Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Rode Brightline on July 4

  • 12 Jul 2018 11:13 PM
    Message # 6379550

    First time Brightline ride from West Palm Beach to Miami and return on the holiday. Business was a little slow due to the holiday, so getting a reservation to ride the train was no problem. I was able to ride for 10% off with a military discount; that also applies to all veterans.

    My only complaint about the ride quality was that the seats do not recline. I was able to move the seat forward and back, but had to sit in the upright position for the duration of the ride. I rode in the "smart coach". I do not know if reclining seats are in the "select class" or not.

    Food service is provided by rolling carts, and all items are complimentary to "select class" passengers only, "smart coach" passengers are only entitled to bottled water. They were passing out free popcorn at the gate.

    Going through security is similar to that upon entering public buildings like the courthouses or sports stadiums. All bags must go through a metal detector.

    The station in Miami connects with the Historic Overtown theatre district station on the Miami metrorail system. The Government Center station is the next stop south, but close enough to walk to. 

    I spent my time in Miami going to Marlins Park to watch them play one of their Citrus series games with the Tampa Bay Rays. Miami/Dade Transit route bus line #7 serves the baseball stadium as well as the free Miami Trolley.

    After the game, I made a quick trip to Miami Intermodal Center at the airport to check on any status of Amtrak moving in to their new facility. A few signs have been installed, but that is about it. There was a notice on the window saying that Amtrak has not yet located into the facility, and a date still has not been determined.

    I noticed that the Miami Metrorail coaches are starting to show their age. Floors are no longer carpeted, some windows have been etched with graffiti, and wrap-around ads are being used to cover up fading color schemes.

    Parking at any Brightline station requires a pay-by-phone app. I was not too happy about this either, as I 'm not a computer savvy person. Brightline is totally cashless.

    Both Brightline and Amtrak/Tri-rail are about a mile or so apart from each other. While Amtrak/Tri-rail is conveniently located close to I-95, Brightline is about another half-mile or so east along Okechobee Blvd., then left at the light at Rosemary to downtown West Palm Beach. I drove by Amtrak/Tri-rail West Palm Beach in the evening and noticed there were several people waiting outside the depot on the platforms and found out they were waiting overnight there for morning trains and buses, but some appeared to be homeless.  

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