If You Buy a Brightline Monthly Parking Permit, Be Sure to Read the Fine Print, or Your Car Might Be Towed Away and Auctioned Off
Florida - Thursday November 30, 2023: Read the fine print before you buy a monthly parking pass from Brightline.
Your car maybe towed away and auctioned-off if you don’t tell the garage owner you plan on leaving your car for more than 7-days, even though you paid Brightline to leave it there for a month.
Luis Girado is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce. He purchased a monthly parking pass from Brightline entitling him to park his 2016 Subaru Forester at the MiamiCentral parking garage next to Brightline’s Miami train station.
Ten days later the garage declared that his car was abandoned, and had his car towed away, even though he had a valid 30-day parking pass purchased from Brightline.
“I questioned the person in charge of the garage because I was very upset," said Girado. "So, he said you have to read the terms of service from Brightline.”
To read the fine print, log into your Brightline account, click on the monthly parking pass link. Choose the Miami station, enter the license plate number of your vehicle, click on add to cart. That takes you immediately to the payment page.
Once you enter your address and credit card information and you at the bottom of the page, there, in bold print, highlighted in yellow, is the link to pay the $101-dollars and 65-cents for a monthly parking pass.
Right above that payment link, in small print, not in bold nor highlighted, is the link to the Terms of Service.
Not just the terms for a monthly parking pass, but Brightline’s entire terms of service for passengers, baggage, tickets, code of conduct, and way down past animals onboard and unaccompanied minors you'll find the parking terms.
But you still have to keep scrolling though, past parking validation and registration of vehicles, until you reach parking enforcement. There in fine print, under item number 3 it says: “A vehicle will be considered abandoned if it has been in the same place for longer than seven (7) days. If traveling for business, please notify the Parking Operator in advance.”
Luis didn’t make it that far, he didn’t read the terms, let alone the question of how many people actually do.
There is no warning on the website advising monthly parking pass holders of the need to let the garage know their car will be parked beyond 7-days.
Girado: “I frankly don’t understand how come Brightline, they don’t want to take responsibility for what they are doing.”
WQCS: “And the garage?”
Girado: “The garage is a third party. Brightline is providing a service. They’re the ones who are charging you the pass.”
By the time he got back from his trip, the towing company who took his car had already auctioned it off because Luis had not responded to letters send to his home. He wasn't home because he was overseas, for two months, caring for a sick relative who eventually died.
“Molina towing is the company that took the car, and they refused to give me information about how they auctioned it, how much money they got from the car.”
His insurance company refused compensation ruling the vehicle had not been stolen, Miami police said no law had been broken.
And an emailed response from someone named Tracy at Brightline states, in part, "Brightline … is neither the owner or operator of the MiamiCentral Parking Garage and anyone who parks their vehicle at that location is subject to the terms and conditions.
Luis has since found two other Brightline customers who purchased monthly parking passes and had their cars trowed away. He wonders how many other there are.