The announcement that many South Floridians have been anticipating, with a mix of excitement and trepidation, has finally come: The announcement of Brightline’s inaugural service between West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale with commuter passengers aboard. While they announced service is to begin sometime this week, as of Wednesday January 10th no schedules not ticket prices have been released.
On December 28th, Brightline made the official announcement that many have been waiting to hear, a time frame for the start of Brightline. In March 2017, Brightline officials estimated launch of service to be August and September of 2017, but unforeseen financial, legal and environmental circumstances delayed launch. With those obstacles overcome, Brightline is now the first privately funded passenger rail system in operation in over 100 years in the United States.
In an interview with NPR, the director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University, John Renne, calls the project “…a game changer for this type of model.” (NPR) Renne also says that the construction of private real estate development at each station, including dining and retail, has a potential revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars. This means that Brightline not only hopes to create a transportation alternative for potentially millions of passengers a year in South Florida, but also generate other revenue in the state.
However, there are others who are trying to discourage the expansion of the Brightline and have been for several years. One such organization is Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE). Amongst their top concerns are safety and quality of life impacts the increased rail traffic may cause. While work is currently underway to create ‘Quiet Zones’ along the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties. This requires safety upgrades to each crossing that would allow train engineers to not use their horn when approaching crossings except for emergencies. Originally planned to be implemented before Brightline began service, but it was announced late December by West Palm Beach officials that it will take several more months before the zones are verified for use.
Even when ‘Quiet Zones’ are operational, some citizens fear that increased frequency in train traffic will still affect the noise levels in their homes, businesses and schools. If these concerns are ones that you share, contact us today at 561.623.8446 to speak with a sales representative about how Impact-Resistant windows may have noise reduction benefits for your home.