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Stuart mayor on Brightline station in city: 'So overwhelmingly exciting'

Train company to make official announcement on Treasure Coast stop next month
Posted at 10:01 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 22:01:38-05

STUART, Fla. — The news of Brightline choosing Stuart as the city to host the Treasure Coast Brightline station was the talk of the town Monday, including the mayor who decribed the news as "so overwhelmingly exciting."

The topic was mentioned during the Stuart City Commissioner meeting after word got out.


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"There was a lot of buzz today about a project we've been working very hard on and I'll start by saying i do not officially have anything in writing that has selected any particular location for Brightline," City Manager Michael Mortell said.

He said he was asked to notify the city commissioners and others that are interested that there is going to be an important announcement at the location of the proposed Brightline station in the City of Stuart, which is on Flagler Avenue next to the court house on March 11.

After the news broke, as of 3 p.m. Monday, Mortell says he was told that it may be March 4 instead.

"I would really be surprised if we were suggested that we'd be invited to that location to tell us that we were the wrong application," Mortell said.

One of the Brightline train station proposals in Fort Pierce. Dec. 27, 2023.jpg


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WPTV reporter Joel Lopez attended the City Commission meeting and asked Mayor Rebecca Bruner if there was anything she could comment on before the big announcement.

"Just that we’re super excited and having a station here is going to change everything," Bruner said. "Most of these train stations are in big cities. For us to have one in our little city is just so overwhelmingly exciting."

Bruner said she feels Brightline chose Stuart due to its charm, the proud people in town and work that Stuart has done with its community redevelopment agency.

Stuart resident Aaron Hawkins also is excited and is all systems go on Brightline in Stuart.

Stuart resident Aaron Hawkins is pleased train station will be located in the city. Feb. 26, 2024
Stuart resident Aaron Hawkins is pleased train station will be located in the city.

"Just having that convenience of being able to hop on the train and skip traffic would be nice," Hawkins said. "It’ll bring exposure to everyone, everything that's going on here in Stuart from the non profits to the businesses to the local government, all kinds of things."

Brightline expanded its service to Orlando from West Palm Beach in September, which has Stuart resident Cathy Scott with some concerns.

Stuart resident Cathy Scott has some concerns about a train station in her city. Feb. 26, 2024
Stuart resident Cathy Scott has some concerns about a train station in her city.

"Oh, it's noisy it's constant and it's dangerous,” Scott said. "People that aren't used to a fast train like this. They think that maybe they can scoot around the barrier and stuff and people are getting hurt left and right."

The Brightline train hits speeds of 110 mph between West Palm Beach and Cocoa on its route to Orlando but will slow down in Stuart as it goes over the St. Lucie River railroad bridge.

The speed was a concern Lopez brought up to Stuart Vice Mayor Campbell Rich.

“The safety of the residents of the city is one of our primary concerns always but trains have been going through downtown Stuart for decades," Rich said.

Rich said train safety is nothing new and having a Brightline station in Stuart will lessen the speed of the train since it'll come to a complete stop in town.

But Stuart commissioners and residents are waiting on the official announcement from Brightline.

"Do you know what your first ride is going to be?" Lopez asked Bruner.

"Oh, I'd love to go to Miami, yes Miami," Bruner said.