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Posted on: July 23, 2019

New Brightline/Virgin Train Station May Be Coming to Downtown Boca

Brightline train at station

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 communications@myboca.us.


Video from City Council workshop on July 22 below.


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