Author Topic: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa  (Read 41820 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #180 on: December 03, 2019, 12:08:02 PM »
Yes, just like roads, bridges, water/sewer lines and most infrastructure projects.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #181 on: December 08, 2019, 12:33:22 PM »

oh hey look, Virgin Trains USA is saying that they're going to be putting in more fences to reduce the shameful nation leading number of deaths on their line.  Amazing how people in the industry understand the ins and outs of basic problems and know what needs to be to mitigate the risks.


https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/2019/12/02/richard-bransons-high-speed-brightline-train-death-rate-tops-us-railroads/2587666001/

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The company also is erecting fences and plant barriers in problem areas, putting up four-way gates at major road crossings and talking with cities about eliminating side-street crossings.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #182 on: December 08, 2019, 02:56:45 PM »
From the article:

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None of the Brightline or Virgin Trains deaths was caused by crew error or faulty equipment, according to law enforcement and federal reports. The majority have been suicides, while most others involved impatient motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists who misjudged the trains’ speed and ignored bells, gates or other warnings.

Drugs, alcohol or both have been found in many victims’ systems.

If these people are intentionally jumping into tracks and intentionally ignoring all of the existing warnings, I'm really not sure how much these additional measures you're so excited about will help. The article even points this out:

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Psychologist Lanny Berman, who studies train suicides, said it’s likely the velocity of Virgin trains, their bright color and newness that attracts the suicidal.

“It would be noticed that it has faster speeds and that it is more lethal,” said Berman, a former executive director of the American Association of Suicidology.

Even if suicides could be curtailed, it would do little to stop drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who dash across the tracks trying to beat the train. Virgin wants tougher state penalties for driving around gates, hoping that will give pause.

I think this saying pretty much lays it out:

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If you design something to be idiot proof, the universe will design a better idiot.

Kerry

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #183 on: December 08, 2019, 07:36:12 PM »
If someone is willing to risk their life by going atound a crossing gate how much more could the fines possibly be to curtail the practice

I could die?  I'll take my chances
Oh, it's a $10,000 fine?  Hmmm, maybe I'll wait.
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Ken_FSU

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #184 on: December 09, 2019, 02:41:08 PM »
Might be the least of their troubles, at least short-term.

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Virgin Trains will massively underperform 2019 ridership, revenue goals

Virgin Trains will fall well below its 2019 projections for both ridership and revenue.

At the start of the year, Miami-based Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, set a ridership goal of 2.1 million, but a Colliers International South Florida report obtained by the Business Journal says the company is projected to have carried just 933,000 passengers by the end of the year.

That's just 45% of the goal it set in January.

Virgin was more off base when it came to revenue. The company predicted $78 million in revenue for the year, leading to a $14.8 million loss.

In reality, Collier's report shows Virgin is on track to earn approximately $20.4 million in 2019, or 26% of what it forecasted.

Representatives from Virgin Trains declined a request for comment.

Ken Krasnow, Colliers' vice chairman of institutional investor services in Florida and author of the report, told the Business Journal that the report shouldn't be cause for alarm.

“I think lot of people in this market tend to either overestimate or underestimate just how quickly people are going to leave their cars and change their habits," he said. “Overall, the entire evolution is going to take some time.”

The opening of Virgin Trains' Miami Central station in May was touted to be the spark the train line needed to move toward turning a profit. However, Collier's analysis of the company's financials found that ridership and revenue actually fell month-to-month following the station's opening.

Collier's analysis of financial statements also found Virgin Trains does not have enough liquidity to meet its obligations through March 2020. However, it was determined that the company will have access to necessary funds through its parent companies Fortress Investment Group and the Richard Branson-founded company Virgin Group.

Virgin Trains' balance sheet shows the company had $3 billion in net long-term debt by the end of June, 2019, up from $652 million at the end of 2018.

Virgin currently operates train stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

More stations have been approved for PortMiami and Aventura, and the Boca Raton City Council will make the decision on a land lease agreement for Virgin at a meeting scheduled Tuesday.

According to a September revenue and ridership report, Virgin Trains anticipates these three South Florida stations could contribute over 2 million incremental annual passengers once these stations stabilize.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2019/12/09/virgin-trains-will-massively-underperform-2019.html?iana=hpmvp_jac_news_headline

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #185 on: December 09, 2019, 03:51:23 PM »
They'll need to get the Orlando segment running and add stations in South Florida to boost ridership. With that said, I doubt they'll ever make a profit on the fare box alone. Any numbers on revenue or losses generated from TOD and other ancillary services?
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JaxAvondale

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #186 on: December 09, 2019, 05:56:11 PM »
Once they get Orlando running and add the airlines add them to their codeshare for frequent flier benefits, they will pick up some traction.

sanmarcomatt

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #187 on: December 10, 2019, 08:10:07 AM »
I haven’t been keeping up with this ( wake me when it comes to Jax) so if this has been posted, I apologize. But I thought this was a pretty cool review of the experience:

https://onemileatatime.com/brightline-train-review/


CityLife

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #188 on: December 10, 2019, 09:30:13 AM »
They'll need to get the Orlando segment running and add stations in South Florida to boost ridership. With that said, I doubt they'll ever make a profit on the fare box alone. Any numbers on revenue or losses generated from TOD and other ancillary services?

I do know that the Brightline apartments in Downtown West Palm Beach are under performing. There is a ton of new apartment product in the Downtown WPB market and Brightline is not able to get the rents it anticipated. I would imagine their Miami apartments are having an even harder time. The condo market in Miami is a bit of a bubble right now. There has been a ton of product built during the boom and a lot of the owners are investors (institutional and personal). Many of them are renting out to young professionals at very favorable rates right now, so the apartment rental market is struggling to get competitive rents.

Virgin's ridership might also be hurting slightly from the national stories about Florida's red tide in 2018. Even though SE Florida only had minor issues with red tide for a couple days (like Jax), people around the country perceive that all of Florida is a no go zone. My wife's family has a hotel in New Smyrna Beach (Black Dolphin Inn-Cheap plug) and they've noticed a dip in bookings in the past year or so and attribute some of it to the red tide. They even still get calls asking if it's safe to swim at the beaches there. The state has done an atrocious job of publicizing that Florida beaches are clean and safe to visit, though part of the issue is that there is a silent war between Florida and New York and obviously New York controls the media. 

As others have said, Virgin won't really take off until other stations have opened. Boca and Aventura will be the first time it's been heavily used for commuting to work in one of the three downtown's, and I know that Virgin also has big plans for the cruise terminal station. Obviously Orlando will be a major piece of the puzzle.

I live twenty five minutes north of the WPB station and have only taken Virgin to Miami twice out of five trips to Miami in the past year or two. I absolutely love the experience, but many times its just as quick to make the drive and have more mobility once down there. It's great for people that are only going to Miami Beach though. You can ride down from WPB; take an Uber to your hotel, then walk, Citibike, or Uber everywhere. Highly recommended for those that haven't been to Miami Beach in recent years. With Miami Beach's new extended boardwalk for practically the length of the beach to South Point Park, the Citibike experience is much better than it is in NYC (and I love riding it in NYC). When the train extends further north (to Cocoa and Orlando), a lot more people in Florida are going to realize just how awesome Miami (and South Florida) is and I say this as a kid from Jax that grew up hating Miami.   



MusicMan

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #189 on: December 11, 2019, 02:48:13 PM »

Kerry

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #190 on: December 11, 2019, 05:05:54 PM »
When the issue comes up with Vero Beach City Commission regarding an Indian River County station I might drive down just to watch.
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tufsu1

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #191 on: December 11, 2019, 08:15:45 PM »
I believe the Boca Raton station was approved yesterday.

https://cbs12.com/news/local/boca-raton-city-council-considers-brightline-train-station

yes - at least Boca Raton struck a good deal. Miami-Dade County has agreed to pay $76 million so a station can be built in Aventura - so much for "privately funded" rail.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 08:40:42 AM by tufsu1 »


thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #193 on: December 18, 2019, 02:02:12 PM »
They'll need to play with their fare structure but tying into Disney and SunRail at Meadow Woods Station will be a great way to boost overall ridership.

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2019/11/22/exclusive-virgin-trains-considers-melbourne.html

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Orlando Melbourne International Airport potentially may get a station for Virgin Trains USA's $4 billion Orlando-to-West Palm route that's now under construction.

The airport is in discussions with the Miami-based train line on the potential to build a station and parking lot there, Greg Donovan, executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport, told Orlando Business Journal.

Virgin Trains is talking with several parties on Florida's Space and Treasure coasts and has not confirmed any locations yet, said Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard.

The Melbourne airport (which uses airport code MLB) has 36 acres "next to the tracks intended for the route,” Donovan said. “Plus, with our latest announcement about [U.K. vacation travel services company] TUI, we anticipate over 200,000 new European travelers coming into MLB and believe the proposed train service would be very popular. The land is ready and available, and would make for a perfect location for a central Brevard station.”

The lesson here is once the infrastructure is in, expansion opportunities will start popping up all along the route.

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The study's highest scoring location in the study was an 88.5-acre site on the southwest corner of State Road 528 and North Cocoa Boulevard in Cocoa — known as the Clearlake Road site. That site scored high in a number of criteria compared to the Melbourne airport, which did not score as high as the preferred sites, Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization Executive Director Georganna Gillette told OBJ. "This location offers great potential to generate ridership and development opportunities for the company. It also provides ideal access to Port Canaveral, while positioning to serve possible Virgin Train expansion to Jacksonville."

Also, Jax continues to pop up with these other cities positioning themselves for TOD and access for stations of their own.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 02:06:35 PM by thelakelander »
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tufsu1

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #194 on: December 19, 2019, 12:09:38 PM »
They'll need to play with their fare structure but tying into Disney and SunRail at Meadow Woods Station will be a great way to boost overall ridership.

The plan is to charge about $10 for the Aventura-downtown ride in Miami - would seem like Meadow Woods might be $5 from OIA - I imagine around $15-$20 to Disney from OIA