Virgin Trains USA may identify three more South Florida locations for new train stations this year.
Virgin Trains, formerly known as Brightline, said in a June 28 filing that it wants to increase ridership by opening new stops in addition to its downtown train stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The company did not identify any possible locations for new stations.
The Sun-Sentinel also reported that officials of Virgin Trains and the city of Hollywood have met recently, and the passenger train operator will meet this month with city officials in Boca Raton.
At the city government’s request, Hollywood city officials met with representatives of Virgin Trains and discussed the proximity of downtown Hollywood to the railroad that the passenger train operator uses.
City government spokeswoman Joann Hussey told the Sun-Sentinel that the city “welcomes the idea of passenger rail with a stop in downtown Hollywood.”
Boca Raton city council members also have expressed interest in having a new Virgin Trains station in their city. The potential site is in area in downtown Boca Raton several blocks west of Mizner Park.
Earlier this year, the passenger train operator said it was considering new station locations at Port of Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Virgin Trains also has considered adding a stop in Aventura, according to Steven Abrams, executive director of the Tri-Rail commuter train service.
Virgin Trains spokesman Michael Hicks declined to say whether the company is conditioning approval of new station sites on municipal incentive offers. “We aren’t getting into details about additional locations at the moment,” he told the Sun-Sentinel.
The company is now developing an expansion of its service from South Florida to Orlando International Airport and a planned station near Disney World, which is roughly 20 miles west of the Orlando airport. [Sun-Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth