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(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Fla. (May 30, 2019) Today, Virgin Trains USA formerly Brightline, hosted a congressional staff delegation and the Florida Ports Council for an experience between downtown Fort Lauderdale and Virgin MiamiCentral. The group is currently in South Florida touring both Port Everglades and PortMiami as well as meeting with maritime leadership. Infrastructure investment, public-private partnerships, safety and security were among the leading topics discussed during the visit. Senior staff of legislators including Senator Marco Rubio, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Congresswoman Lois Frankel and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart took part in the tour.
“Virgin Trains USA is a transformative asset for the cruise industry in South Florida, currently conveniently connecting passengers and those doing business at two of our state’s busiest ports,” shared Florida Ports Council Vice President of Governmental Affairs Michael Rubin. “To know a connection extending into Orlando International Airport (MCO) is also on the horizon will only further enhance the appeal of cruising from the Sunshine State.”
In February, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a resolution to begin deliberating on the feasibility of a Virgin Trains station directly at PortMiami. Currently, cruise passengers sailing out of all three South Florida ports can take advantage of Train to Port packages, which include garage parking at Brightline stations, one checked bag per person, round-trip ride on SMART plus class (or the opportunity to upgrade to SELECT), and round-trip Lyft rides.
“Taking a cruise should be a relaxing experience and Virgin Trains USA helps guests begin their holiday before they even set sail – a welcomed alternative to I-95 traffic,” shared Virgin Trains USA Senior Vice President Ben Porritt. “It was wonderful hosting this group today and showcasing how infrastructure investment like Virgin Trains USA enhances the vacation experience and positively impacts South Florida tourism.”
Virgin Trains USA recently marked its inaugural year of service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Phase 2 expansion to Orlando, representing a total investment of $4 billion in private financing, recently began which includes the development of 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO). Construction is expected to be complete and service will begin between South Florida and Orlando in 2022.
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Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
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