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Stuart City officials ride Brightline, tour South Florida stations

Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 19:29:39-05

Stuart city leaders made the trip to West Palm Beach Monday to board the Brightline train, some riding the train for the first time.

This comes after years of supporting the fight to keep the train from traveling north.

But, as the likelihood of Brightline proceeding through the Treasure Coast increases, city officials wanted to experience Brightline first-hand.

“Myself and other staff wanted to take the train to evaluate it,” said Stuart City Manager David Dyess.

He was joined by commissioner Michael Meier, City Attorney Mike Mortell, and other city staff members, boarding in West Palm Beach, stopping at the Fort Lauderdale station and then touring the station in Miami.

“I think it would be a benefit to have that type of transportation for us,” Dyess said.

He particularly wanted to hear about safety. “At a previous meeting, there was stuff thrown out about criminals and all this other stuff, so this gives us an opportunity to see what the train is like, what the different stations are like and to get a real feel for what could possibly be coming to Stuart,” Dress said.

Dyess, and other city leaders were pleased with the experience.

“I think it’s better than what I had expected. It’s really, I hate to say it, but better than air travel. It’s very clean, everyone is very polite, the stations are nicely done,” Dyess said.

However, he knows there is still strong opposition in the community. But, he said supporting a station in Stuart might still be the best option for Stuart.

“If it’s a foregone conclusion and the train is coming through and there’s really nothing we’re going to be able to do about it, we should definitely take advantage of the stop.”

Dyess said he would want Brightline to pay for the entire costs associated with a possible station.