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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Brightline, the express inter-city passenger rail service, which currently operates in Palm Beach County will expand into Broward in the new year.

The company has announced that, as part of Phase 1 of their operation, they will be launching introductory service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale the week of January 8, 2018. They plan on becoming fully operational and extending service to downtown Miami by early 2018.

Once up and running, the company says riders will be able to go from West Palm Beach to Miami in 1 hour and from Fort Lauderdale to Miami in 30 minutes.

Earlier this month, the company received its final government approval for Phase 2 which would see trains running to Orlando. The next step will be finalizing the design for the rail infrastructure and the 70-acre vehicle maintenance facility that will be located at Orlando International Airport.

Nearly 3 million people are expected to ride the Brightline trains annually by 2020, according to an independent ridership study.

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