Brightline representatives and Boca Raton City Council at the Community Garden ground breakingUpdate: May 10, 2021

Boca Raton Breaks Ground on New Community Garden

On Monday, May 10, 2021, City Council and representatives from Brightline and the Junior League of Boca Raton, broke ground on the new community garden located at Meadows Park (1300 NW 8th St, Boca Raton, FL 33486). As part of the agreement to build the Brightline station on a 1.8-acre site near the City’s Downtown Library, Brightline made a major contribution to help fund the construction of the garden.

Sign indicating the new home of the Boca Raton Community GardenThe garden is approximately 1.4 acres and will contain about 100 plots. Leasing of plots will open in July. Those who are interested in leasing a plot once garden construction is finalized can email Additional features of the community garden include a pergola, an enlarged composting area, and special fencing around the garden and trees to keep iguanas from climbing or digging into the area.

Temporary Parking Lot Update: In addition to the community garden, construction of the temporary parking lot has also begun. Located directly south of the Downtown Library, the lot will serve patrons and staff of the library while construction of the station and parking garage is underway. Construction of the lot and community garden is expected to be completed in August 2021.

Brightline train at station

Update: May 1, 2021

Brightline signal work continues in Broward and Palm Beach Counties through railroad crossings in Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton. Work will begin at 7am, Sunday, May 2 and continue until 7pm, Friday, May 7. The work supports future positive train control (PTC) implementation and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Upcoming work schedules are provided weekly and are subject to change. Details for upcoming work is listed below. 

NOTE: The following will occur during signal testing:

  • Brightline trains will be present in the work zone (listed below) and could be present throughout the entire corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami. 
  • Horns will sound during the day and overnight, even in quiet zones. This includes all trains (Brightline and freight trains). This is in adherence to the federal regulation that states train horns must be sounded if workers are present or work is occurring in or near the right of way.
  • Flaggers will be present at all railroad crossings in current work zones (listed below). 

Drivers and pedestrians always remain alert and aware when near railroad tracks and only cross the tracks at a railroad crossing.

The following information is also available on the Brightline website. Questions can be directed to Katie Mitzner, Brightline Director of Public Affairs at or 407-502-3587.

Update: September 24, 2020

Boca Raton Receives $16.4 Million for Brightline Train Station Project

The City of Boca Raton was recently awarded a $16,350,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant funds will be used for the construction of the Brightline Train Station and corresponding parking garage, which was approved to be built on the east side of Boca Raton’s Downtown Library.

As part of the grant agreement, the City will provide a local match not to exceed $9.9 million with an additional match to be funded by Brightline. The $46 million project, which is anticipated to open in mid-2022, will bring positive economic benefits and jobs during a critical time of Covid-19 recovery and reopening, as well as long term. The project is expected to create nearly 500 new construction jobs and nearly 40 permanent jobs in the City and will provide increased mobility to regional jobs as well.

“This major grant from the Federal Railroad Administration will improve mobility, connectivity, and safety, while reducing emissions," noted Mayor Scott Singer. “The public-private partnership we’ve created and developed with Brightline will advance the long-term future of our thriving, progressive city. Many residents and businesses see this opportunity as a game changer for Boca Raton."

Mayor Singer also expressed his thanks for USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, Senator Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Congressman Ted Deutch and Congresswoman Lois Frankel, all of whom were strong advocates of the grant.

Brightline will build the train station on a 1.8-acre site near Palmetto Park Road and Dixie Highway, as a rail-ready connection to the $4 billion, 170-mile intercity train system. The City will fund most of the of the design and construction of a 455-car parking garage for train guests and the public.

“This is an important milestone for the Boca Raton station, and we are thankful for our Florida elected officials who supported this effort,” said Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline. “Boca Raton is a key component of our future system, and this station will serve as a catalyst for economic growth by creating jobs and bringing new visitors and spending to the area.”

Update: February 25, 2020

A meeting was held in mid-February with City staff to review preliminary plans for the Boca Brightline station. Comments on the preliminary plans and direction on the application process was provided to representatives of Brightline/Virgin Trains USA for their upcoming site plan application submittal. Once a formal application has been submitted and staff comments have been addressed, agenda packages for Planning and Zoning Board and City Council public hearings can be prepared.

Plans for a temporary parking lot are being permitted. 

An agreement with the Junior League of Boca Raton for a community garden at Meadows Park will come before the City Council as a resolution in March 2020.

Update: December 11, 2019

Boca Raton City Council approved a long-term lease with Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains (VTUSA), with a unanimous 5-0 vote at the December 10 City Council Meeting. The lease agreement includes the construction of a train station and parking garage on a 1.8-acre site near the City’s Downtown Library. Boca Raton will be the third new station in the company’s south corridor, joining Aventura and PortMiami in connecting the privately-operated, intercity rail system. Current stations and stops include West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

Brightline will begin building the train station, which it will fully fund and operate in 2020, as a rail-ready connection to the $5 billion, 170-mile intercity train system. It is scheduled to be completed by 2023. The City will fund most of the of the design and construction of a 455-car parking garage for train guests and the public. Brightline will be responsible for all the operating expenses of the garage and the parties will split the profits. Library visitors will have dedicated, covered, parking on the first floor, which will be complimentary.

For more information, please access the following -

  • Read press release
  • View lease agreement and supporting documents
  • Watch the City Council Meeting

We work to comply with 2.1 A and AA website accessibility standards. If you are having difficulty accessing these documents or request them in an ADA compliant format, don’t hesitate to contact the City Clerk at  or 561-393-7740.

Update: November 14, 2019

A final public hearing on proposed long term lease is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 6 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

If you are interested in viewing the lease agreement and supporting documents, you can do so at JustFoia Public Documents Request #2019-6168
We work to comply with 2.1 A and AA website accessibility standards. If you are having difficulty accessing these documents or request them in an ADA compliant format, don’t hesitate to contact the City Clerk at  or 561-393-7740. 

At a lengthy workshop and public discussion on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the details of a long term lease for City-Owned property were reviewed. Stakeholders had an opportunity to weigh in with concerns and expressions of support, and City staff, along with VTUSA representatives, committed to working closely to clarify lease details based on feedback from the City Council. A City Ordinance authorizes a long term lease, and Ordinance No. 5509, proposing a long-term lease between the City and Brightline/Virgin Trains (VTUSA), was introduced at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The long-term lease is for a train station and parking garage on the site of the current community garden and Downtown Library parking lot. The Planning & Zoning Board recommended approval of the Ordinance on November 21, 2019.  A final public hearing will take place on December 10, 2019. 

  • Prior to the final hearing, City staff and VTUSA representatives will work closely to clarify details of the Lease Agreement and Exhibits, and prepare any further amendments based on workshop discussions. 
  • The Train Station will be funded 100% by VTUSA. 
  • The garage will have 455 spaces, 64 dedicated to the library, and 391 train station spaces which will be open to the public. The garage will have 4.5 levels. 
  • The City will fund most of the design and construction cost of the estimated $12 million garage.
  • VTUSA will relocate the community garden at a cost not to exceed $300,000. The proposed new site may be the southeast area of Meadows Park.
  • Formal site plans for the station and garage are subject to approval by the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Council.  
  • Additional land referenced in the lease includes the library parcel, generally located south of the proposed garage and the vacant lots between SW 3rd and 4th streets east of NW 2nd Avenue. (discussed as the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) land.) The City is not obligated to sell the parcels, but a first right of refusal is included for the term of the lease and the City agrees not to sell to anyone other than VTUSA until 12/31/2024.
  • Construction of the station and the garage would begin no later than 2021 and would be completed by 2023.

VTUSA representatives answered questions and addressed concerns at the 11/12 workshop.  Stakeholders, including neighbors, business owners, the Friends of the Library, Library Commons neighbors and the Junior League of Boca Raton expressed support, concerns and asked questions. Opportunities for additional public input will continue prior to December 10, 2019. 

Questions and comments can be addressed to

You can view the PowerPoint presentation here:

Update: September 25, 2019

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September, 24, 2019, Virgin Trains USA (VTUSA) representatives gave a second presentation on the proposed train station and parking garage on the site of the current community garden and downtown library parking lot. New details emerged as representatives presented a summary of plans and reviewed their discussions with stakeholders including neighbors, the Friends of the Library and the Junior League of Boca Raton.  A summary of the negotiation points presented by VTUSA is as follows:

  • Long term lease for the City owned land to be used for station and parking
  • VTUSA funds and constructs the train station and rail infrastructure
  • VTUSA will operate the train station and offer train service to and from Boca
  • City agrees to fund the design and construction of the public parking garage ( 400 spaces, 181 dedicated to library)
  • VTUSA will relocate displaced library parking at the ground level of the garage at no charge to library visitors
  • VTUSA will relocate any portion of the Community Garden that is displaced as a result of the project (City will assist in finding new space)
  • Grant of an option to VTUSA on the TOD (Transit Oriented Development) land; fair market value to be established through appraisal process
  • City and VTUSA will make best efforts to fund the construction of the elevated pedestrian bridge
  • VTUSA will make best efforts to work with FECR to open a Jeffrey St RRX crossing

Positive discussion with residents and council members ended with direction to City staff to continue negotiating with VTUSA as they incorporate community feedback into their concepts, designs and renderings for the project. You can watch the presentation on the City’s website.

Map and proposed site plan for Virgin Trains USA Boca Raton Station Opens in new window

Click on map to enlarge

July 22, 2019

After Boca Raton expressed an interest in the possibility of having a Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA-VTUSA) station in its downtown, VTUSA representatives confirmed that they would like to deliver train service to Boca Raton in the near future.

In a letter (Virgin letter PDF) to Mayor Scott Singer on July 19, Patrick Goddard, President of Virgin Trains USA Florida, LLC, indicated that Boca Raton is one of the cities that VTUSA has carefully studied, and that the company would like to work with the City to finalize an agreement that would deliver train service to Boca Raton.

As a first step, VTUSA laid out what it was willing to commit to the project and what is would like the City to provide.

VTUSA will:

  • Fund the construction of a VTUSA train station
  • Construct the VTUSA train station
  • Fund the necessary rail infrastructure improvements
  • Construct the necessary rail infrastructure improvements
  • Manage the construction of the train station parking garage
  • Purchase and supply the necessary rolling stock (trains)
  • Operate the VTUSA train station and parking garage
  • Offer regularly scheduled train service seven days a week
  • Replace parking spaces for the library that are eliminated as a result of the train station
  • Work with the City to relocate the library’s community garden and study the possibility of providing the City with community meeting space

In exchange for the above, VTUSA seeks the following from the City:

  • Contribution of the land identified on the attached site plan (“the Site”) to VTUSA
  • Fund the construction for the station parking garage
  • Agree to fund and construct an elevated pedestrian bridge over Dixie Highway; exact location to be determined by both VTUSA and the City.
  • Agreement from the City to provide shuttle service from the station to various locations within Boca Raton to improve connectivity.
  • Agreement from the City to work with VTUSA to properly re-zone the site as necessary to accommodate VTUSA’s various uses. City will also provide expedited permit processing/review for the project.

VTUSA representatives followed up with a visit to the City Council workshop on July 22 to discuss their plans and determine the next steps. Council members and VTUSA representatives heard from residents on a variety of issues including support and excitement about a station, concerns about train horns, concerns about library parking and questions about where the community garden would be relocated.

In the coming months, City staff will be working through the details of land valuation and possible conveyance, development and zoning issues, funding obligations, expenses and challenges that the project will present. As information is gathered, there will be opportunity for additional workshops, public meetings and input. Comments, questions or suggestions? Email

Video from City Council workshop on July 22 below.