The Real Deal Miami

Brightline explores possible station sites in 4 Treasure Coast cities

Brightline's vice president of government affairs asked city managers in Fort Pierce, Sebastian, Stuart and Vero Beach to identify possible stops for the train service
September 01, 2018 09:00AM

Brightline train crosses the Hillsboro Canal near Deerfield Beach (Credit: David Patch / Toledo Blade)

The Brightline passenger train service in South Florida may establish one or more stations in the Treasure Coast region.

Russell Roberts, vice president of government affairs at Brightline, told the Palm Beach Post that the train service is working with city managers in four cities – Fort Pierce, Sebastian, Stuart and Vero Beach –  to identify possible station locations.

Brightline is “now exploring the feasibility of a Treasure Coast station or stations,” Roberts wrote in a letter to Michael Busha, who heads the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

Roberts told the Post that Brightline wants municipal governments in the four cities to suggest station locations within 60 days.

Any additional station locations would have to be suitable for construction of a platform at least 1,000 feet long next to the Florida East Coast railroad tracks.

Martin County and Indian River County have opposed Brightline’s plan to extend its service to Orlando. The counties filed a lawsuit to prevent the issuance of federal tax-exempt bonds to finance Brightline’s planned expansion.

But All Aboard Florida, the company behind Brightline, just won approval of $1.75 billion in bond financing for phase two of the passenger train service’s development: expansion from South Florida to Orlando.

The Florida Development Finance Corp. on Wednesday approved $1.15 billion of federal tax-exempt bonds for the phase-two expansion and a refinancing of $600 million of bonds issued for phase one. Service started this year in South Florida.

Brightline officials also are trying to establish service between Orlando and Tampa. [Palm Beach Post]Mike Seemuth