Start your summer family adventure with $5 kids fares plus free museum admission, both part of Brightline’s Trainee Summer Passport Program, beginning Saturday, May 27.
Riding with friends and family? use promo code ALLABOARD at checkout to save 25% on select SMART fares for a party of 4-16.
The moment everyone has been waiting for has arrived! Travelers can now purchase tickets for the much anticipated Brightline Orlando route between Central and South Florida starting late summer through early 2024. Guests should sign up for Brightline emails on gobrightline.com to stay updated and to purchase tickets. SMART fares starting at $79 for adults and $39 for kids.
More on Brightline…
The moment everyone has been waiting for has arrived! Travelers can now purchase tickets for the much anticipated Brightline Orlando route between Central and South Florida starting late summer through early 2024. An official opening date and inaugural rides will be announced after Brightline has completed required testing. Guests should sign up for Brightline emails on gobrightline.com to be the first to know when summer inaugural rides will go on sale.
Brightline’s trains leave almost hourly seven days a week and connect downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The newest stops added are in Aventura and Boca Raton and will serve Orlando International Airport in 2023. The private rail puts an emphasis on a pleasant experience for patrons and offers a variety of incentives for first-time riders to try the train.
Add private or shared Uber rides when booking a train ticket all within the Brightline app or website. The in-app booking capability is designed to eliminate guest wait times and ensure a ride is ready and waiting curbside to take them to you to your final destination. PREMIUM guests will receive complimentary rides within a five mile radius, while guests in SMART can add a ride to and from the station for a fee – without distance restrictions.
The train is fancier than Tri-Rail, and it costs more. You might even call Brightline a luxury train. But there are ways to save money and enjoy the ride.
Disclosure: I’m a big fan of public transportation and a huge fan of Brightline. I’ve taken Tri-Rail to a World Series game and to catch an international flight. I rode on Brightline the day it opened from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in 2018. And I have taken Brightline to concerts, museums and Miami Marlins games.
The joy of getting out of my car and traveling among my fellow South Floridians and visitors makes it worth it to me to economize elsewhere to free funds to take the train.
I’ll explain how you can save money on parking, bypass the full cost of a Lyft or Uber to and from the station and score a deal on the fare.
Here’s how to get the most out of Brightline:
How to book a Brightline ticket
There are three ways to book a ticket:
- You can purchase a one-way or roundtrip ticket online at GoBrightline.com
- By downloading the Brightline app
- Or you can walk up to the station and pay your fare before you get on the train.
Fares start at $10 one way from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. A roundtrip from Miami to West Palm Beach can be as low as $30.
Tri-Rail offers $5 fares on the weekends.
Brightline, like airlines, has variable pricing for its tickets based on demand. You can save by booking early or by choosing a trip outside of the weekday rush hour, for example.
Bi-Directional shuttles at Miami International and Fort Lauderdale Airports; Miami Beach
Bi-directional fixed-route shuttles with available pick ups at Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and three destinations in Miami Beach. Each shuttle will provide transfers to respective Brightline stations.
There are good reasons to create a profile online at GoBrightline.com or download the Brightline app. Your passenger information will be saved, and you may be able to enter a code to obtain a discount.
Before you book, search online to see whether Brightline is offering a promotional fare. As of this writing, SUMMER15 will get you 15 percent off many fares.
Kids ride for $5 with a paying adult until Sept. 30, 2022. And check the Brightline site for an offer of complimentary admission to South Florida attractions including the Miami Children’s Museum, the Frost Museum of Science, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and the Palm Beach Zoo.
There are two levels of service on Brightline. Smart service will get you passage on a clean, fast train, free WiFi, access to a cash bar and snacks at the station and a chance to buy refreshments on board.
Select, or premium, service grants the rider access to the same amenities, plus:
a free Tesla ride to and from locations within five miles of the station when booked in advance
a premium lounge waiting area with free snacks and drinks
a train car with wider seats
and complimentary snacks and beverages on the train.
Premium fares from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach start at $17. A roundtrip on the top-of-the-line from Miami to West Palm Beach costs $74 and up.
You can also save money on parking at all three Brightline stations by booking in advance online or through the Brightline app. It’s $15 a day if you pay at the Brightline garage. But it’s only $5 if you pay when booking.
First mile/last mile
Brightline+, which offers riders service from their home, office or event venue to the Brightline station. Here is how it works:
Within 5 miles of the station, Brightline will pick up standard, or Smart, service passengers who book the Brightline+ service in advance for a flat fee of $5 per person for a shared ride to or from the station.
Premium fare passengers can get a complimentary ride from within 5 miles when they book a private Tesla.
Request the ride when you book a fare online or in the Brightline app. You can choose how much time you want to have at the station before the train departs: 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more.
Those reserved rides can fill up so secure that reservation as soon as you know your plans. Be sure to book a scheduled ride at least two hours before the train.
On the day of your trip, Brightline+ passengers will receive a text reminder about their ride to the station. Then, when the driver is on the way to your location, you will receive another text with a link that allows you to track his or her route to you. It’s like the map in a Lyft or Uber app. You will also be able to call the driver if necessary.
While I was on a Brightline excursion in August 2022, the shuttle driver told me his guidance is to wait eight minutes for a passenger to come out to the shuttle before moving on. Bring some cash to tip your driver.
Brightline’s shuttle fleet includes handicapped-accessible vehicles.
Tri-Rail offers free shuttle, taxi and Uber rides to and from most stations.
Brightline also offers all of its passengers free walk-up shuttle rides from its stations to select locations. No reservation is required, and rides are first-come, first-served. I took Brightline this year to Miami to see a Wednesday afternoon Padres-Marlins game. Waiting at the Miami Brightline station was a massive bus that easily accommodated me and my fellow baseball fans.
The staff was also super-helpful in passing out a small paper copy of a map that showed where I needed to be after the game to catch the bus back to the station. During Marlins home games, shuttles start their return to the Miami station two hours after the first pitch and depart every 30 minutes until 30 minutes after the last pitch.
Brightline provides walk-up shuttle service to these attractions and venues:
Miami station to:
The Port of Miami
Miami International Airport
Miami Marlins home games
Fort Lauderdale station to:
Fort Lauderdale International Airport
West Palm Beach station to:
Palm Beach International Airport
Important note: A Brightline shuttle is available to take you to MIA, FLL or PBIA, but the train line does not yet have shuttle service to pick you up from the airports and take you to its stations. You will need to arrange other transportation when you want to catch a train after arriving at a South Florida airport.
Were you unable to book a shared ride from the station, are you going someplace besides the airport, a ballgame or the beach? Look for the zippy Brightline-branded EV golf-carts when you leave the station. The driver can give you a free ride to locations within 3 miles of the station.
Brightline is also leveraging the wide variety of things to do in South Florida to draw event goers to its trains. For example: It offers a walk-up free ride to select concerts at the iThink Financial Amphitheater 10 miles west of the West Palm Beach Station.
Concert shuttles depart from the West Palm Beach Station five minutes after trains arrive at the station and drop you off at the front entrance of the venue. Shuttles to the shows run from 6:05 pm to 8:05 pm, according to Brightline’s website. Look for the Concert Shuttle icon during booking to find a train and shuttle.
“Those are really great because when you are coming down by car for an event, the traffic is terrible, the parking is expensive, and you have to walk a long distance,” Alfonso said.
When the Miami Heat are playing, Brightline typically offers a Buzzer Beater train to transport riders home after the final play.
What to expect at the Brightline station
The Miami Brightline station is at 600 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33136
The Aventura Brightline station is at 19796 West Dixie Hwy., Miami, FL 33180
The Fort Lauderdale Brightline station is at 101 NW 2nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
The Boca Raton Brightline station is at 101 NW 4 St., Boca Raton, FL 33432
The West Palm Beach Brightline station is at 501 Evernia St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Plan to be inside the station at least 15 minutes before your train is scheduled to leave. Brightline trains leave right on time, and boarding closes four minutes before departure.
Brightline stations all have a similar streamline design. You’ll enter and notice a distinctive Brightline citrus-clean scent.
If you have not yet purchased a ticket, locate the walk-up ticket station. A Brightline staff member is stationed nearby to help you navigate a purchase.
You’ll ride an escalator up to the entrance kiosks. Put your paper ticket or phone on the glass to open the gate and enter. You’ll pass through a quick security screen and enter the waiting area.
In the passenger waiting area you will find plenty of seating, clean restrooms and a cashless bar and snack shop.
Boarding begins about 10 minutes before train departure. You’ll take an escalator down to the train platform and find your seat on one of four Brightline train cars.
Fort Lauderdale is a little different than West Palm Beach and Miami: Because the train stops there for only about five minutes, passengers are guided down to the platform before the train arrives and then are swiftly ushered aboard.
Brightline’s focus on the rider experience extends to its customer service. You can find a variety of ways to get in touch with the rail line.
Or dial 831-539-2901 to get in-person help from 9 am to 6 pm ET.
Other ways to save
Planning to take the train daily?
Brightline offers monthly and annual passes. The monthly one-stop fare in a Smart coach is $199. Brightline’s Alfonso notes that if you take the train five days a week for work, you are getting a ticket for as low as $7.
And there are no blackout dates.
Riding with a group?
Parties up to 16 passengers can save 15 percent.
Alfonso pointed out one thing you may notice during a Brightline trip, “It’s such a great experience. You really see people so happy.”