Brightline sets maiden train run between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale

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Brightline sets maiden train run between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale

The company will begin introductory service January 13 between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

And in Fort Lauderdale, the company's plans include a seven-story parking garage next to the Brightline station with 1,570 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

Travel time is expected to be between 35 and 40 minutes each way with the first train departing at 6 a.m. each day and ending at 11 p.m. Schedules will change from weekdays to weekends.

A one-way ticket will cost $10 for its coach class "smart service" and $15 for its business class "select service", Brightline announced Thursday. Seniors, active military and veterans will receive a 10 percent pricing discount, and kids 12 years old and under will receive a 50 percent pricing discount. Eventually, the number of trips will expand once the Miami and Orlando stations open, but no timetable has been given for that.

Though popular in South Florida, Brightline has faced staunch opposition and legal challenges from Florida's Treasure Coast - three-county region north of West Palm Beach - where many residents believe the railroad would endanger public safety, pollute the environment and decrease quality of life. For more than a year, Goddard has been instrumental in leading the operations team in preparation of the service launch.

Brightline on Thursday afternoon tweeted that its new ticketing website was experiencing delays and "booking glitches" as a result of "overwhelming excitement".

"We are thrilled to have South Florida preview Brightline with the launch of introductory service", said Patrick Goddard, Brightline President and Chief Operating Officer. Officials tell local news outlets the company will make 10 round trips daily and nine trips on weekends.

Construction on Phase 2 to Orlando International Airport will begin in 2018.

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