South Florida high-speed rail Brightline to resume service in November, with upgrades

Aug 11, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Florida’s Brightline high-speed train will restart operations from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in November, more than a year after the pandemic forced it to shut down.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips

The company announced its comeback will feature several upgrades to its service, including a new digital platform to make its app and website more user-friendly. The company is also improving accessibility to train stations by providing door-to-door service with its own fleet of vehicles. This includes luxury cars, shared-ride shuttles and golf carts as well as micro-mobility options (think electric bikes and electric scooters). Brightline officials say these expanding offerings are about eliminating the gaps “created by the first and last miles,” as well as reducing the company’s impact on the environment.

The All Aboard Florida Brightline express inter-city train is displayed during a media tour in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Photograph by Scott McIntyre/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Related: Brightline to Los Angeles to Las Vegas

In a statement on its website, Brightline President Patrick Goddard said, “Over the last few months, we’ve made upgrades to our guest experience and made significant strides in construction. Our goal remains the same, to take cars off the road while offering the most convenient way to travel in South Florida and a guest-first experience.”

According to the Miami Herald, ticket prices to ride Brightline are expected to remain about the same as they were before the pandemic. Before service shut down, a one-way pass from Miami to Fort Lauderdale cost $15.

The company says an exact date for the resumption of service will be announced in the next few weeks. The Federal Railroad Administration must still grant certification to Brightline’s new positive train control safety system before service can resume.

When the trains are rolling again, passengers can expect enhanced safety measures.

Related: Why trains are great for travelers who want to reduce their carbon footprint

Masks will be required aboard trains and in stations at all times, for both passengers and Brightline workers. Employees will also be required to be fully vaccinated. The ride experience will feature prepackaged food offerings, touchless bathroom toilets and sinks, cashless payment options and electronic tickets. The private four-person tables will have plexiglass dividers to provide increased distancing.

Brightline also pointed out that its trains will have a needlepoint bipolar ionization ozone-free system to neutralize pathogens, viruses and bacteria. 

Related: All aboard trains to Orlando

The company, which laid off most of its workforce last year, says it intends to hire back around 200 employees as it resumes service. Salaries for those jobs will begin at $18 per hour plus benefits. Some of those workers will be assigned to work at two key stations, Aventura and Boca Raton, that are either under construction or close to breaking ground.

Related: Brightline and Disney sign contract for new train station link to Orlando airport and Miami

Perhaps the most important part of Brightline’s expansion plans is its Orlando station at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Construction there is past the halfway point and is on schedule to be finished by the end of 2022. Once that station is completed, it will link Central Florida to South Florida.

Brightline sees Orlando as a lucrative opportunity due to the millions who visit all the area attractions annually. The company’s goal is to offer families the ability to skip driving to Disney World or Universal Orlando and just hop on the train. It also hopes to prove an appealing option for overseas visitors who would prefer not to rent a car while visiting the theme park capital of the world.

Featured photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.


Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.