Brightline train eyes expansion to Tampa Bay area

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Brightline currently connects West Palm Beach with Miami in just an hour. Expansion plans include Orlando and Tampa.
Brightline currently connects West Palm Beach with Miami in just an hour. Expansion plans include Orlando and Tampa.

The passenger rail service Brightline, which originally planned service from Miami to Orlando, has proposed an expansion to the Tampa Bay area.

"As one of the nation's fastest-growing regions, Tampa Bay is a natural extension for Brightline," the company said in a statement following the proposal. "Our state's residents, visitors and economy will benefit tremendously from a fully connected passenger rail system that includes our current operations in South Florida and our future line in Orlando."

No timetable was offered for when the Tampa service would begin.

Brightline launched service from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in April and then extended the line south to Miami in May. Service currently makes eight roundtrips daily.

Expansion to Orlando is expected to break ground next year, with service slated to commence in 2021.

"South Florida has a vibrant economy and a unique lifestyle, yet some of the nation's worst traffic," Brightline president and COO Patrick Goddard said in a statement.

View schedules, purchase tickets and learn more at gobrightline.com.

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