Miami-Dade and Brightline are moving forward with a plan for commuter rail service from downtown Miami to the north (known as the northeast corridor), and now more details of the plan have been revealed by the company.
The company has also announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Broward to extend the service into that county.
Here are the new details of the service revealed by Brightline in a memo to investors this week:
Stations – Brightline has identified station locations in both Miami-Dade and Broward. The company has also prepared conceptual designs for stations in Miami-Dade. The stations will be built new, specifically for commuter rail only, and won’t be served by Brightline’s inter-city rail service.
Rolling stock – Brightline has selected rolling stock provider options for Miami-Dade County that are compatible with their existing system.
Infrastructure – Additional track and rail infrastructure will be required for the new service. Costs are expected to be provided or sourced by the counties.
Operator – The commuter service may be separately branded and operated. Brightline may create an affiliate to operate the service, or simply accept the access fees and allow another operator.
Broward – Brightline signed a letter of intent with Broward County on May 12, 2020 to develop a commuter rail service similar to Miami-Dade. The LOI stated Broward’s strong interest in implementing a commuter rail system throughout the county, including a station located at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. In recent months, Brightline has identified station locations and capacity needs, and provided Broward with estimates for a lease payment, capital investment required, and operating costs. Brightline and Broward agreed to revisit the pursuit of this initiative once the economics of the Miami-Dade County commuter service was agreed, which it was as of November 13, 2020. The Company expects to negotiate and sign definitive agreements with Broward County by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Palm Beach – The Miami-Dade and Broward service could serve as a model for potential commuter rail service Palm Beach County.
Seven Miami-Dade commuter stations as identified by Brightline are MiamiCentral (an existing intercity station), Wynwood 27th Street, Design District 40th Street, El Portal 79th Street, North Miami 123rd Street, FIU Biscayne 151st Street, and Aventura 196th Street (an intercity station under construction, scheduled to open Q3 2021).
Eight Broward commuter stations identified by Brightline are Hallandale Beach, Downtown Hollywood, Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Downtown Fort Lauderdale (an existing intercity station), Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, and Downtown Pompano Beach.
Brightline told investors that it plans on monetizing the upfront and annual payment streams from the Miami-Dade portion of the South Florida Commuter Service, which it estimates will be valued at $675 million to the company.
The company also warned that it still must agree to a deal with Florida East Coast Railway to allow for the commuter rail service on the line, and negotiations are now underway. A Services Standards Committee consisting of four representatives each from Brightline and FECR must review the proposal and approval may not be reasonably upheld, Brightline said.