TAMPA, Fla — Plans to expand a high-speed rail system between Tampa and Orlando are moving forward.
The high-speed rail system called Brightline is up and running in Miami where it is based.
Its expansion connecting West Palm Beach to Orlando is under construction right now. The proposed route to Tampa would be the final leg of construction.
On July 20, the Central Florida Expressway Authority unanimously approved a resolution to support Brightline’s planned expansion between Orlando and Tampa. The board cleared the way for Brightline to study along the I-4 corridor.
“We’ve always found success by building a large and wide-ranging coalition of support, which was on display today,” said Christine Kefauver, Brightline’s senior vice president for corporate development. “Today’s resolution of support brings us one step closer to connecting Orlando and Tampa with Brightline’s modern, eco-friendly intercity rail service. Brightline is already making a significant impact in Florida today and by expanding to Tampa, we will deliver new mobility solutions and thousands of more jobs to Central Florida.”
Brightline’s preferred route for its Orlando to Tampa connector is SR-417. The other route under consideration is SR-578. Once approved, Brightline’s rail will take up a 17-mile stretch of either road.
Brightline is working with the Florida Department of Transportation. They’ve been given a July 31 deadline to submit their study results and their preferred route for the project to transportation leaders.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022.
Brightline was recognized in 2020 by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California.
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