Miami’s high speed rail link to Orlando is now officially under construction.
Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) held a ceremony today to mark the milestone.
Investors have been “wowed” by the Virgin concept and purchased $1.75 billion in bonds during April, with an additional $950 million expected to price June 12, according to Bond Buyer.
The trip from Miami to Orlando will take 3 hours 15 minutes at speeds as high as 125 MPH, at an average ticket cost of $100. Service is expected to begin in 2022.
A connection to Tampa is also being planned.
Virgin also reiterated last week that they are in advanced negotiations to add new stations in the south segment between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. A ridership boost is expected once the new stations come online.
For the month ended May 31, 2019, Virgin carried 85,740 passengers on the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach segment and generated total revenue of approximately $1.7 million. Year-over-year, compared to May 2018, ridership grew 151% and total revenue grew 291% for the month. On a 2019 year-to-date basis, Virgin carried a total of 401,226 passengers and recognized $9.4 million of total revenues, an increase of 203% and 537%, respectively, over the prior year period. The strong year over year results are due to the addition of service to Miami in May 2018 as well as the rapid adoption of service by repeat customers over the past 12 months, Virgin said.