For the past 18 months, All Aboard Florida’s Chief Marketing Officer Julie Edwards has been on a speaking tour of sorts to promote Brightline, the new privately financed and operated express rail service slated to begin transporting riders between West Palm Beach and Miami this summer.Edwards has been meeting with chambers of commerce and other members of business and community groups to provide them with updates and answer questions on Brightline’s progress, as All Aboard Florida officials prepare to launch the service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale in July, and between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in late August. Eventually, the express railroad — operating up to 110 mph — will transport travelers from Miami all the way to Orlando in about three hours. It will be the only privately owned, higher-speed intercity passenger-rail service in the United States.The most common question Edwards fields during her public talks?“How will I book it?” she says. “And I tell people that a very productive way to book your tickets is through the Brightline mobile app, which you can download and then pick your train and reserve your seat.”Setting up the ticketing app is just one of many tasks that Brightline officials are focused on as opening day nears. The company has been shoring up its executive management staff; received completed train sets; begun hiring, training and certifying middle managers; and announced this summer's launch timeframe. To learn more about where Brightline executives and staff are in ramping up this new passenger-rail service, check out my article in the April issue of Progressive Railroading magazine.And, if you're a Florida resident or frequent traveler there, let me know whether or not you would use the Brightline service. I'd like to know your thoughts on it.
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