(11:05 a.m EDT) -- The Miami-Dade County Commission has given Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, a mandate to build an intercity train station at PortMiami by 2020.
The line, which currently operates from downtown Miami through Fort Lauderdale and to West Palm Beach, will eventually extend as far as the Orlando International Airport by 2022. Another station is expected to be added in Aventura, and possibly Boca Raton, in 2020.
"This is a first-of-its-kind train … that will connect the cruise capital of the world with a car-free option for millions of cruisers looking to start their vacation a little earlier," said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline, which will officially be changing its name to Virgin Trains in the summer of 2020.
With the addition of the PortMiami station in 2020 and Orlando International Airport station in 2022, the Brightline/Virgin Trains railway will become the only intercity rail system in the United States connecting a major cruise port to an international airport.
"This private-public partnership is a great opportunity to expand PortMiami's connectivity to visitors traveling from central Florida and for Miami-Dade County residents to get to the Orlando area in a quick, enjoyable way," said Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.