Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Local leaders support Amtrak expansion, Brightline high-speed rail service in Tampa Bay

a train on the track with a yellow splash paint job
Photo via Brightline

In a significant move toward enhancing regional transportation, the Central Florida MPO Alliance and the Suncoast Transportation Planning Alliance held a joint meeting in Bartow. During the June 14 assembly, the boards voted in favor of a resolution to support the expansion of passenger rail services in the I-4 corridor, stretching between Orlando and Tampa. The primary aim is to increase Amtrak service and to introduce Brightline to Tampa. The news was first reported by Bay News 9.

According to the Friends of Tampa Union Station, nearly 100,000 passengers boarded trains out of Tampa last year, underscoring the demand for expanded rail services. However, despite this demonstrated need, a $50 million funding request to expand Brightline was notably absent from this year’s budget.


interior of a train station
Rendering of a Brightline Station in Florida

“Tampa’s the next big market for us”

“It’s a big part of our future, right? We love Tampa. Tampa’s the next big market for us. You connect Tampa to the rest of this system and suddenly 75% of the state is within close proximity to a Brightline train. We like that a lot,” Brightline CEO Mike Reininger said in an interview with Fox 13 back in 2023.

The state has plans to preserve the right of way within the I-4 corridor for future rail expansion, recognizing the necessity for improved intercity passenger rail transportation. Such developments are seen as a catalyst for regional connectivity and economic growth. The collaborative effort by the Central Florida MPO Alliance and the Suncoast Transportation Planning Alliance highlights a unified commitment to advancing the infrastructure needed to support this vision.

Brightline launched operations in South Florida in 2018, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Stations in Boca Raton and Aventura opened last year. Construction on its 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando began in 2019.



Don't miss a story 👉

Get all the best local content delivered to your inbox

👇 Don't Miss a Story 👇

Recent Stories

ResortPass" target="_blank">