Private passenger rail operator Brightline posted ridership up 20 percent in May compared to 2019, its third straight month with passenger numbers above pre-pandemic levels.
That translated to 102,796 passengers on Brightline’s trains that currently connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in South Florida, according to an investor update on Tuesday. Revenues, all important for the private railroad, were up 63 percent compared to May 2019.
Brightline has seen a “rapid return” of riders since it resumed revenue service after a pandemic suspension last November. And the railroad is likely to see ridership climb even higher when new stations in Aventura and Boca Raton open this fall. A long-awaited extension to Orlando with a stop at the Orlando International Airport is 80 percent complete and expected to be ready for at least test trains by December; revenue service is slated to begin in early 2023. A future extension to Disney World and Tampa is planned.