Brightline Florida update

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Brian_tampa

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It gives a high level overview of how the transport part of the business is doing. Say if CASM is greater than RASM you know it isn’t doing all that well no matter how fast revenue may be growing.
Then it should be easy to determine the RASM for Brightline. Just figure out how many seats per train and the number of miles per month (or whatever time period is standard). Then take the revenue per month and divide by the available seat miles per month. CASM would definitely involve proprietary numbers that Brightline does not report transparently. At this point, I am sure their CASM is much greater than their RASM. Other than airlines, who uses these numbers?
 

jis

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Then it should be easy to determine the RASM for Brightline. Just figure out how many seats per train and the number of miles per month (or whatever time period is standard). Then take the revenue per month and divide by the available seat miles per month. CASM would definitely involve proprietary numbers that Brightline does not report transparently. At this point, I am sure their CASM is much greater than their RASM. Other than airlines, who uses these numbers?
Railways use it in many places. It is a general passenger transportation thing I think. It is nothing new.
 

Brian_tampa

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Railways use it in many places. It is a general passenger transportation thing I think. It is nothing new.
Not to open a can of worms or get away from Brightline, but are there RASM and CASM numbers available for Amtrak? I understand they have "unique" accounting practices in place.
 

west point

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Has Brightline even come close to selling out their present trains? Do all their revenue trains have the same consist.? What is the capacity of these trains? If any revenue train set add a car(s) then we can know that ridership is much greater than pre Covid.
 

neroden

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CASM's not usually reported at a route level, only at a whole-corporation level. Where Amtrak does report it more or less accurately.

Part of the art of management in transportation is understanding when a high CASM vs. RASM means you want to expand to engage economies of scale, vs. when it means you want to remove weak branch routes, vs. when it means you should rearrange when your seats are available (scheduling), vs. when it means you should change market segment (pricing & amenities), vs. when it means you should reallocate resources between routes.

Railroad managements have frequently made the wrong decision on those questions.
 

joelkfla

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Has Brightline even come close to selling out their present trains? Do all their revenue trains have the same consist.? What is the capacity of these trains? If any revenue train set add a car(s) then we can know that ridership is much greater than pre Covid.
The trainsets are semi-permanently coupled. Each trainset is painted a different color, and each car has its position number painted on in large numerals, so no, they have not added cars. Each trainset has 1 Premium (BC) coach and 3 Smart (Economy) coaches. 1 of the Smart cars has a baggage section. Train capacity is 239.
 

jis

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Has Brightline even come close to selling out their present trains? Do all their revenue trains have the same consist.? What is the capacity of these trains? If any revenue train set add a car(s) then we can know that ridership is much greater than pre Covid.
Brightline uses fixed consists that are semi permanently coupled, like the Acelas.
 

cirdan

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The trainsets are semi-permanently coupled. Each trainset is painted a different color, and each car has its position number painted on in large numerals, so no, they have not added cars. Each trainset has 1 Premium (BC) coach and 3 Smart (Economy) coaches. 1 of the Smart cars has a baggage section. Train capacity is 239.
I don't think the car numbers are painted but I think they are vinyls.

So modifying the numbers should not be that much of a deal if spare vinyls are available.
 

jis

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Some interesting developments in Brevard County (Space Coast) regarding a station in the County. Interesting to see they are now considering what ridership may get captured from Coastal Volusia and Flagler County by a potential station at Cocoa. Of course those numbers would also be needed as input to the revision of the deal with the Central Florida Turnpike Authority too.

 
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Some interesting developments in Brevard County (Space Coast) regarding a station in the County. Interesting to see they are now considering what ridership may get captured from Coastal Volusia and Flagler County by a potential station at Cocoa. Of course those numbers would also be needed as input to the revision of the deal with the Central Florida Turnpike Authority too.

Seems odd that wasn't in the plans from the get-go. Why would you bypass Brevard County?
 

jis

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Seems odd that wasn't in the plans from the get-go. Why would you bypass Brevard County?
The short answer is money, or lack thereof.

This has been discussed several times before, however, it is worth presenting a short history of the effort to get a station in Brevard County again.

The original All Aboard Florida plan was for a four station service (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando). It was not clear that even for this funding could be arranged. But even back then conversations took place about future possibilities. Brevard County has been working in the background with Brightline in station location selection and such. The tacit agreement always was that a station in Brevard County would be taken up after a successful and stable introduction of service to Orlando..

One must remember that this is not a government funded thing where you can hang every bell and whistle on the Christmas Tree from the get go and then go and twist the arms of the legislature to try to fund the whole bloated thing. There was no certainty until about four years back that anything would get built to Orlando at all.

Notwithstanding that, the County Council voted to engage with the then All Aboard Florida folks about seven years back on this and low key activity with full support of the Space Coast TPO has been going on since then. Now that Orlando is in sight I suspect there will be some motion on the Brevard County Station in three to five years. The fact that land acquisition is taking place is an indication that things are actually moving, which is a good thing.
 
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The short answer is money, or lack thereof.

This has been discussed several times before, however, it is worth presenting a short history of the effort to get a station in Brevard County again.

The original All Aboard Florida plan was for a four station service (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando). It was not clear that even for this funding could be arranged. But even back then conversations took place about future possibilities. Brevard County has been working in the background with Brightline in station location selection and such. The tacit agreement always was that a station in Brevard County would be taken up after a successful and stable introduction of service to Orlando..

One must remember that this is not a government funded thing where you can hang every bell and whistle on the Christmas Tree from the get go and then go and twist the arms of the legislature to try to fund the whole bloated thing. There was no certainty until about four years back that anything would get built to Orlando at all.

Notwithstanding that, the County Council voted to engage with the then All Aboard Florida folks about seven years back on this and low key activity with full support of the Space Coast TPO has been going on since then. Now that Orlando is in sight I suspect there will be some motion on the Brevard County Station in three to five years. The fact that land acquisition is taking place is an indication that things are actually moving, which is a good thing.
Good background. Thank you.
 

Brian_tampa

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@jis and also doesn't Brightline have to complete a ridership study first to determine the impact to the toll revenue on the Beachline toll road? In the lease agreement with what is now CFX (nee OOCEA) it spells out that any station built in Brevard County would potentially impact revenue (and thus the bonds sold to build and maintain the highway), and therefore an impact fee would be added to each ticket sold between Brevard and Orlando (and possibly points west to Tampa I assume). Not sure if this is also the case for the FDOT (Turnpike Authority) section as well.
 

jis

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@jis and also doesn't Brightline have to complete a ridership study first to determine the impact to the toll revenue on the Beachline toll road? In the lease agreement with what is now CFX (nee OOCEA) it spells out that any station built in Brevard County would potentially impact revenue (and thus the bonds sold to build and maintain the highway), and therefore an impact fee would be added to each ticket sold between Brevard and Orlando (and possibly points west to Tampa I assume). Not sure if this is also the case for the FDOT (Turnpike Authority) section as well.
Yes I mentioned that in my post above. That will determine the per ticket surcharge. I don’t think it will be a show stopper.
 

Brian_tampa

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It's outrageous that environmentally friendly transportation is required to help fund what is not.
In this case, Brightline is taking advantage of a right of way that is held by two entities in order to reach Orlando. The alternative was for Brightline to negotiate with private land owners between Orlando and the FECR tracks along the east coast. Both solutions have costs.

In the case of SR528 aka Beachline, the toll road authorities are required by law to protect the investors who bought the bonds that enabled the construction and maintenance of the toll road. This makes sense as Brightline is a recent addition to how people travel between areas served by the toll roads and will negatively impact revenue that pays for those bonds.

Why shouldn't Brightline pay a fair price to use someone else's property? Would you allow a tenant to not pay anything to make money from occupying and using land that you own?

Edit: It will potentially be the case for the lease of land alng I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. The State of Florida has invested in maintaining that land and should be compensated for its use. Why should a private for-profit entity such as Brightline benefit from what taxpayers here in Florida have paid for and maintained over the decades?
 
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jpakala

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Why should taxpayers pay hundreds of billions for climate damaging transportation? As to toll loss, who's to say the increase in population and incessant traffic increase will mean no significant toll revenue loss owing to Brightline? And the landuse footprint of rail is a fraction of that for highways. I would not object to paying taxes to increase rail transportation both passenger and freight.
 

daybeers

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In the case of SR528 aka Beachline, the toll road authorities are required by law to protect the investors who bought the bonds that enabled the construction and maintenance of the toll road. This makes sense as Brightline is a recent addition to how people travel between areas served by the toll roads and will negatively impact revenue that pays for those bonds.
Toll roads go bankrupt fairly often. Aside from the land costs and being a tenant etc, jpakala's point stands that the concept of efficient transportation subsidizing the least efficient transportation is ludicrous.
 

cirdan

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@jis and also doesn't Brightline have to complete a ridership study first to determine the impact to the toll revenue on the Beachline toll road? In the lease agreement with what is now CFX (nee OOCEA) it spells out that any station built in Brevard County would potentially impact revenue (and thus the bonds sold to build and maintain the highway), and therefore an impact fee would be added to each ticket sold between Brevard and Orlando (and possibly points west to Tampa I assume). Not sure if this is also the case for the FDOT (Turnpike Authority) section as well.
This concept seems tragically absurd to me.

When the interstates were built, nobody thought about levying a surcharge to compensate the railroads for their loss of revenue.

The airports and airlines weren't asked to pay either.
 

cirdan

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Why shouldn't Brightline pay a fair price to use someone else's property? Would you allow a tenant to not pay anything to make money from occupying and using land that you own?

Edit: It will potentially be the case for the lease of land alng I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. The State of Florida has invested in maintaining that land and should be compensated for its use. Why should a private for-profit entity such as Brightline benefit from what taxpayers here in Florida have paid for and maintained over the decades?

The good taxpaxers of Florida did not put up the money with the purpose of supporting the profitability of any one particular enterprise, but with the purpose of providing a transportation system and relieving congestion for the public good. It seems to me that Brightline is doing precisely that, so it is precisely what the money was promised for (well ... almost precisely).
 
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