Virgin Rail née Brightline/AAF Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Discussion about Florida passenger rail operations:Miami - Orlando Brightline including Florida expansion proposals
Miami/Dade Metrorail, Sunrail (Orlando), and Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority in Florida.

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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:11 pm

Tampa is next.

https://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/busines ... 35G8VtKxL/

Brightline hopes to extend its service not just to Orlando but also to Tampa.
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that, in response to “an unsolicited proposal” from Brightline, the Florida Department of Transportation will seek bids from private companies interested in running high-speed trains from Orlando to Tampa.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:48 pm

Here is some more positive news about Brightline:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transp ... story.html

Better days are coming at least in Florida.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:54 pm

Meanwhile, to counter the optimistic news Mr. Weaver linked, here's the rub:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transp ... story.html

Fair Use:

Customers of the Brightline train service no longer can park for free in the parking garages. This past Sunday, the company began charging hourly and daily rates to park.

Here’s what you’ll pay ($6 a day)


It wasn't whether, it was when - and the when is now. But all must agree that $6/da rate is dirt cheap.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:11 pm

To my pleasant surprise, as part of the Indenture relating to the $600M Private Activity Bonds floated, AAF is required to disclose revenue and ridership for each Quarter. They released such for the First Quarter this past Friday - and look who reported them (presumably straight):

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tcpalm ... /745477002

Fair Use:

..Brightline carried 74,780 riders and collected $663,700 in ticket revenue in its first 2½ months of operation, according to financial documents released Friday.

The documents — which offered one of the first public glimpses into the private company's financials — revealed that ridership "exceeded expectations," according to Brightline, despite recent controversies over safety and use of public funding.

Ridership grew each month as a result of increased “awareness and demand for the company’s service," Brightline said in its quarterly unaudited financial statement provided to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

Month-by-month ridership and revenue from Jan 19, when initial service began between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, to March 31, the end of the first quarter, was:

January: 17,800 passengers, $146,500

February: 24,100 passengers, $220,000

March: 32,900 passengers, $297,300
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:30 pm

Not bad at all ... Points to Miami producing some pretty big numbers ... Possibly as high as 50,000+++ per month ...
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:56 am

However, lest we forget, AAF is still offering dirt cheap "introductory fares". I highly doubt if they have compiled enough historical data to institute demand pricing, although I'm sure they want to "get there".

So their first venture into "market pricing" will be "like the old days". "Here's the fare; take it or leave it" (my guess: OW MIA-WP $50 Coach, $65 Business). Who knows what effect that will have on ridership.

Oh and finally with a "lest we wonder"; the Florida Turnpike will soon switch to demand pricing systemwide. The "Lexus Lanes" on the 95 are already there (BTW, this Lexus owner doesn't go near them - oh, and don't the various Authorities love EZ-Pass; especially when signed up for automatic refills), so the market can certainly justify higher fares.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Arlington » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:50 am

What's the point of pointing out today's introductory fares? Is this just a.warning to cheapskate joy-riders that they will soon be squeezed out by higher value trips at peak times? Other than warning railfans to act now on their plans, this warning is actually good news for anyone who wants BL to succeed as a business.

Ordinary yield management would mean that revenue can continue to grow through a mix of both ridership increases (Miami) and targeted fare increases and parking charges, all of which are good things for.business. As long as a fare increase of X% scares away fewer than (X)/(1+X) of riders, it is a win.
Last edited by Arlington on Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:54 am

Mr. Arlington, I realize that I have been the "Pinnacle of Pessimism" around here regarding Brightline affairs. All I could think bringing my sixty five years of following industry affairs, including eleven "on the inside", to bear were all the reasons the whole thing was a ploy to sell the railroad, which I still hold will live or die on the capability of the South Florida maritime ports to attract traffic in the Neo-PANAMAX era. I further hold that the largest party-in-interest in that is the State, considering the funds expended to make them something beyond a "love nest for the Love Tubs". Then learning both the railroad and its parent real estate development company had been sold to separate foreign interests, I figured "that's all folks".

At this time, I'm prepared to accept Brightline will move forth - but I still must note that feeding at the "Tallahassee Trough", likely in ways to allow the sponsors to tout their "no subsidy" mantra, could occur.

Now what I likely underplayed was the impact Brightline could have on real estate development, and that FECI (the now foreign owned parent) could have on both occupancy and rental rates. Beyond my own home, I woldn't touch investment real estate with a ten foot pole. In short, it's an area about which I know nothing - let alone to what extent the presence of a premium-level transportation product could favorably affect such.

Regarding the fare levels I earlier noted, they are simply a guess on my part. They are in the league of Acela level pricing. But I hold like Mr. Arlington, if your intent is a "joyride on the cheap", best "get on down" on the pronto.

Finally, I have a two night trip already planned to Miami during January (Cleveland Orchestra concert). An "end to end" joyride is on the "to do" list as well.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:43 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Now what I likely underplayed was the impact Brightline could have on real estate development, and that FECI (the now foreign owned parent) could have on both occupancy and rental rates. Beyond my own home, I woldn't touch investment real estate with a ten foot pole. In short, it's an area about which I know nothing - let alone to what extent the presence of a premium-level transportation product could favorably affect such.


The impact on real estate for this project is enormous and I'm speaking from a point of view that is informed by "people in the know", my own work in real estate in Maine and my own work on transit oriented development. In a high density urban setting like Miami this development has the ability to move the market like no other. Why? Because of changing demographics ... young professionals who delay starting a family (whether with kids or not), older folks who wish to live in a "full-service" setting close to good medical care, and businesses that require proximity to professional talent.

The trend right now is towards increased density and the reason for it is demographic change, highway congestion (that clearly will not be resolved) and population increase.

In my opinion what we are seeing is the end of the "highway era" in American transportation. The future is multi modal and highways will always play a part but likely on a fee basis.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:03 pm

Here is another positive development right here in Fort Lauderdale.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl ... story.html

Interesting, Brightline is going to change the downtown of Fort Lauderdale. Very smart management I would say.

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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby D.Carleton » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:27 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:Here is another positive development right here in Fort Lauderdale.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl ... story.html

Interesting, Brightline is going to change the downtown of Fort Lauderdale. Very smart management I would say.

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Brightline is going to change the downtowns of Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. That's been the (no small) plan all along.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:41 pm

Very impressive. Also note the implied enthusiasm of local government that wants to relocate nearby. Nice to see FECI building up their own passenger base. I'm trying to think of a historical equivalent but the best I can imagine would be hotels attached to major terminals. Private office space construction sounds new to me.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:06 pm

A possible example would be Penn Center in Philadelphia, on the footprint of the old Broad Street Station, with underground pedestrian access to Suburban Station, but I forget now how the financing was structured. Of course there is also Madison Square Garden and a high-rise office building on the Penn Station site In New York, occasioned primarily by the city's refusal to grant any sort of tax abatement. Now that I think of it, the high-rises at Chicago Union Station are also office space.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby chrsjrcj » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:09 am

It's great for people who live/work/play in West Palm, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Not so much for everyone in between.
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Re: Brightline fka All Aboard Florida Orlando - Miami FL FEC

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:34 am

gokeefe wrote:Very impressive. Also note the implied enthusiasm of local government that wants to relocate nearby. Nice to see FECI building up their own passenger base. I'm trying to think of a historical equivalent but the best I can imagine would be hotels attached to major terminals. Private office space construction sounds new to me.

Grand Central Terminal. Not the stupid 1960's Pan Am building, but the entire complex. Before the current station was built, the whole stretch between Madison and Lexington from the north end of the train shed at ~44th St up to ~53rd St was at-grade yard trackage. Fourth (Park) Avenue was discontinuous. It ended at 42nd St., didn's start again until the low 50's. The NYC, with the Vanderbilts at the helm, sunk the trackage below grade level, put Park on a viaduct around their new terminal, continued the viaduct north, with the cross streets on their own viaducts. The Vanderbilt interests then encouraged the construction of hotels, offices, churches, etc. on the resulting space. It's not an exaggeration to say the NYC created the heart of today's Midtown East between 1910 and 1930.

And that's ignoring the massive change in the fortunes of Park Avenue that occurred after electrification. Before 1910 the avenue was considered lower-middle-class. Nice people lived on Lexington, Madison, 5th and the cross streets, and avoided 4th, with its clouds of smoke and steam.
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