Friday, July 28, 2017

My tour of the Brightline Station in West Palm Beach yesterday.


View from the 2nd floor. A short video is below.
Check back for more photos, video, and observations over the next week.

The tour started off with a big surprise.

First, this tour was sponsored by the PBC Planning Congress in collaboration with the WPB Downtown Neighborhood Assoc. About 50 of us arrived at 6:00. Who is us? Community leaders, architects, urban planners, electeds, city staff, designers, thinkers and doers, and some from other professions as well.

We were all greeted and waiting for the tour to begin. Ali Soule, Brightline’s Dir. of Public Affairs began to speak and then in a sort of “What’s the point?” manner skipped to the major subjects of interest. After all, she knew all of us have been following All Aboard Florida and Brightline, some of us from the very beginning. She said, “I’m going to answer all of your questions”:
  • Do we have ticket prices? No.”
  • Do we have a start date? No.”
  • Can I share any more specifics on funding? No.”
Then came the surprise. Soule invited us all to tour and examine the facility ourselves, either in groups or wander off individually. For me, it was like Christmas Day. People took off inspecting the ceilings, floors, windows, lighting, signage, furniture, under the furniture, saw how travelers would flow through the building, and then this caught my eye:

A charging station.
And then I looked around. . .
There are charging stations EVERYWHERE.

And guess what? They have 2 USBs and 1 electric outlet. For Brightline, the future is here right now.

I took a ton of pictures. And I took a few short videos and will share them on this blog a bit later. For the next week or so will share a bit more about this tour along with observations, mine and the thoughts of others as well.

There was a splendid array of food and a beer/wine bar. At 7:00 people were ready to mingle and commiserate and that we all did.

I wish to thank Ali Soule and everyone else at Brightline who were so gracious to us all. And one last thing — congratulations Brightline — you’ve come a long way when we all met once before under a big tent on a very hot day.

July 2014. The press conference for the unveiling of Brightline, a big tent next to a vacant lot:
That vacant lot in Downtown West Palm Beach in 2014 is vacant no more. Three years later. . .

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