An group opposed to the expansion of passenger rail in South Florida – Citizens Against Passenger Rail in Florida, or CARE FL – said despite what they called a “PR move” to rename the project, the group is still dead set against it.
In an announcement Monday, the company behind All Aboard Florida trumpeted a “brand release” of Brightline, which “presents a bright and optimistic view of the future” for Florida’s millions of residents and tourists.
“With the introduction of Brightline, we set out to reinvent what traveling by train can mean in America, making it a forward-leaning solution that is a smarter alternative to more cars on crowded roads,” said Michael Reininger, president of All Aboard Florida in a statement. “Brightline is built to be an intuitive transportation option aligned with the emerging preferences of our customers for mass transit solutions and keyed to providing access to the primary destinations of Florida’s residents and visitors alike.
CARE FL, for its part, says it isn’t fooled.
The anti-rail group called the move “a transparent attempt to distance the enterprise from a growing backlash” over the project.
“This PR move is intended to communicate the impression that All Aboard Florida is a done deal, when in fact, the project is far from finalized,” read a statement from the organization’s treasurer Brent Hanlon. “Citizens Against Rail Expansion believes that this latest attempt to reinvent All Aboard Florida is to substitute a bright new impression of a tarnished project image.”
By any other name, the proposal to connect Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami and West Palm Beach via private passenger rail “still puts public safety at risk, jeopardizes access to first responders, adversely impacts antiquated maritime bridges and waterway traffic, and will damage the quality of life we all enjoy.”
“It will have a very negative impact on our region,” said Hanlon.