In its November monthly ridership report, Brightline said it wants to start revenue service on the connection during the second half of 2023. The timeline is dependent on “right of way acquisition, permitting, final design and engineering.”
Late 2023 would be about a year after Brightline’s 170-mile expansion from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport is planned to be completed. According to company officials, that project is approximately 45% complete. Following the completion of the Disney Springs location, Brightline would then expand to Tampa.
Brightline has not revealed a location for the Disney Springs station but said, “The station at Disney Springs will provide a fast, convenient and enjoyable alternative to driving or flying for the millions of trips made by guests traveling between South Florida and Orlando to visit the Walt Disney World Resort each year. As part of a future planned extension to Tampa, the station at Disney Springs could also serve the millions of annual visitors to Disney and Orlando originating from the Tampa area.”
The Disney Springs station will be funded with a combination of equity, grants, subordinated obligations, and up to $200 million of Permitted Additional Senior Indebtedness. They expect the station to increase ridership, revenue, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).
Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said, “We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests.”