Virgin Trains USA wants to add stop in Boca Raton

City scheduled to meet with representatives from high-speed rail service

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

Boca Raton could be a future stop for Virgin Trains USA.

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Virgin Trains USA wants to make a stop in Boca Raton.

Patrick Goddard, president of the high-speed rail service that operates in South Florida, said Boca Raton is one of the cities that Virgin Trains USA has "carefully studied" for potential expansion, he told Mayor Scott Singer in an email Friday.

Goddard said Virgin Trains USA would like to work with the city "to finalize an agreement in which we would deliver train service to Boca Raton in the immediate future."

The proposed location for a train station would be on the corner of Northwest First Avenue and Northwest Fourth Street.

As part of the proposal, Virgin Trains USA would pay for the construction of a station and necessary rail infrastructure improvements, manage the construction of a parking garage, replace parking spaces for a nearby library that would be eliminated as a result of the station and offer regularly scheduled service to and from Boca Raton seven days a week.

In exchange, Virgin Trains USA is asking Boca Raton to build the parking garage and provide a shuttle service from the station to various locations in the city. Boca Raton would also be responsible for the funding and construction of a pedestrian bridge over Dixie Highway.

Boca Raton spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson said the city is receptive to the idea.

Virgin Trains USA, formerly known as Brightline, has stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It will eventually expand to Orlando and Tampa.

The city is scheduled to meet with representatives from Virgin Trains USA during a Monday afternoon workshop to discuss the proposal.

"VTUSA is excited to work with the city of Boca Raton to make this a reality and bring passenger train service to downtown Boca Raton," Goddard wrote.

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