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Brightline Ridership Number-Crunching and Analysis

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Is real estate income accounted any where or is that a separate item?


This is just for Brightline revenue from ridership (and maybe stations?). Real estate is a separate LLC. The bonds were sold only for the passenger rail service, specifically the south segment between Miami and WPB. Any real estate revenue might be hard to come by as each building might have a different LLC for its development.

Edited by Brian_tampa

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Ok, let's take another swing at this now that we have actual numbers in front of us:

Ridership has been indicated at 106,090 (versus the estimate of 106,200). This is basically a rounding error. Revenue was indicated at $1,143,000 (versus the estimate of $1,142,000). This is, in fact, probably an /actual/ rounding error given that it's down to a single count of the base unit of measurement (that is, $1000).

PPR was $10.77 for Q2; my comments earlier of $12.50-13.40 for June hold at this rate, and as a result so do my original notes about revenue trends and so on.

"Other revenue" is interesting. I forget when Brightline started charging for parking, but Brightline is bringing in $3.69/passenger under this column (which presumably includes F&B, both on-board and at-station, as well as parking). Interesting, "cost of sales" did increase, but substantially slower than otherwise.

Am not sure what falls under "miscellaneous income"; best guess is that it includes some stuff like interest on cash balances and the like.

If we eject depreciation/amortization from the calculation (their inclusion is dubious IMO), the net loss goes from $28.34m to $21.82m, a substantial improvement on Q1's (similarly-adjusted) $24.17m. Still not positive but not nearly as bad.

I am wondering how much of those first three line items (salaries/benefits, professional fees, and G&A/other) are/were tied up in construction and what the picture will look like once that isn't nearly as big of a "thing", since for all I can tell "Brightline Trains LLC" covers both PBI-MIA, MCO-PBI, and any putative projects TPA-MCO and/or JAX-PBI.


Edit: Something else which gives me a mild headache: Total expenses given are $27.55m, but restricted cash decreased by $35m while PPI increased by $55m. There was, materially, no change to long-term debt. Members' equity also increased by about $5m in the midst of this. I only took introductory accounting, but I am really getting a headache trying to sort through this and I'd like to brainstorm explanations with somebody if possible.

Edited by Anderson

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Southbound 01 Oct 18
0530  1 F,   0 W,  12 Y  Last check: 0050
0600  3 F,   0 W,  10 Y  Last check: 0056
0700  2 F,   2 W,  47 Y  Last check: 0057
0800  5 F,   5 W,  37 Y  Last check: 0059
0900 13 F,   2 W,   7 Y  Last check: 0104
1000  5 F,   1 W,   9 Y  Last check: 0106
1100  2 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0107
1200  4 F,   4 W,  11 Y  Last check: 0109
1400  1 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0114
1500  3 F,   0 W,   1 Y  Last check: 0117
1600  2 F,   0 W,   8 Y  Last check: 0126
1700  4 F,   0 W,   9 Y  Last check: 0130
1800  2 F,   3 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0133
1900  0 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0135
2000  0 F,   0 W,   1 Y  Last check: 0136
2100  0 F,   0 W,   3 Y  Last check: 0138
     47 F,  17 W, 175 Y

Northbound 01 Oct 18
0713  6 F,   3 W,  22 Y  Last check: 0143
0813  1 F,   3 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0144
0913  0 F,   0 W,   6 Y  Last check: 0145
1013  0 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0146
1113  2 F,   0 W,   2 Y  Last check: 0147
1213  3 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0148
1313  2 F,   1 W,   4 Y  Last check: 0150
1413  4 F,   0 W,   5 Y  Last check: 0150
1613  4 F,   7 W,  19 Y  Last check: 0152
1713  3 F,   2 W,  27 Y  Last check: 0153
1813  3 F,   1 W,  25 Y  Last check: 0155
1913  2 F,   2 W,   4 Y  Last check: 0156
2013  0 F,   1 W,   2 Y  Last check: 0157
2113  1 F,   2 W,   4 Y  Last check: 0158
2213  1 F,   0 W,   2 Y  Last check: 0159
2313  0 F,   0 W,   0 Y  Last check: 0200
     32 F,  22 W, 137 Y

Note: All trains showing $20/25/40
Also note that this is the first time I've load-checked a Monday.

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I'm shunting this over here, but the Virgin Trains US (VTUS) SEC filings basically gave us probable Q3 numbers via giving us Q1-Q3 numbers (since we can back out Q1 and Q2 on already-released data).  Unfortunately, the results are a little hazy:

Interpretation 1
       Pax Revenue  Total Revenue
Q1     $  663,700   $  768,000
Q2     $1,143,000   $1,540,000
Q3     $2,947,000   $2,925,000
Total  $4,754,000   $5,233,000
	Interpretation 2
       Pax Revenue  Total Revenue
Q1     $  663,700   $  768,000
Q2     $1,143,000   $1,540,000
Q3     $1,835,000** $2,446,000
Total  $3,642,000** $4,754,000

In interpetation 1, "passenger and customer related revenue" is aligned with passenger ticket revenue in the Q1/Q2 statements.  "Total operating revenue" is aligned with ticket revenue plus "other revenue".

In interpretation 2, "passenger and customer related revenue" is aligned with the combined total and "other" is an external revenue category (probably real estate).  In this case, I'm presuming something close to 25% for ancillary revenue (Q2 was 26%, so I think we could go with 25% or 30% as a logical estimate) so that I have *something* to work with.  Thus the pax revenue numbers get a shiny pair of asterisks since I'm having to guess.

In interpretation 1, the numbers don't make sense (ancillary revenue would have to be negative during Q3), so I'm going to go with interpretation 2.  This shows a 60% increase in pax revenue in Q3 (versus Q2).  I'm not sure how I feel about that (I'm probably comfortable-but-not-thrilled since it involves three months with operation to Miami and about six weeks of near-full operation).

      Actual   Est.   %
Q1    $0.66m  $5.98m  11.05%
Q2    $1.14m  $5.98m  19.06%
Q3    $1.84m  $5.98m  30.77%

As a worthwhile point, this actually suggests that (depending on what assumptions were in play to begin with) Brightline might at least be on track to hit a sustainable revenue level.

Edited by Anderson

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Ok, looking at the October numbers, ridership is just over 60,000 while revenue is at $1.0m for the quarter.  I would guess this puts Brightline on track to bring in somewhere between $3.5m and $4.5m for the quarter (depending on the trend and how the holiday interacts with everything).  Were the number to stay stagnant, Q4 ridership would be about 180,000:

Q1: 74,780
Q2: 106,090
Q3: Not yet declared, but probably around 120-140k.
Q4: 180,000 per October.

That'll probably put first-year ridership in the range of 480-550k; it probably also puts Brightline on course for ridership in the range of no less than 800-1,000k next year presuming a shallow slope (and no increase for the rest of Q4...something I can't really take a stab at given the presence of the holidays).

PPR is still looking like a sticky point.  At $12.50/pax in ticket revenue and another $4 in ancillary revenue, ridership would need to be something like 5.4m/yr to cover costs (I'm ignoring depreciation in this calculation), though I would note that I'm really wondering what's buried under G&A and whether those expense lines will drop off once construction wraps on the whole project.

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Wow. Much higher than October, and it looks like Q4 will exceed Anderson’s estimates. I wonder if they include the Polar Express in the ridership numbers?

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I presume they did.  There's no reason to "sandbag" the numbers by excluding them (though to be fair, if disclosure were .  Each Polar Express train is two trainsets together, so you've got 480 riders times six runs per day times five days in November giving a maximum of 14,400 tickets sold.  Only two of those trains list as having sold out, but beyond that I don't know about ridership.  Bearing in mind that there is also the loss of some additional weekend trains to consider, I suspect the impact was no more than 10,000 riders in November.

So, since ridership was around 60,000 for October and 80,000 for November, I'd put quarterly ridership somewhere between 210,000 and 240,000 depending on whether ridership in November was a blip due to the holiday or reflects a trend.  NB that Brightline is now pumping Lyft to link between the stations in Fort Lauderdale and Miami and the relevant airports, so that can't help but help.


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Southbound 08 Dec 18
0800  15 F,  11 W,  86 Y  Last check: 0037 (12/08)
1000  46 F,  30 W, 152 Y  Last check: 0040 (12/08)
1200  38 F,  36 W, 131 Y  Last check: 0057 (12/08)
1400  12 F,  17 W,  77 Y  Last check: 0103 (12/08)
1600  17 F,  33 W,  64 Y  Last check: 0105 (12/08)
1800  15 F,  11 W,  34 Y  Last check: 0107 (12/08)
2000   3 F,   7 W,  18 Y  Last check: 0108 (12/08)
2200  17 F,  11 W,  15 Y  Last check: 0109 (12/08)
     163 F, 156 W, 577 Y
Northbound 08 Dec 18
1013  21 F,  17 W,  82 Y  Last check: 0136 (12/08)
1213   7 F,  29 W,  19 Y  Last check: 0140 (12/08)
1413  30 F,  10 W,  27 Y  Last check: 0144 (12/08)
1613  15 F,  24 W,  83 Y  Last check: 0149 (12/08)
1813  22 F,  23 W,  84 Y  Last check: 0154 (12/08)
2028  11 F,  22 W,  90 Y  Last check: 0157 (12/08)
2213  11 F,  26 W,  61 Y  Last check: 0201 (12/08)
2343  14 F,   7 W,  46 Y  Last check: 0203 (12/08)
     131 F, 158 W, 492 Y

-I couldn't generate a seat assignment on the 1000 SB train in Y.  Given the fact that W and F were almost sold out, my guess is that Y is sold out aiside from a wheelchair space.
-Ditto W on the 1200.
-Several trains seem to have 40 seats given over to W instead of 32 (the second set of tables in the middle of the car is switched over).
-As a direct comparison vs September, a similar-time load check provided the following:

22 Sep 18     114 F, 115 W, 363 Y
08 Dec 18    163 F, 156 W, 577 Y

22 Sep 18     104 F, 120 W, 391 Y
08 Dec 18    131 F, 158 W, 492 Y

Southbound ridership is up a bit over 50% vs. September.  Northbound ridership is up 27%, quite the disparity.  I would also note that I am seeing slightly more aggressive load pricing for Y now (Y's lowest bucket has been bumped to $17 for the full trip, up from $15 (and $10 before that); the highest bucket appears to be $35), though F seems to be mostly unchanged.

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