ORLANDO -- Tampa Mayor Jane Castor joined other elected officials from Tampa and Hillsborough County, as well as members of the Tampa Bay Partnership, for a ride on the new Brightline passenger train service from Miami to Orlando. It comes as Brightline is looking at an extension to Florida's west coast, possibly on the I-4 corridor.
A group of nearly 50 from the Tampa Bay area met Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava at Miami International Airport, then met with Brightline leaders at their MiamiCentral station. They rode north to West Palm Beach, meeting mayor Keith James, who showed them around the Brightline station, which is expected to be similar to a future Tampa station. The Tampa group met with dignitaries from the Orlando area at the station there.
As that's going on, the state is looking at extending SunRail service into Polk County as far west as Lakeland. But at least one Polk County commissioner has expressed skepticism about that plan, saying that the rail transit system doesn't serve the attractions where many Polk residents work.