Brightline booking glitch shows trains as 'sold out' before debut


Brightline, the private passenger rail service aiming to connect South Florida's downtown areas with express service, announced fares starting at $10 per leg with a Saturday launch for service from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach.

In two years, Brightline services will go to Orlando and there's talk of more stops in the future.

Brightline said it would begin construction on that second phase of the project as early as this month. Trains will depart as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. Brightline said the trip between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach will take about 35 minutes.

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Brightline attributed the glitch to "overwhelming excitement".

The $10 one-way tickets buy a seat in the 66-seat Smart Coach. "Our team will continue to ramp up operations as we prepare to fully launch this transformative new infrastructure asset for South Florida". Officials tell local news outlets the company will make 10 round trips daily and nine trips on weekends. The company calls itself the only privately funded, operated and maintained rail service in the United States. COO Patrick Goddard will take over as president, replacing former sports executive Dave Howard, who joined the company in March as CEO.

Brightline's diesel-electric powered trains feature a variety of amenities, including retractable platforms that facilitate easy boarding, bike racks, wide aisles and free wireless Internet.

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"We believe the comfort and convenience of our travel experience paired with premium hospitality will set a new standard for passenger rail service", said Brightline's president and COO, Patrick Goddard, in a statement.

Though popular in South Florida, Brightline has faced staunch opposition and legal challenges from Florida's Treasure Coast - three-county region north of West Palm Beach - where many residents believe the railroad would endanger public safety, pollute the environment and decrease quality of life.

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