YBOR CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The future of your commute from Tampa to Orlando is bright and in sight.
Plans to bring the high-speed Brightline train to Tampa are speeding up.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said the Brightline train station will be “in close proximity” to the TECO Streetcar Station in Ybor City. It might be coming quicker than you were expecting.
Imagine traveling on Interstate 4 without the traffic.
That’s what Castor is hoping Brightline will do.
At maximum speeds of 150 miles per hour, the high-speed train could get you from Tampa to Orlando in an hour through the middle of the interstate.
“My thoughts are that we needed this in the Tampa Bay area yesterday,” Castor said.
The plan is already laid out.
The train would be built in a partnership between the private rail company and the Florida Department of Transportation– which would typically make it a faster project.
“I would say on the optimistic side four, five years hopefully we’ll have passengers traveling between Orlando and Tampa,” Castor said.
The train already connects other major cities including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach — where development has sprung around the stations.
“The connection from here to south Florida really was that first piece in extending it to Tampa to make that seamless connection so that way the people that live here but also the people that visit here have numerous opportunities to make that connection,” Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s Kevin Thibault said.
The mayor said she still needs to get the city council on board. She doesn’t believe that will be an issue.
As for existing development plans for Ybor City, Mayor Castor said Brightline will probably escalate those.