Brightline breaks ground on new Boca Raton station
U.S. passenger operator, Brightline, has broken ground on its new and fifth station at Boca Raton, which has been described as “a game-changer” for the city.
Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, has broken ground on its new Boca Raton station. Once completed, the station will be Brightline’s fifth operational in the state, connecting travellers in Boca Raton to Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and soon Orlando.
Located on a 1.8-acre site across from Mizner Park and adjacent to the downtown library, Brightline’s Boca Raton station will feature approximately 38,000ft2 of space which will include its signature autonomous MRKT and premium lounge among other station amenities. The station will offer a seamless travel experience through modern technology, including a cashless environment, touchless turnstiles and high-speed Wi-Fi. The station is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022.
Brightline’s President, Patrick Goddard, was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by Congressman Ted Deutch, Boca Raton Mayor, Scott Singer, Jorge Pesquera of Discover the Palm Beaches, in addition to members of the Boca Raton city council and elected officials. The groundbreaking of the station follows the commencement of construction for the station’s parking garage, announced in December of 2021.
“As a premier business and leisure destination, Boca Raton is a perfect fit for Brightline and will be an integral part of our network that will further connect the state of Florida, explained Patrick. “Brightline stations help enhance the local communities and economies where we operate and provide travellers with quick access to state-wide lifestyle and tourist destinations. We look forward to building a long and productive partnership with the Boca community,”
In 2021, Brightline was awarded a $16.3 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to fund a portion of the construction of the train station, parking garage and associated rail infrastructure. In addition to the CRISI grant, the city has provided a commitment of $9.9 million towards funding the parking garage. The balance of the project, approximately $30 million, will be funded by Brightline. Construction of the Boca Raton station is expected to create more than 480 jobs during construction while contributing more than $23 million in wages.
Opening up opportunities
The station is expected to strengthen ties between Boca Raton and South and Central Florida. By connecting to the broader Brightline system, local employers will have access to a bigger employee pool and workers will gain access to an additional 89,000 office jobs within average commute times. This investment will continue to make Boca Raton one of the most desirable and vibrant places to live, work and visit. In addition to benefitting commuters and other local residents, Brightline will serve a broad leisure travel population, and will spur increased tourism to Boca Raton.
Mayor Scott Singer, said: “Brightline will be a game-changer for Boca Raton, and especially our downtown. We look forward to welcoming the many riders who will work at our thriving businesses and visit our cultural, dining, and shopping attractions, and for our residents to connect to a major transportation network from Miami to Orlando. Thanks to our strong partnership with Brightline and support of our Congressional delegation for an FRA grant, we can’t wait to say all aboard in Boca Raton!”
Also under construction is the 455-space parking garage that will service the Boca Raton station and visitors to the downtown library, who will have dedicated, covered, and complimentary spaces on the first floor. In October 2021, Brightline completed construction of the new Community Garden for the Junior League of Boca Raton, as well as a temporary parking lot for the downtown library. Brightline managed and funded the construction of both projects as part of the agreement to build the new station.
Brightline currently serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with its expansion station in Aventura opening in 2022. Brightline’s current construction project to Orlando is more than 70 per cent complete with over 1,300 daily workers on the job tallying more than four million hours of work. In January of 2022, Brightline began daily crew training and qualifying test runs between West Palm Beach and Cocoa. Over an eight-year period, Brightline’s corridor between Miami and Orlando will result in $6.4 billion in economic impact while creating more than 10,000 jobs. Construction of the highly anticipated expansion to Orlando is on track to be complete by the end of 2022, with service to begin in early 2023.