Invest: Miami speaks to Michael Reininger, President
America’s love affair with the car grew from important societal developments. For baby boomers, the automobile represented access and social mobility. Getting a license meant freedom. Today, the car is increasingly becoming a hindrance to freedom.
What sets Brightline apart is that we are heavily invested not only in the idea of transit-oriented development but also in owning and operating a major component of the transportation resource as well. Almost everywhere else, the real estate component is the purview of the private sector entity, and transportation the purview of a public sector entity; we are invested in both. Individually, they represent robust businesses, but combined, one leverages the other, giving us a position nobody else has replicated. Our approach is decidedly private sector, different for example, from New York’s subway, which is necessarily public. This allows us to focus on profitability and serving clients, rather than maximizing ridership by keeping prices low at a profit loss.
South Florida is ideal for the Brightline train service. Historically, city development in Florida occurred along rail lines that have been maintained for the past 120 years, creating distances too long to drive comfortably and too short to y efficiently. We want riders to be able to tap into existing and emerging modes of transportation to increase accessibility throughout South Florida. When we started, services like Uber and city bike-share programs were not around, but since then, have grown immensely and we are finding ways to connect with these. Meanwhile, in developing our stations, we focus on variety, which means diverse uses of space—whether office, retail or entertainment. Looking ahead, multi-modal transportation development will continue to present more growth opportunities.