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Brightline to start service in July between WPB and Ft. Lauderdale

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will launch its express passenger service in July, first running trains between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale before extending the service to Miami later this summer, a company executive said Friday.

Brightline plans to start carrying passengers between stations in downtown West Palm Beach and downtown Fort Lauderdale in late July, Brightline’s Chief Marketing Officer Julie Edwards told a group of business and community leaders gathered in West Palm Beach on Friday for a forum held by the Urban Land Institute for Southeast Florida and the Caribbean.

Brightline plans to start service between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in August or September, Edwards told the group.

RELATED: Brightline shuffles managers as it readies to launch service in summer

The company’s trains are expected to travel between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been released.

Brightline unveiled its first train, dubbed BrightBlue because of the color of the markings on its passenger cars, at a special event in West Palm Beach earlier this year. The company’s second passenger train, BrightPink, left California this week and is expected to arrive in West Palm Beach next week.

The trains are being built at Siemens’ manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California. In all, five trains are expected to arrive in South Florida before the company launches the first leg of its passenger service this summer.

In preperation for the start of service this summer, Brightline announced this week that it has expanded its leadership team.

Michael Reininger, who has served as All Aboard’s president for more than four years and overseen the construction of the company’s rail line and passenger stations, will leave the post to focus on the expansion of the Brightline system across Florida. In his new role, Reininger will serve as executive director at Florida East Coast Industries, Brightline’s parent company, where he will also focus on the potential to replicate Brightline’s model in other parts of the country.

Dave Howard, an executive from the sports and entertainment industry who spent more two decades working with the New York Mets, has been named Brightline’s new chief executive officer.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Track work for the second phase of the project, which runs between West Palm Beach and Orlando, has not yet begun. Treasure Coast leaders are challenging that stretch of the project, and have filed a federal lawsuit to block bonds that the company had planned to use to pay for the construction.

Brightline officials have said it will take about 2 years from the start of construction for the company to complete the West Palm Beach to Orlando leg.

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