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  #1261  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2018, 3:10 AM
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Surprises me that they would open it now only operating between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Curious why they didnt just wait until Miami station is open???? They'd get a bigger splash for the opening, get more ridership and it would be operating somewhat closer to the envisioned plan. They cant be getting any riders now other than a few curious people. It feels like opening a hotly anticipated restaurant after dropping a ton of money on it and then only serving appetizers for only weekday lunch for its first year.

I wish this operation very well and want to check it out but this is a tough market under the best circumstances. Its Florida to start with (culturally/politically adverse to transit/rail, anti-transit/incompetent government, car-centric urban form), connecting transit is crap to non-existent, and it largely competes with an existing lower cost rail line in the same corridor.
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  #1262  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2018, 6:02 AM
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Lots of businesses do a soft-open to work out the kinks, and use the revenue to start paying back their bills, I don't see why AAF would be any different.

Public transit projects never do this... ultimately they're not expecting to make money, and they'd rather avoid subjecting customers to their growing pains if it might cause political blowback. Private businesses can face blowback too (look at airlines) but they also have huge marketing budgets, incentive programs, etc that they can use to lure customers back.
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  #1263  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2018, 5:40 PM
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I just got my tickets for this Sunday! Going to do brunch in West Palm Beach, can't wait. Tickets are BOGO if you use the code BLFRIEND.
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  #1264  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2018, 10:25 PM
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This has the potential to be successful, especially when it opens to connect Miami with Orlando.

The main problem is that it is mostly at grade, which leads to those accidents and suicides. It should have been on an elevated line like Metrorail or along a major highway or thoroughfare like Tri-Rail.
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  #1265  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 1:51 AM
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Y'all got some weird ass comments every transit system in the world opens by phases for practice and don't waste capacity etc
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  #1266  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 3:38 AM
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Yes they open in phases, they just don't usually open in phases between two smaller intermediate cities, its always anchored by one major city.

This line is ALL about Miami to Orlando and yet this initial opening hits neither city.

I just think it would have had a much stronger opening and greater media publicity and ridership if they waited a bit longer to have Miami open. It may not have the same political issues as a publicly operated line but it was still political along parts of the route and still has to win over skeptical financiers, 6-8 months of 90% empty trains cant help.
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  #1267  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 3:39 AM
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A few more tidbits about Brightline:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...in/1030839001/

1. Brightline officials claim they need to capture 2% of the 100 million annual traveler between Orlando and South Florida to be profitable. They believe they can capture as much as 20%. By comparison, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor captures 12% of the trips between NYC and Washington, DC.

2. Brightline officials plan to expand to Tampa via the I-4 corridor from Orlando and along the existing FEC rail line into Jacksonville.

3. Brightline believes their project can work in other similar corridors across the country. They mention possibilities of doing similar rail projects between Atlanta and Charlotte, Houston and Dallas and Dallas and Austin.

4. Once the Orlando extension opens in 2020, they plan to consider adding stops in Brevard County, the Treasure Coast, Stuart and Vero Beach.
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  #1268  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 4:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
This line is ALL about Miami to Orlando and yet this initial opening hits neither city.
This isn't much of a issue though. Miami is the main city in South Florida, but the metro area is pretty decentralized with Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach also being significant economic centers.
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  #1269  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 7:53 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Yes they open in phases, they just don't usually open in phases between two smaller intermediate cities, its always anchored by one major city.

This line is ALL about Miami to Orlando and yet this initial opening hits neither city.

I just think it would have had a much stronger opening and greater media publicity and ridership if they waited a bit longer to have Miami open. It may not have the same political issues as a publicly operated line but it was still political along parts of the route and still has to win over skeptical financiers, 6-8 months of 90% empty trains cant help.
True and false, this train is about connecting Central Florida (Orlando plus Tampa?) with Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach). Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale are two of the four main stations AAF (Brightline) have included in the discussion since the very beginning. Miami will be opening later this year, and construction to Orlando will commence this year.

While it would be nice to open the entire corridor at once, the decision was made to open it up piecemeal years ago; training employees, paying off the leases or loan for the rolling stock, and creating a prolonged publicity campaign, with multiple openings over several months and years. There's many great reasons to open as soon as you can with what you have than wait for one huge opening.
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  #1270  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Yes they open in phases, they just don't usually open in phases between two smaller intermediate cities, its always anchored by one major city.

This line is ALL about Miami to Orlando and yet this initial opening hits neither city.

I just think it would have had a much stronger opening and greater media publicity and ridership if they waited a bit longer to have Miami open. It may not have the same political issues as a publicly operated line but it was still political along parts of the route and still has to win over skeptical financiers, 6-8 months of 90% empty trains cant help.
Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are the central cities of their respective counties. Broward County alone is approaching 2 million (1,909,632 as of 2016)!

Fort Lauderdale:

http://www.trbimg.com/img-591a1386/t...eting-20170515
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