Virgin Trains – formerly Brightline – has announced the date when several new stations are expected to come online, in a letter to investors yesterday.
Aventura is targeted to begin revenue service in October 2020, with a $77 million station that includes parking and a pedestrian bridge to the mall. The densely populated city and shopping mall will contribute “meaningfully” to ridership, the company says. Aventura is the second most visited mall in the United States with 28 million annual visitors. Closing on the property and early works construction is expected to begin before the end of 2019.
Boca Raton is also targeted to begin revenue service in October 2020. A City Council meeting was held on November 13, with final approval of the agreement and $12 million funding for construction of a parking garage expected on December 10. Design, permitting and early works construction is expected to begin before the end of 2019.
PortMiami’s new Virgin station is expected to come online by the end of 2020, with construction to begin in early 2020. A final agreement is expected to be approved by county commissioners in December 2019.
The three new South Florida stations are expected to add 2 million passengers to the system.
Construction on the segment to Orlando Airport remains on schedule. Virgin said in the letter that it is in negotiations to serve one or more of the major entertainment parks in Orlando, and is now commencing detailed design and engineering work for the extension of the rail system west of the Orlando airport.
For the month ended October 31, 2019, Virgin carried 83,426 passengers and generated $1.7 million in revenue, an increase of 39% and 60%, respectively, over the prior year period. Average ticket fare was $14.78 for the month and ancillary revenue totaled $0.5 million. Daily trips by commuters and other frequent riders reached an all‐time high in October.
On a 2019 year‐to‐date basis, Brightline carried 784,487 passengers and recognized $17.0 million of total revenues, an increase of 96% and 171%, respectively, over the prior year period