Florida's Brightline Now Booking Trips to Orlando | Miami New Times


Brightline Is Now Booking Trips to Orlando

Brightline has announced that tickets to Orlando are on sale as of this morning.
Ditch your car and take the train to Orlando.
Ditch your car and take the train to Orlando. Brightline photo
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It's time to start booking those Orlando trips. There's a new option that avoids the unscenic drive north on I-95 or the Florida Turnpike — and airport security for a flight out of MIA or FLL. Brightline has announced that tickets to Orlando are officially on sale as of this morning.

Tickets between South Florida — encompassing Brightline's West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, and Miami stations — and Orlando start at $79 for adult Smart fares (Brightline's lingo for economy class) and $39 for kids each way. Bookings will be for late summer through early 2024.

"Brightline guests and the travel market have spoken loudly, and we want to respond by opening ticket sales from late summer through the beginning of next year," said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline, in a statement. "While we are finalizing an official launch date, guests can now book travel for Labor Day, Halloween, and holidays through the new year."

Beyond Brightline's economy fares — which include hand-stitched leather seats, complimentary Wi-Fi, and power and USB outlet access — there are some deals and additional booking options to explore. For family or larger outings, groups of four or more automatically save 25 percent on Smart fares. On the luxe front, one-way premium fares to Orlando start at $149 and include access to an exclusive lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary snacks and beverages.

There will be 16 daily round-trip options with hourly departures between Miami and Orlando and stops at all existing stations (West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Aventura). The trains can reach speeds of 130 mph, which means a nonstop journey between Miami and Orlando takes approximately two hours and 59 minutes. Dedicated trains with specific early and late-night departures will continue in South Florida as part of the new schedule.

The 37,350-square-foot Orlando station unveiled last month is located in Orlando International Airport's new train-station facility, adjacent to its Terminal C. The station is approximately 25 minutes south of downtown Orlando and 25 minutes east of Walt Disney World.

To assist with getting to and from various Brightline stations throughout the state, the company offers Brightline+ transportation and mobility options, including shuttles, neighborhood electric vehicles, Uber rideshares, and dedicated shuttles for special events.

Brightline started service in South Florida in 2018. While it has been heralded for its train service that rivals or equals that found in train-centric places like Japan and the European Union, the service has been plagued with continuous accidents that often result in death. Unlike trains in Europe or Japan, Brightline's tracks often intersect with roadways. There have been calls for Florida East Coast Industries, Brightline's parent company, to improve safety at railroad crossings.
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