ORLANDO, Fla. – Travelers can officially ride a high-speed train from Orlando to Miami.
After years in the making, Brightline on Friday launched its first trains from Orlando and Miami on the grand opening of its new connecting service. The rail system provides service between Miami and Orlando International Airport, with stops throughout South Florida.
“Today is actually the culmination of more than a decade of determination and hard work,” said Mike Reininger, Brightline’s CEO. “We’ve built something remarkable and I’m excited that soon millions of people throughout the state will get a chance to experience what you will see for the first time.”
Hundreds of people attended Friday’s welcoming ceremony Friday as the first train from Miami arrived in Orlando.
“We’re the most visited place in the world,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “Miami has its fair share of tourists, so you know there will be certainly interaction now between people traveling from Miami to Orlando and vice versa.”
The high-speed train travels up to 125 mph, cutting off about 30 minutes of drive time between the two places.
Pablo Gottret boarded a train from Orlando to Miami and said he planned to use the service for work trips between the two cities.
“It’s great for someone like me that comes for business once a month,” Gottret said. “For me, it’s very comparable to what I would have been paying for renting a car and driving or flying.”
The Orlando station is located in the heart of Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C.
The idea started in 2012 to connect Florida’s biggest tourist hubs, but with that came several delays, pushing back the initial opening date.
Fares for a one-way trip start at $79 for adults and $39 for children.
Brightline initially planned to be in service in early September, but last month decided to delay the opening while it continued testing along the rail corridor.
The intercity rail company’s next goal is to head west and connect Orlando and Tampa.
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