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To Meet Demand, Brightline Is Adding More Service

To Meet Demand, Brightline Is Adding More Service

Demand for Brightline tickets has been growing since service started, and the company is responding with a big increase in service.

In early August, the number of roundtrip trains from Miami to West Palm Beach will increase nearly 50 percent. There are currently 11 daily roundtrips, which will increase to 16.

A spokesperson told the SFBJ that demand has been “phenomenal.”

With the increase, there will be a train leaving in each direction nearly every hour, from early morning to late night. The first train departs West Palm Beach at 5:30am, and the last train leaves Miami at 11:10pm.

Prices have already increased, and a roundtrip between Miami and West Palm Beach in first class can now cost as much as $70. A one way ticket from Miami to West Palm Beach in the premium Select class ranges from $30 to $35 depending on the time. A basic one-way ticket in Smart class starts at $20 on weekdays.

Tickets for the new August timings are already on sale.

The 16 daily roundtrips are what was promised to investors last year, when bonds were sold to finance the project. A total of 2.94 million annual passengers were forecast.

At the time, Brightline said it expected to generate $142 million in annual revenue on the Miami-West Palm Beach route when operations stabilize, expected around 2020, or two years after start of service.

Brightline expected $77 million in yearly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization after stabilization.

Of 2020 revenue, 76% is expected to be generated from ticket sales. The remaining 24% would come from ancillary sources such as advertising, food and beverage sales, merchandise sales, sponsorships and marketing affiliations, commissions from the company’s travel partners, and through ground transportation extensions.

Brightline also has options to purchase additional rail cars from Siemens to accommodate increased ridership with bigger and more frequent trains.

During the shortened first quarter (service started in mid-January), the company generated $664,000 in ticket sales and $104,000 in other revenue, with 74,780 total passengers. Only Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach was operational during the period.

Operating expenses were $28.8 million during the first quarter. That included $9m in salaries and benefits, $2.4m in professional fees, $13.5m in general, administrative and other expenses, and $4m in depreciation and amortization.

 

(photo: phillip pessar)

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Anonymous
Anonymous

It would be great to add a stop in Aventura

Anonymous
Anonymous

That’s where it’s needed ! (Aventura)

Anonymous
Anonymous

Takes the express out of it. It is meant only to stop in major cities.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Aventura is getting the tri-rail stop

Anonymous
Anonymous

They just built the darn thing people give it some time before you really judge the results friggin microwave society wants everything immediately…

Anonymous
Anonymous

And people cast doubt that it could work.

Gene
Gene

It’s not a money maker yet – but a great addition to Miami.

Anonymous
Anonymous

With $70 round trip tickets from Miami to Palm Beach they are not even breaking even.
$9 million in salaries
$2.4 million in lawyers
and all other expenses.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I believe $70 is too much though…

Anonymous
Anonymous

$70 is way too much. I just moved to Manhattan and I took a train to the Jersey Shore for the 4th. It was $16 for a 2+ hour ride (one way). Less than half the cost of a Brightline.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Any true NYer will not take a train to the Jersey Shore. They drive!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

That’s moronic! My family is on the shore every summer and the train to the shore is ideal. You don’t know WTF you are talking about so STFU

Anonymous
Anonymous

to Orlando and Tampa next – looks good

Anonymous
Anonymous

And possibly Jacksonville

Danny Costa
Danny Costa

Maybe add a Tallahassee route..?

Anonymous
Anonymous

$768,000 revenue and $28 MILLION expenses – yep, that works! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Bigbird WPB
Bigbird WPB

They lose money on every ticket, but make it up it volume of tickets sold. RIGHTTTT!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Funny how naive people are and how nobody here is smart enough to understand BL business model. The passenger rail service will never make profits and is just there to get the permissions for big real estate development with condos, office and commercial space and to double-track the line for the freight trains. Thats where the money is.

Anonymous
Anonymous

If it was about freight they wouldn’t of needed all of the permits, lawsuits, etc. the motive is transit oriented development with the passenger trains.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Wow everyone is celebrating a business failure..

Anonymous
Anonymous

It’s all lies they need more trips cause no one is riding …I watch the train go buy all day long and it’s almost empty all the time ………. … just ride it for a couple of days you will see ….they are in trouble….

Anonymous
Anonymous

I ride the train every day. It’s always crowded..

Anonymous
Anonymous

Nimby

Anonymous
Anonymous

So between gas and sunpass I am spending about $60/week. I travel miami to Fort Lauderdale for work and then back so I hit no traffic and it takes me 35 mins. Yes i factor in costs of car wear and tear and mileage I put on it but if I were to take brightline I would be spending $200/wk or $800 a month! I guess their business model is not meant to attract us that live in miami and work in Fort Lauderdale

Anonymous
Anonymous

Wha… MiamiCentral is elevated in the air, but the platforms look more dark and dreary than NYC subway stations in the 1960s.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The stations have giant buildings built on top of them so they kinda look like they are underground for about 60% of the platform length.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Actually, the station has giant parking garages built on top of it. If bundled together, the towers bundled together would take up less than a third of the platform length.

anonymouse
anonymouse

After taking a round-trip last Friday and speaking with some of the train attendants, I’m skeptical of Brightline’s future. The attendant told me that ridership has been discouraging (ie. less than 10 people on most trains) and they are going to continue to raise prices apparently. Not sure how they could anticipate a positive reaction from the market and paltry ridership numbers seem unlikely to increase with even more expensive tickets.

I also think that Brightline simply employs too many people on the train and at the stations. They have a handful of people on the platform awaiting trains and many more in the actual station, it just doesn’t seem necessary to employ all of these people. They need to make the experience more like a commuter train and price it accordingly because now it seems as though they are wasting money on a lot of extras that are not driving rider demand.

peej
peej

Additional times are welcomed, but their weekend schedule for future Southbound trains is laughable for anyone taking the trains to West Palm for dining or entertainment…

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hopefully, they create a “local service” train with more stops added like Aventura Mall, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale Airport, Boca Raton, Wilton Manors, Miami Shores. The train line passes all of these points of interest along the way.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Tri-Rail is planning this with their Coastal Link project, FEC just needs to let them use the tracks, which is where it gets complicated

Anonymous
Anonymous

The problem is getting SFRTA to start work which is mainly stations as Brightline built the infrastructure

Wang
Wang

They should partner up with Uber at the stations to get guests door to door. That could be good.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They have partnered with Lyft. Announced about a month ago.

peej
peej

they partnered, but need to implement (& refine) discount codes. Both Lyft and Uber’s current codes are for new users only, which are few & far between these days.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Oh yes, that is a brilliant idea! Partnering with a rideshare!

A. Nonymous
A. Nonymous

Actually, if done right, that “last mile” could work very well.
My husband and I took the train from Miami to Ft Laud and did Lyft a short distance. Worked great.

Anonymous
Anonymous

HAHAHAHA, In Miami-Dade the last mile is usually 3 to 5 miles. So round trip Brightline Miami to Ft Laud daily is $30 or $40 plus ride share daily $8 to $12. So using Brightline only adds $190 to $260 to your transportation costs each week. Yes, I think you’re making a fine argument for this as a business model ROFLMAO

Keith
Keith

As someone that uses Brightline on a regular basis between Miami and West Palm Beach, the facts are… – ridership is pretty good. At peak times the trains are have a fair amount of riders. – this absolutely transforms how individuals can live and work in the Tri-County area. It just made Miami-FTL-WPB closer. – it increases productivity for individuals. I gain two hours each week by being able to work on the train. Plus I have zero stress. – The business model, like all railroad ventures, is not about people on the train. It’s about real estate. That’s the money maker. Brightline suddenly made big areas in the urban core of South Florida’s biggest cities significantly more valuable. – the younger generation does not want to sit in traffic. They do not want to live in far off gated golf course communities or be outside urban areas. Same goes for the next wave of retirees. – using rail does require some flexibility and thought by the rider. Yes, I have to plan a little better. Yes, I have to use Lyft, metrorail, and my feet to fill in the transportation gaps. – TriRail will become better because of Brightline.… Read more »

Centredoorplugs James
Centredoorplugs James

To all who say the trains are empty just by watching em go by: how about more scientific methods like seeing how many board and disembark at stations. Each train currently seats 240 riders in 4 cars. Or take some rides yourselves and do head counts. Palm Beach Post writers did that.

Anonymous
Anonymous

What makes you think the people saying that care about scientific methods, or even see these trains on a day by day basis, or are anything more than people with an agenda?

Talk is cheap and they can spout whatever nonsense they feel like that fits their world view on the internet with no one forcing them to back up their rhetoric with data. You give them too much credit even responding to them.

Centredoorplugs James
Centredoorplugs James

Just calling out anti rail NIMBYs and other negatory naysayers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Derp, der der I think $660k in revenue over three months is tremendous, derp der der.

Centredoorplugs James
Centredoorplugs James

For just over 2 months betw only Ft Lauderdale and W Palm Beach.

Educated Opinion
Educated Opinion

The last post on TNM about Brightline’s Financials failed to include the relevant context that the financials did NOT including the MIA leg Income yet still included the MIA expenditures.

Please make sure to include pertinent information when reporting on financials. A lot of people here don’t do research and take your word as gospel.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Look, there is no way, NO WAY some people reading this report are gonna believe it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

No way dude…NO WAY

A. Nonymous
A. Nonymous

If they’re making representations to stock and bond holders, it would be fraudulent to report inaccurately.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They’re not – it’s Marketing.

A. Nonymous
A. Nonymous

How do you know they aren’t? Just curious.

A. Nonymous
A. Nonymous

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is a better article than the one yesterday. It gives the break down of what operation expenses are. In time that will drop dramatically while revenue goes up. This is a new service an all the kinks have to be ironed out. You smart people didn’t realize all the other revenue Brightline would receive. You have to be stupid to think Brightline would survive off just ticket sales alone. Does movies theaters, theme parks or sports venues survive off just ticket sales? Of course not they probably make the least amount of money off that but make bank off food, retail, ads etc. An considering the fact it’s only 3 months old around this time next year or 2020 you will think twice about rather this will be a success or not.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Don’t call people stupid when you’re the stupidest wolf in the pack.

“Of 2020 revenue, 76% is expected to be generated from ticket sales. The remaining 24% would come from ancillary sources such as advertising, food and beverage sales, merchandise sales, sponsorships and marketing affiliations, commissions from the Company’s travel partners, and through ground transportation extensions.“

Us “smart” people were right when commenting yesterday’s article. You, go read a book.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Also, again, Brightline/FEC is in this for the value capture. For FEC this is just as much about real estate as it is about transit–they own the land around the stations (the value of which is driven up by the service) and are actively developing it. MiamiCentral especially will be the cash cow, as it were.