The Martin County Taxpayers Association wants to formally endorse Stuart’s and Martin County’s bid for a Brightline Station.

We have analyzed the economic benefit to the taxpayers and have concluded that a station will pay for itself. That is especially true given the likelihood of most of Martin County’s and Stuart’s costs being picked up by federal and state grants. The boom in tourist development should be substantial.

Even now, our largest number of visitors are from Miami-Broward followed by Orlando. If a station is in Stuart, tourism will only become a larger factor in our economy. The increased bed tax will go a long way for our beach renourishment program and inlet dredging.

Downtown Stuart will expand physically and economically as will the nearby Arts District. There will be opportunities for new and expanding businesses, especially restaurants and hotels. It will be possible to spend a delightful weekend of shopping, dining, and attending a Lyric performance without ever the need for a car.

A short Uber ride will take visitors to our beaches, Splash Water Park, or Halpatiokee Park. The federal government has designated passenger rail as a “back to the future” necessity. Stuart grew up with the old Flagler railroad. It is now here again under the auspices of Brightline.

There is also the ability for a Martin County resident to jump on the train and commute to West Palm or Broward instead of driving on congested highways. We will have the opportunity to take a train to Orlando or Miami for a couple of days to take advantage of what those cities offer. We also will have options for going to or coming from airports to our south and north. Those trips can be very challenging now.

Brightline going through Martin County 32 times a day is a reality. We can wave at the trains as they speed by or take the opportunity to have Brightline contribute to our coffers by doing nothing more than having a station in downtown Stuart which is the beating heart of the county. We wholeheartedly support a station in Martin County at this location.