The Brightline train is an exciting new addition for many Florida residents.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Disney backed out of the Brightline train deal, but the current train route will still stop near Disney World and run close to Universal Orlando’s new park, Epic Universe. This new train isn’t just for theme park visitors though — it will provide a new method of transportation for many around the area. But how much will the new train really help the state’s infrastructure needs? The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary had some thoughts to share on the matter.
Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, spoke to the Orlando Sentinel and offered promising remarks that the region is in the right direction. He said the department has already signaled its recognition of the region’s infrastructure needs and potential.
The current Brightline train proposal “extends commuter and Brightline rail from the airport to International Drive and theme-park stations — and, for Brightline, along Interstate 4 to a Tampa station.” Completing this would mean Brightline achieves their cross-Florida corridor from Miami to Orlando to Tampa.
In order for this to happen, Orange County voters must approve a penny hike in sales tax in November, and the U.S. Department of Transportation would have to provide matching grants through its rail and transit agencies.
Buttigieg said that while he can’t speak to specific applications, he knows “there is a very strong vision here with what they want to do with transit broadly and Brightline specifically.” When asked about the penny hike, he said “when a community is ready to step up, including with taking on some level of cost and put skin in the game, that helps us be a better partner at the U.S. DOT,” and that “whenever those investments can be matched, local, state and federal, it means that much more can be done.”
While it’ll still be a while until the full Brightline rail is completed, we’ll keep an eye on all the updates and keep you up-to-date on what’s going on. In the meantime, you can follow along with us as we keep our eyes on all the Disney World construction going on because there’s A LOT of it!
How do you feel about the new Brightline train construction? Tell us in the comments.