New railway station
The new Boca Raton station is being built on a 1.8-acre plot of land, located between Mizner Park and the downtown library in Boca Raton, Florida, US.
Located close to Palmetto Park Road and Dixie Highway, it will be the third new station in Brightline’s south corridor, and the fifth operational station in Florida, upon completion. It will provide connections to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, West Palm Beach, and Orlando.
The new station will also connect to Brightline’s 170-mile (273.5km) high-speed intercity railway extension, being built at a cost of $4bn, between West Palm Beach and Orlando. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2022, the extension is part of the 378km-long Brightline that will connect Miami and Orlando, Florida.
Construction of the Boca Raton
The project is being implemented under a partnership between Brightline, the City of Boca Raton, and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Brightline submitted a letter to the city of Boca Raton in 2019, and expressed its interest to build a new station in the city. It received approval from the Boca Raton City Council for a long-term property lease in December 2019. The lease agreement is for the new train station, and a parking garage, to be constructed.
Construction of the carparking garage of the Boca Raton station began in December 2021 while that of the station started in January 2022. It is scheduled for completion in Fall 2022.
Boca Raton station features
The 38,000ft² (3,530m²) Boca Raton station will feature an innovative autonomous market named MRKT, which will provide a checkout-free retail market experience featuring products such as snacks and prepared foods, beverages, toiletries, and electronic goods. A premium lounge will also be established at the station.
Furthermore, the station will provide a cashless environment and high-speed Wi-Fi, and feature touchless turnstiles to improve passenger experience.
The under-construction multi-storey car parking garage will include 455 spaces, including 391 spaces for station users, and 64 dedicated covered spaces on the first floor for visitors to the library. A separate entrance will be created for the downtown library parking, which will be provided as a complimentary service.
Funding for Boca Raton station project
The City of Boca Raton received a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) grant, worth $16.35m, from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in September 2020. The grant was awarded to fund the construction of the Boca station and parking garage.
The City council committed $9.9m for the construction of the parking garage. Brightline agreed to fund the remaining project cost of approximately $30m, and will bear the operational expenditure of the garage. Profits from the parking garage will be split between the council and the company.
Brightline also funded the construction of a new 1.4-acre community garden for charity organisation Junior League of Boca Raton, at Meadows Park, and a temporary parking lot for the downtown library, in accordance with the lease agreement.
Kaufman Lynn Construction, a full-service commercial construction company based in Florida, was appointed as the construction manager for the garage and train station.
Zyscovich Architects, a master planning and architecture company, was selected to provide the design for the new Boca Raton station.
The project is estimated to generate more than 480 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs. It will enhance mobility to regional workplaces and increase the tourism potential of the city.
In addition to improved connectivity and mobility, the new station will help reduce emissions.