Tampa Bay moves forward with high-speed rail plans

Tampa Bay’s Brightline train continues to expand with plans to reach Ybor City in 2028, reports Veronica Brezina. “The contemplated route from Orlando to Tampa was planned years ago, but the schedule continued to be pushed back. However, 2028 is the last scheduled date for a Tampa station, and documents filed with the TPO confirmed that the station would be in Ybor, although an exact address was not listed.”

According to the Brezina article, “Brightline is currently completing its West Palm Beach-Orlando route connection, which is 73% complete.” When completed, “Brightline trains would depart from the Orlando airport using an Orlando Public Utilities Commission rail spur and existing SunRail tracks and then travel on State Route 417 to the Orlando area. Disney World, where Brightline plans to have a station.”

Christine Kefauver, senior vice president of business development at Brightline, “noted how Ybor City station would have offerings such as bike or scooter parking and sharing areas” to support connectivity of the first and last mile.

“Brightline expects trains from Orlando to South Florida to reach speeds of 125 miles per hour between the two subways during the three-hour trip,” with speeds of up to 150 miles per hour between Orlando and Tampa. “Previous public records have shown that the Brightline rail system from Orlando to Tampa would create thousands of jobs and $787 million in federal, state and local tax revenue in the first 10 years.”

Jose P. Rogers