Brightline: Targeting a Successful Future with High-Speed Rail

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Length: 22 pages
Product ID#: 2-982-867

Core Disciplines: Marketing/Sales, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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High-speed rail (HSR) is a high-performance transportation technology that is time competitive with airplanes and automobiles, and is an environmentally preferable alternative due to its low carbon dioxide emissions.

Brightline is a Florida HSR system in Phase II of its development and aims to connect West Palm Beach and Orlando. As construction continues, Brightline needs to determine to what extent it should target the leisure and business traveler segments when Phase II launches. Given a limited marketing budget and high upfront investment, it is critical for the company to gain ridership quickly and establish a foothold in relevant consumer segments. This decision is contingent on evaluating not only consumer characteristics and needs for each market segment, but also pricing strategies and potential incentives Brightline could offer.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Analyze high-speed rail as an increasingly popular form of public transport in the U.S. and global markets.
  • Determine the shortcomings and hurdles faced by high-speed rail initiatives in the U.S.
  • Examine Brightline’s financial structure and its long-term sustainability.
  • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities associated with Brightline’s market segments and determine each segment’s risks and potential rewards.