforms are designed for at least 8-10 coaches on every train.

ParkingHater
17 days ago

they are adding cars, brother how fast do you think you can just buy a modern high speed passenger car

Anonymous
17 days ago

Well first we need to know how many trains fit at the platforms

Anonymous
15 days ago

10

Anonymous
15 days ago

If they need to go more than 10, they could go bi-level.

SARF8098179374
15 days ago

The Saudi Arabian Royal family is running and funding this company.

Anons
17 days ago

You can bet that the prices won’t fall once the new cars/longer trains arrive. They know what they have. I95 has become gridlock almost the entire day. People will spend even the insane $1400 to avoid that

Anunu
16 days ago

No they won’t. My coworkers have already started driving again on this commute.

Penn Central
17 days ago

As it’s turning out the FEC – Brightline tracks are the much desired tracks for servicing and connecting all the tri county urban core together via the desired commuter type rail vs the Tri Rail tracks further west which should be the tracks for Brightline’s Miami to Orlando route. And lower the price point on the commuter route. In fact just move Tri Rail over to the FEC tracks and grow commuter rail. But alas Brightline has the footprint in concrete 😩🙈

Taxed Out
17 days ago

Brightline and FECR are the same thing. Why shouldn’t they use their railroad?

Zero hedge
17 days ago

Brightline West the recipient of Biden support to connect suburban LA w Vegas and appease Nevada voters will strengthen Brightline’s image as a ‘weekend and vacation’ rail system much like it’s switching to in South Florida. Any idea that Brightline is a serious commuting option is a wrong idea.

Phil
16 days ago

Brightline has received massive Federal dollars , our dollar, and this is their response to charge commuters $1,400 per month! We were supplementing the pay for one of our employees but now this will cost her nearly $1,000 per month more!!!!! Outrageous!!! Please write Marco Rubio and your Congressperson.

Spuwho
16 days ago

Brightline Florida did not get “massive” Federal dollars. They were approved to take advantage of the FRA RRIF but ended up not using it. They used private financing using the bond markets along with selling off some key property in Miami to bridge their finances.

As for seat shortages in the MIA-WPB segment, some of this has been exacerbated by the delay of trains coming back to MIA at the drawbridge in Stuart. Trains are made to wait up to 45m due to a last minute Coast Guard rule change the keeps the draw bridge up for extended periods.

This keeps capacity going to MIA artificially constrained for periods of time as the interval between trains increase. This is why Brightline is buying more trainsets to try to buffer out the Stuart situation. Congress and Florida just put the money up to replace that draw bridge in Stuart, which will take 5 years to build, but it will resolve the problem.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Brightline winning.

Anonymous
17 days ago

We are winning with Brightline. At least we have an operating train. It’s our choice.

Tampa Tony
16 days ago

Are they checking to make sure people are getting off at the stop they paid for? For instance if someone buys a ticket for mia to ftl but they stay on the train until WPB or Orlando.

Anonymous
16 days ago

No. They’re not. Ticket from MIA to FLL was like $60 one day, booked one to WPB for $30. They can’t really stop someone from getting off the train.

If they did, how would that go?
“Sir, your ticket is to West Palm”
“My wife called me, there’s an emergency back home”
“Get back on the train” ?

BLfan
16 days ago

BL reports price paid per ride and NOT ride revenue yield. BLs overall yields are bad. How? There are ~36 trains per day with up to 5 segments to fill. There are ~230 seats to sell from MIA-MCO (no seat churn). With full route seat churn there are over 1,100 seats to sell (all 5 segments). My guess is BL churns the seat ~2 or less per full route. BL yields crash when you consider maximum seat volume vs actual sales. Hence they need to create the perception of high price per ride fare. Cutting $10-$20 per ride passholder fare does this. Infact, if you remove the passholders that ride mainly during peak morning and peak afternoon, BL can actually have less riders and make more money. How? Just like Uber and airlines, people are willing to pay more to travel in peak times. Fewer SoFL pass riders allows for this. Just one $35 fare makes up for three passholder fares lost. Many $35 riders are turned away due to peak demand from low rate passholders taking up seats. I am also guessing their seat segment management is not very robust.

Now, BL should think of the following to help keep the volume and grow the revenue too. Best world to be in.
-Offer 15 standing spots in peak for short 15 min rides only (MIA-AVE or FLL-BOC). There is space for this now. Perhaps this is for passholder.
-Assign seats 2 hours prior to each segments departure for more effective space management.
– go to open seating on 1 car that is for passholder and/or standing room ticket.
-Charge extra for early seat assignment
-Overbook.

Perhaps these are not so premium guest experience tactics, however volume and rate is the end game. BL has not mastered this yet.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Thanks Buydumbflation.

Mary
17 days ago

Shouldn’t high demand reduce prices?!?

Anonymous
17 days ago

That’s not how supply and demand works.

Truth Matters
17 days ago

Economics 101 dictates the lower supply the higher the cost or the less demand the lower the price.

Entitled to Live in Brickell
17 days ago

BuT iF yOu BuIlD mOrE hOuSiNg, PrIcEs WiLl gO dOwN.