NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Brightline will be the brand name of the $3 billion passenger rail service expected to connect Miami and Orlando by the end of 2017. The project’s name, to be affixed amid flowing colors along the outside of engines and rail cars, was announced Monday in downtown Miami by All Aboard Florida, which is an offshoot of Florida East Coast Industries.
“With the introduction of Brightline, we set out to reinvent what traveling by train can mean in America, making it a forward-leaning solution that is a smarter alternative to more cars on crowded roads,” All Aboard Florida President Michael Reininger said in a release.
But the announcement drew criticism from Citizens Against Rail Expansion, a group that has fought the project and contends, in part, the train system would pose a risk to public safety.
“Today, All Aboard Florida announced a name change in a transparent attempt to distance the enterprise from a growing backlash of citizens who oppose or have serious concerns about the project,’’ the opposition group said in a prepared statement. “This PR move is intended to communicate the impression that All Aboard Florida is a done deal, when in fact, the project is far from finalized.”
Brightline trains are scheduled to run 16 daily round-trips between Miami and Orlando, with initial stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Plans call for the 235-mile route to use the existing Florida East Coast railway corridor between Miami and Cocoa, with new track put in along State Road 528 to reach Orlando.