If your clients traveling to South Florida would rather skip the notoriously bad traffic jams that the destination is known for, point them to a new beauty that’s about to take center stage in the area: Brightline’s BrightBlue. Brightline is putting all the bells and whistles on BrightBlue, gearing it up for a mid-2017 launch.
When it debuts later this year, BrightBlue will be making approximately 17 roundtrip trips per day from West Palm Beach—the train’s hub—to Miami, traveling from about 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The last train will be arriving in West Palm Beach around midnight.
So what does this mean to you, the travel agent? Sounds like this might be a great commuter train for locals, right? Think again. This actually means that your clients can explore beyond their homebase, whether that be Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, in comfort and without getting behind the wheel of a car. In other words, their travel destination just got a whole lot bigger. If they are vacationing in Miami, they can hop on the train in the morning for a VERY comfortable 60-minute ride to West Palm Beach (typically, the car ride from Miami to WPB will take about 90 minutes) and spend a day exploring exclusive Palm Beach, where they’ll discover the gem known as Worth Avenue, famous for its whitewashed Mediterranean alleys and courtyards as well as elegant shops with colorful awnings and wrought iron balconies. Come nightfall, they can hop back on the train, and take the ride back to Miami (Brightline’s Miami station is located right in the middle of the city’s downtown). The ride from Miami to Fort Lauderdale will take a little under 30 minutes (normal drive time is 45 minutes).
So what’s so special about BrightBlue, anyway? Its innovations, for starters, not to mention its over-the-top comfort.
Travel Time & “Smart” Seats
Actual travel time includes choices for passengers: They can opt for the Select coach, featuring seats that are 21 inches wide, or Smart choice, where the seats are 19 inches (both recline). Passengers will be able to reserve specific seats when booking (on a mobile App, website or station kiosk). Riders can add additional items, too, including parking and ground transportation to their booking. There’ll also be complimentary WiFi, and with multiple antennas on every train, we were assured by the IT gurus we spoke with while getting the sneak peek of the train that WiFi connectivity wouldn’t be an issue for passengers). Additionally, there will be onboard and in-station food and beverage selections.
Here are a few more reasons this product is highly recommendable:
• Level boarding: Brightline is the first fully accessible train, exceeding ADA compliance standards. The train features level boarding and utilizes retractable platforms that are integrated into the train car door systems. It also features 32-inch interior aisles that make it accessible for those in wheelchairs (and strollers).
• Luggage compartments & bike racks: There is a compartment at the end of the last Smart coach for checked baggage; and there are luggage towers in each coach for larger carry-ons, as well as overhead luggage racks and under-seat storage for small items. There are also bike racks on every train.
• Pets welcome: Small pets can be placed in carriers under the seat and special carriers will be available for larger animals. It is recommended that those traveling with pets advise the train personnel beforehand.
And for those who’d rather take to the rails than the highway when heading to Orlando, let them know the Brightline experience will expand in the near future with an Orlando route (with its hub next to the Orlando Airport).
For more information, visit gobrightline.com.