At that time, we reported on the venture’s financial picture, which did not look good. On Nov. 23, Jeff Ostrowski reported in the Palm Beach Post that passenger revenue continues to lag far behind losses: “The regulatory filing shows that the rail service continues to lose money, posting a loss of $87 million for the first nine months of 2018. And passenger revenue of $4.8 million through the first nine months of the year lags far behind the $23.9 million that Brightline had projected for the full year of 2018.” Ostrowski noted that management statements intimated that there were about 160,000 riders during the third quarter of this year, but added: “Even if the IPO is successful, Virgin Trains will need billions more to pay for its ambitious expansion plans. Virgin Trains reportedly seeks to raise $100 million from investors in its stock offering.”
he SEC document claims that taking a Virgin train would be less-expensive for riders (at 8 and 71) than Uber (whose rates are often competitive with conventional taxis, rather than with public transportation) or airline travel (although long-distance passengers from Orlando might be able to get a through fare connecting from a flight to Orlando from a point further South like Miami Airport). Ostrowski commented on the competing mode of automobile travel: “Driving from Miami to Orlando costs about $100 in gas and tolls (20 gallons of gas at $2.50 a gallon, plus $25 each way for tolls on Florida’s Turnpike). For a solo traveler, that’s comparable to what Virgin Trains USA says will be a $100 average ticket cost between Miami and Orlando. Travel with a family of four, however, and the arithmetic changes: Virgin Trains’ cost balloons to $400, while the car costs the same $100.”
For the complete article, please follow this link.