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The Miami-Dade County Commission and Brightline last week approved an access fee agreement that helps pave the way for a new commuter-rail system on the Brightline/Florida East Coast Railway Corridor.
The agreement calls for a $12 million annual access fee, in addition to an initial payment of $50 million. The 90-year agreement includes the annual fee payment only for the first 30 years, Brightline officials said in a press release.
The system is designed to run hourly trains with additional service during peak hour. County officials will begin negotiating definitive documents with Brightline over the next 60 days and expect to decide on who will operate the system in the coming months.
The new system would connect the county's northeast region with possible station locations at 151st Street, 123rd Street, El Portal, Little Haiti, the Design District and Wynwood. The system would be interoperable with Brightline's Aventura and MiamiCentral stations, and would ultimately connect with Metrorail, Metromover and Tri-Rail, Brightline officials said.
Based on independent economic studies, the commuter-rail system is expected to generate $5 billion in economic impact over the first 10 years. Once stable, the system is expected to carry nearly 3 million riders annually.
"A commuter-rail system will take cars off the road and provide an environmentally friendly way to get around our region," said Brightline President Patrick Goddard. "In the short term, it will create jobs and rebuild our economy as we rebound from COVID."