Victor Valley to Vegas in 85 Minutes
Brightline, which currently operates the nation’s only privately-owned express passenger rail line in Florida, is developing Brightline West to connect Las Vegas to California. In the latest podcast episode of The Rebuild SoCal Zone, Greta Seidman, Brightline West’s Director of Public Affairs, talks with Rebuild SoCal Partnership’s Carol Church about this high speed rail line that could be a “truly transformational project on several levels.”
Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles through multiple intercity projects. In early July, Brightline Holdings achieved a significant milestone with the successful acquisition of a 110-acre parcel that will serve as its future home.
Many SoCal residents know how cumbersome the drive or a flight between these two destinations can be. The planned line would run from stations in Victor Valley with possible connections in Rancho Cucamonga and Palmdale that would have direct access via California Metrolink key points in Los Angeles, including Union Station. According to Seidman, these extensions “have the potential to reach millions of people every year.”
This more efficient way to travel could move commuters between Los Angeles and Las Vegas at speeds of 200 mph so they arrive at their destination in under three hours.
As Church notes during the podcast, the term “high speed rail” has a negative connotation for many Californians. But this travel experience is different from other projects and Brightline has seen the success in Florida. The privately-funded company has a line that connects Miami to West Palm Beach and is currently expanding into Orlando. That part of the line is on schedule and expected to be complete next year.
In its first year, the high speed rail line welcomed more than a million passengers and all of them have access to high-class amenities such as touchless ticketing, state of the art baggage handling, free and fast WiFi, food and beverage options and so much more.
The fully electric, zero-emission trains are one of the greenest forms of transportation. This project could eliminate 3 million cars from the congested roadways and prevent a half million tons of CO2 emissions from going into the atmosphere. This will make a positive environmental impact on communities in SoCal and the desert.
Jobs and community
This project is expected to create 40,000 jobs, including 1,000 permanent jobs. For those who commute between L.A. and Vegas, there’s now another option that becomes a game changer. Instead of losing hours in the car, their work-life balance can shift.
Additionally, Seidman says Brightline West is already getting inquiries about whether there will be trains that allow fans to go to and from sports games and other events more efficiently. “People are thinking about what opportunities are opening up for them now in the next couple of years as a result [of the train] and we’re really excited about that,” she says.
Click here to listen now to the full conversation with Greta Seidman, Director of Public Affairs for Brightline West, and find other past episodes of The Rebuild SoCal Zone podcast.