BBgest cheers came when Brightline officials told a town hall audience that the express passenger trains would be serving alcohol when service begins later this summer.
That was just one of the amenities promised to about two dozen potential riders who attended an information meeting at the ArtServe center in Fort Lauderdale.
Several heard — for the first time — about the sleek new trains that would zip riders between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in 30 minutes beginning in late July. It will also take a half hour to get from Fort Lauderdale to Miami when that route begins in August.
Officials twice dodged questions about how much it would cost to ride the high speed train, adding that they would announce a menu of fares and ticket packages closer to when the service begins.
“We’re not announcing that yet [but the cost] will be comparable to driving a car,” said Ali Soule, Brightline spokeswoman. “But, more convenient, reliable and comfortable and you won’t be stuck in traffic.”
With about 30 Brightline trains added to nearly 18 freight trains daily, people wanted to know how much more noise their neighborhoods would have to endure.
Most of the railroad crossing modifications have been done to comply with federal Quiet Zone requirements, Soule said.
There are about 200 crossings along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks between Miami and West Palm Beach.
The additions of medians, four-way or quad-gates, signals and signs at almost every crossing will end the need for passenger and freight train to blast their horns as a warning to drivers and pedestrians.