Brightline: The Mobility Experience Company

Patrick Goddard, President of Brightline Trains joined Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss how Brightline is building a mobility experience company.

The conversation begins with Patrick discussing how his background in hospitality partly inspired the way Brightline was developed and how it is managed today. Customer service and the emotional connection with the experience are the keys to success in the experience business.

We are first and foremost an experience-focused company.

– Patrick Goddard

Prior to boarding the train, the customer journey begins the moment that individual leaves their home or hotel. You have to think about that journey and look at it through the five senses. Patrick discusses how the five senses create an emotional connection.

Understanding the door to door to experience for a traveler has become more and more important.

– Patrick Goddard

Expanding upon this thought, Patrick dives into the experience economy and how it is now starting to transform the transportation industry. The transportation industry is actively learning from the hospitality and restaurant industries on how to implement and scale meaningful experiences with an emotional connection.

The experiences economy is upon us. It has been upon us for some time.

– Patrick Goddard

Focusing is on the Brightline experience, Patrick discusses in great detail the Brightline experience and how it was designed. From digital infrastructure to physical infrastructure, Brightline has completely thought through every single element of the experience.

Looking to the future, Grayson asks Patrick if Brightline will partner with an autonomous vehicle company to provide a branded Brightline mobility experience destination to destination.

We have to think about transportation as an ecosystem.

– Patrick Goddard

Brightline is actively looking into what those mobility experiences might look like with a variety of non-exclusive partners. These services will be fully integrated into the Brightline experience without friction and without having to make multiple payments to multiple service providers.

As Brightline expands to Orlando / Walt Disney World and adds new stops, Grayson asks Patrick how the Brightline experience will not be diluted. Patrick shares a great example of driving from Miami to Walt Disney World with his family and all of the possible issues including traffic which could make the trip longer and stressful.

When you get on our trains, you stop worrying about the time. It’s not about the time. It’s about the reliability and the experience.

– Patrick Goddard

On the train, you are relaxed, having a drink, or taking a nap. You arrive at the destination calm and ready to have fun at Walt Disney World.

Connecting Miami to Orlando with Brightline will have a positive impact on Florida’s economy. Grayson shares data from a previous podcast with Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation about how tourism dollars will be spent when tourists have a frictionless way to travel to different parts of the State.

Looking back in history, Patrick discusses the history of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway and how Brightline is building upon that history. The Florida East Coast Railway was built to support Flagler’s hotel operations. Brightline is following a similar model by developing the land around the stations.

Wrapping up the conversation, Patrick discusses the future of Brightline and why Brightline is a mobility experience company.

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Recorded on Thursday, April 8, 2021.