Tampa And Orlando Are 1 Step Closer To A High Speed Rail Connection, But Would You Ride It?

The Brightline company recently received a huge grant that could help secure an actual future for a “higher-speed rail” line between Tampa and Orlando. The company got a grant from the U.S. Government for over $15 million to help further the development of the line between the 2 central Florida metros. Like many Floridians I’ve driven the I-4 corridor many times. Sometimes its an easy jaunt of about 90 minutes, although that is becoming more and more rare these days. Often, due to huge traffic jams anytime there’s an exit or entrance ramp, its closer to twice as long, especially heading from Tampa to Orlando.

With as bad as I 4 is, my question is would you ride a train to get between the two? The company claims the rail would travel at speeds up to 125 mph, which would definitely beat the sometimes 20-30 mph you’re going especially around Champions Gate headed west, or where I 4 and highway 27 meet going east. And that’s not including anything around Disney. So time-wise it could be a dream. But once you’re in Orlando you would still have to take a ride-share, or rent a car to get anywhere else. Is the hassle of constantly ride-sharing everywhere you need to go worth saving maybe an hour on the highway?

Brightline currently has a line being built from Orlando International Airport to West Palm Beach, that will also connect to the already existing line south to Miami. And they’ve also confirmed building a connection to Disney Springs from the airport. I’m not sure where in Tampa the stop would be but I would assume it would be the Tampa airport, too.

Personally I would at least try it once or twice, possibly doing a full central to south Florida excursion because the trains do look nice. And being able to spend all that time not driving, and watching movies or saving my energy for my vacation would be a plus.

And, according to this video, a premium ticket which includes free drinks and snacks and a premium lounge, is only $37, and a regular ticket is only $22. That’s actually a really good price for a short trip like this, possibly less than the gas it costs for the drive.

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