Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:20 AM
Well, my point in extrapolating the margin was to bound the probable limits of the opposition. Again, I don't doubt that there are plenty of NIMBY's who would rather wait for the droll of a 35 MPH freight train fouling the grade crossings that have been there for 100 years than a sleek new 25 second inconvenience of a superfast, sleek, new train. I think that despite the efforts of Ms Debbie, the long term success of Briteline will be well received.
Now - how does Amtrak feel about Briteline stealing market share - not just from Orlando to Miami, but taking the main purpose of the Silver Star away?
Anyone have any cost/speed comparison estimates?
Currently, the Star makes the trip from Miami to Tampa (146 miles) in nearly 6 hours without delay (5 hours, 47 minutes) with fares ranging from $35-$57 (I'm almost upset how cheap folks can ride in FL!).
Miami to Orlando on the Meteor is 5 hours 25 minutes (265 miles) and cost ranges $37-59.
Briteline MIA-TPA will be around 315 miles. Wonder how long it'll take and what the cost will be?
I think Brightline will take away the purpose of the SM more than the SS, even if it goes go Tampa. If Amtrak could get FEC to agree to it, I think it would make sense to operate the SM discharge/recieve only down the FEC (I seriously doubt FEC would allow Amtrak to carry intra-Florida passengers). Then the SM could be the Miami express train and the SS could be the Tampa and Orlando train. The only adjustment that would probably be necessary is to move the SS an hour earlier northbound so it could connect to the CL (I think this should happen even with the current set-up).
As to the Brightline Tampa extension, I doubt it would be more than an hour and a half to Orlando which would put the entire route to Miami at four and a half hours, over an hour faster than Amtrak. It would also stop in the South Florida downtowns and have far more frequencies. The only way Amtrak could compete is if the tickets were priced significantly lower or if Brightline consistently sold out. Also, Tampa to Miami is about 246 miles, not 146.
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