New High-Speed Train Will Connect Miami to Orlando This Year

The Brightline train will soon be offering a speedy alternative to one of Florida’s largest tourist destinations, Orlando, a city that receives nearly 70 million visitors per year thanks to its elaborate mecca of theme parks. The South Florida based rail company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach. Driving between Miami and Orlando takes about 3.5 hours, and the train will shorten the ride to less than 3 as it reaches speeds of up to 125 MPH. The Orlando Brightline station is expected to open in 2023 and will be located inside Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. 

Brightline is the only privately owned and operated rail company in the United States. They currently offer two types of tickets, SMART (standard fare) and PREMIUM (business class). The latter offers access to a pre-boarding lounge, larger seats, and complimentary snacks and beverages onboard. However, snacks and beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) are available for purchase with the standard fare. SMART starts at $10 one-way when traveling from Miami to West Palm Beach. PREMIUM tickets are about $35 one-way. Pricing for the Orlando route has yet to be released. Travel Off Path recommends purchasing tickets online in advance as fares tend to be higher in-person at the station. 

In 2022, Brightline carried 1.23 million passengers across South Florida. The railroad powerhouse is expected to grow beyond central Florida and into the western side of the state. Read more about Brightline’s future plans here and purchase a ticket here.

Report: Growth In Downtown Fort Lauderdale Exceeds Austin and Atlanta

Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s urban core, a 2.2-square-mile area between Sunrise Boulevard, the Avenue of Arts, Davie Boulevard, and U.S. Highway One, has gained 5,095 new residential units in the past five years, more than that of the downtown areas of Austin and Atlanta combined.

Jenni Morejon, the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority’s executive director, reports, “We are outpacing growth in terms of new rental units, and the pandemic has fueled a lot of that.”

Since the pandemic, South Florida rents have increased by as much as 32% year-over-year. This increase can be attributed to the influx of professionals and executives from New York, California, and other parts of the U.S. The average household income in downtown Fort Lauderdale has also increased a staggering 20.2% from last year to $146,358 a year. Read the report here.