The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city a $16.35 million grant in September that will offset a substantial portion of the costs of building a Brightline train station and parking garage immediately east of the Downtown Library.
Under the deal with Brightline approved by the City Council in December 2019, the city is responsible for building the 455-space garage. The grant will reduce the city’s costs to $9.9 million from $11.4 million.
The grant also will lower Brightline’s costs for building the station and rail line improvements.
Brightline officials have said they expect to break ground at the beginning of next year, with the station opening in mid-2022.
The grant “will improve mobility, connectivity and safety, while reducing emissions,” Mayor Scott Singer said in a statement.
Brightline suspended passenger service on March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has not announced when service will resume.
But the company is moving forward on building additional stations in Boca Raton, Aventura and PortMiami and is laying new tracks for train service between West Palm Beach and Orlando.
In July, the company reclaimed the Brightline name after announcing it was scrapping a “strategic partnership” with British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises that had rebranded Brightline as Virgin Trains USA.

— Mary Hladky

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